Become Engaged and Intensify Your Focus
Monday, October 1, 2012
Posted by: Keith M. Murley, New York Chapter
Cruise control. The phrase evokes a sense of relaxation, timeliness to sit back and give our active sensory units a rest. This same process used by automobile drivers is chosen repeatedly by numerous technology leaders across all industries, and if not controlled can produce situations comparable to that of an inattentive driver.
One easy argument is "I cannot be in cruise control; there are too many things depending on me. If I went into cruise control everything would fall apart.” We acknowledge many times you work just like an emergency room doctor, there's no arguing there. But where are you actually headed? With all of those efforts day in and day out, where are you moving, what is your final goal?
Time needs to be spent taking back the reigns. By all means, educate yourself on developments within the industry. Yes, discover new technologies and seek methods to leverage those in executing daily tasks. But most importantly, however, is turning the "cruise control button” off by knowing your destination, making certain your "vehicle” is taking you there, and if not, responding decisively.
For instance, if your objective is making IT a genuine business ally, are you structuring the department with the mindset of a business owner? Are both small and large projects tailored to growing business profitability? And if so, then how? Don't feel you must come up with answers this instant; misguided and presumptuous actions can have an equally, if not greater, negative response. Instead, realize there are countless simple, yet powerful, tools are at your fingertips to meet those questions, refocusing what may have blurred over the years. Now before you get ready to Google the latest trendy software, close all your browser windows and open your address book. Scroll through your list of IT contacts and select one person. Compose a short and to the point email asking that individual, "What's on your plate today”.
Without a doubt, regular dialogue with IT peers in the community is one of the greatest ways to be the active participant in your department's trajectory. How? By sharpening your mind. With dozens of IT folks ready to lend an ear and word of advice, you can be sure future efforts are more precise and rewarding.
Engage with your peers; get involved with your member associations (like AITP). Actions create opportunities, and it's those opportunities that prevent us from turning into mere onlookers, simple passengers hauled by a technology vehicle cruising down the business highway.
Keith Murley is Manager of Information Systems for Schimenti Construction, a general contractor specializing in retail construction. He can be reached at (914) 244-9100. For more information on Schimenti, please go to http://www.schimenti.com/.