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Blogs > MWD Advisors

Neil Ward-Dutton By: Neil Ward-Dutton, Research Director, MWD Advisors
Published: 4th July 2011
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
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Looking at Twitter periodically today and seeing a sprinkling of Fourth of July meditations and messages flit past, I got to thinking about the idea of independence. Whether personal, at the state level or in between, independence is something that’s prized in most cultures—and of course it has an immensely strong cultural attachment for citizens of countries formerly subjugated by the rule of others.

But in our work environments, even where we work for companies that talk a good mission statement, independence is often squashed—either deliberately, by design of management; or accidentally, by a combination of fear, uncertainty and doubt. Without the right kind of supporting environment, it’s often easy to let organisational comfort zones wither until super-conservative ‘received wisdom’ becomes the guiding principle for everything.

So—bringing this firmly into the scope of my day-to-day work here at MWD Advisors—how about committing to finding ways to assert some independence in how we deliver business value from IT? Here’s some things I can think of that might be worth pursuing independence from:

  • “Because we’ve always done it that way.”
  • Group-think.
  • Hype.
  • Pursuit of creating documentation over delivering measurable progress.
  • Lazy lists of tick-box features (standards support in particular).

Having dashed off that list, I’m struck by how the items all spring from fear in one form or another. Perhaps, at root, that’s what we really need to declare independence from…

I’m sure there are lots of other good candidates. Have you got anything else you’d add to this list? Let’s get revolutionary!

Wishing everyone who celebrates it a happy Fourth of July…

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