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Stories by Michael Schrage

Leadership, not followship

After a working lunch at a workshop, a senior IT manager at a global telecommunications company approached me with a problem. Over the course of several mergers, acquisitions and reorgs, his firm now had three work-order processing systems. His boss had told him to get it down to one over the next six months. He wanted advice.
So I asked, which system did the users seem to like best and why? He said he didn’t know. I suggested he organise a meeting between the three user groups to thrash out which one made the most sense for the most people. Make them pick. He hadn’t thought of that. Unfortunately, his firm’s IT culture had IT, not users, “owning” systems consolidation after reorgs. Baby-sitting interdepartmental user meetings was frowned on, he asserted.

Written by Michael Schrage25 July 07 22:00

Are you in control?

"Embrace change" is one of those awful, managerially correct Hallmark aphorisms celebrated in corporate-speak PowerPoint propaganda. The Give Change a Hug crowd swears that successful change management requires welcoming arms and open minds. They're wrong. Skepticism is best practice.

Written by Michael Schrage17 Nov. 06 20:48

Making IT work

FRAMINGHAM (12/24/2003) - Six years from now, CIOs may have their heads handed to them -- unless they play their cards right.

Written by Michael Schrage24 Dec. 03 14:44

Ideas 2003: When good people make bad decisions

New economic research affirms what most executives suspect: Even when given good data, people make bad decisions. We misunderstand, misinterpret and mismanage important problems. It's not that we're stupid; our thought processes have bugs.

Written by Michael Schrage26 Jan. 03 22:00

Go Full Circle

A 360-degree review process gathers feedback from multiple constituencies, including the business consumers of IT services. Every management team I know that's implemented one whines and moans about how painful and time-intensive the process is. Then again, every single group that's gone through that agony more than once asserts that the feedback is superior to traditional top-down one-on-one job reviews.

Written by Michael Schrage11 Nov. 02 11:00

Beyond Ideas

There's no shortage of brilliant ideas in IT. On the contrary, we enjoy an embarrassment of riches. Ever faster, better and cheaper technology creates ever faster, better and cheaper choices for both CIOs and the enterprise. Even in the grip of a capital expenditures slowdown, we still have more innovative opportunities than we know what to do with. That's the good news about this business.

Written by Michael Schrage09 Oct. 02 09:45