Make Progress not War

Who is your closest, most trusted and valuable business partner?

If the answer isn’t an influential member of IT – you’re probably going wrong somewhere.

Without their support you will never create the user experience you dream of for your learners. And if you can’t do that you’ll always struggle to engage them. And if you can’t do that..

Many of us are guilty of going to war with the IT department. The reality of that is you will always be the “daring rebels fighting oppression”, but without the right allies it’s a war you cannot and will not win.

Guerrilla activities may be necessary, in the early days, to try new things out and gather experience and evidence, under the radar, to prove that what you want to do with learning technology is worthwhile. But the longer these skirmishes continue the more damage you are likely to do to your longer term relationship with IT.

Sooner or later you have to lay down your weapons and come to the negotiating table. Diplomacy is the only course of action that will lead to long lasting, profitable peace.

Sure, it’s great fun to pillory the “innovation prevention” department, but whilst we lambast them for their ignorance of what we’re trying to do, how well do you understand their world? What are the pressures and challenges they face?

I was lucky enough to attend the kick-off meeting of our Global Learning Technology Steering Group yesterday where I witnessed the Learning people and the Technology people working in harmony towards a shared vision – that’s when it (finally) dawned on me that we can all get along. No, it hasn’t produced anything yet, but the language being used and the fact that the project sponsors are from both sides of the divide, gives me confidence and optimism that we can work together effectively to deliver great results for the business.

So perhaps it’s time to stop complaining about what we can’t do and sit down with IT to found out how we can work together.

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner” – Nelson Mandela

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