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Sometimes It Is Better Not to Participate

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« The value of networkingWhen are you "ready"? »

Sometimes It Is Better Not to Participate

09/12/09

Permalink 06:44:41 pm, Categories: IT Leadership, Business Leadership

I had the opportunity this week to speak at a conference. My topic was about how the business leaders at the conference might access some of the federal stimulus funds and what that might mean in terms of their system selection and implementation processes.

As part of my preparation for the presentation, I attended a social event the evening before the presentation and got to talk one-on-one with a number of the attendees. Interestingly, a number of the attendees indicated that access to federal funds was of little importance to them in deciding how to proceed with a new system purchase and implementation. As I listened to their stories, it became clear that they understood something that I try to share with people all the time--people and process changes are much more critical (and difficult) than the technology.

These business leaders had made a rational and informed decision not to participate in the federal funding opportunity. They realized that they had to first deal with cultural issues in their own organization before they would be ready for a system implementation. The amount of money being waved at them (along with deadlines for implementing the systems) was not enough to cause them to change their business plans.

Knowing the limits of your own organization and knowing when to allow outside influences to change your plans are critical to successfully running a business. CIOs sometimes need to say "No" to projects that don't benefit the overall business. It isn't easy, but knowing when not to participate is as critical as knowing when to jump into something feet first.

[Note: This posting covers the week of 9/7 and 9/14. The regular weekly posts will resume the week of 9/21/09.]


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Don shares his experience and ideas about how to get the most value from your IT function. Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of Don and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of his clients or employers.

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