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Understanding perspective and how it influences decisions

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« Problem Solving--Not just solving the problemOutsourcing--When it works, when it doesn't »

Understanding perspective and how it influences decisions

03/15/10

Permalink 11:38:56 pm, Categories: IT Leadership, Business Leadership

I am privileged to sit on the CIO Advisory Council of a small non-profit that provides technical services to other non-profits. The Council is composed of 6-8 CIOs and technology leaders. This group meets monthly to discuss current issues that affect the organization.

One of the challenges for this group is the diverse perspectives--many of the members of the Council work for large, multi-million (or -billion) dollar organizations where decisions involving tens of thousands of dollars are made quickly and with relative ease since the amounts are "small". However, in many non-profits, decisions about a $500 expenditure can be gut-wrenching. While we can talk about developing "programs" or standardizing processes, the fact is that the value of these things to the non-profits are often neglible or completely unattainable (because of cost).

Having worked with non-profits before, I understand this and have been helping the other members of the Council understand as well. The difference in perspectives has led to some lively discussions and, over time, we have been able to provide tremendous value to the organization--by taking our "big, lofty ideas" and figuring out how to modify them to bring the right value at the right cost to the non-profit world. But it took time--spending time talking to each other, learning about each others frames of reference, and going to see some of the "customers" that our organization serves.

Keep in mind that everyone has a difference perspective--and bringing those perspectives together in a constructive way is what leads to great ideas! Technology people and business people each have a piece of the puzzle, but they may need help in seeing the other pieces. Make time to help them and the benefits will be significant.


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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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