Friday, November 30, 2007

The Seven Sins of the IT Manager

This week I was speaking at a conference for IT managers on the merits of networking online & offline. Networking as a verb, not as an IT tool that is. Every IT manager should add networking to his to do list, but few of them ever put in in practise, despite the fact that a vast majority is convinced that networking will lead to the best carreer opportunities, employees and suppliers.

For those of you who couldn't make it, here is my personal "best of" of the 7 Sins committed by IT Managers ;-)
  1. Lurking.
    From the verb 'to lurk', is the designated word for those who get a member profile on a social network, but who fill out only half of the information and don't put a picture...They think they will reap the results of social networking without actually networking...

  2. Laziness.
    Networking is more than accepting invites to wine & dine from your vendors: although interesting, these venues are not the best place to meet people you wouldn't meet otherwise. Here you will mostly find other IT managers and sales people.

  3. A good IT manager can sell.
    Many IT managers do not realize they should be able to sell their department when facing questions from their non IT colleagues or outsiders. Do you have an elevator story on the business value of your IT department? What does your department bring to the company as added value?

  4. PR.
    An IT manager should be known by all and sundry within his company, since his department interacts with all other departments. He/she should not nonly be visible when the server is down!

  5. Too little fighting spirit.
    If an IT manager is convinced of the stategic (added) value of IT for his organisation, he should not settle for anything less than a seat on the management team.

  6. To pass the buck.
    Too many IT managers leave the choice of HR providers to their HR department. If a headhunter is to work for an IT department, the IT manager should insist on sitting in on the meeting and take the decision together with the HR manager. People who do not understand your business will rarely find you the qualified candidates you so desperately need.

  7. Life-long learning.
    Although technical IT people usually follow training courses to keep abreast of new technologies, we see a lot less consistency with IT managers. Keep in mind that regular people of business management education will also offer the opportunity to get to know new, interesting people for your network (e.g. alumni networks).


AndreyGolub said...

Great article, An!

I totally agree with you about what do you suggest to IT Managers/ CIO.
I can confirm the importante of networking-to-get-a-value, because I am myself an IT-Manager when I work during the day at my office, and am also Passioned Networker and have seen the importance of Networking in my career!

So please keep educating IT Managers! I hope they'll be listening you and not to assume that "IT knows it better" :)

Kind Regards, Andrey

rana said...

how effecient do you think social networks like Linkedin are in connecting professionals with IT managers?