Happy Thanksgiving — Take The Week Off!

by drjim on November 26, 2015

Image Credit Here's Hoping That This Week Is Special For Everyone

Here's Hoping That This Week Is Special For Everyone

Loyal readers & subscribers, here’s hoping that this upcoming week is a great week for you — I’m taking it off! Blogging will resume next week…

For my readers in the U.S., you know that this week is all about family, turkey, and of course football. I’m not sure what it is about turkey that always seems to make everyone fall asleep, but I’m hoping that when I wake up this year the global recession will be but a distant memory, gas will be under $3.00 / gallon, and just maybe the world will have settled down for awhile.

For my international readers, pretty much all of the United States will be taking time off this week to celebrate the arrival of Europeans into the New World. For better or for worse, it’s what has gotten us to where we are today and we think that that’s a good thing.

Have a happy and safe week no matter where you are and we’ll talk next week.

– Dr. Jim Anderson


IT managers need to allow their inner artist to come out

IT managers need to allow their inner artist to come out
Image Credit: Brian Auer

If you give it some thought, just exactly what does an IT manager need to do in order to be successful? Is it as simple as just doing what you’ve been told to do? I’d be willing to say that this is not the correct answer to this question. Instead, I think that our company is expecting us to use our IT manager skills and show some creativity. The question is do you have the courage to do this?

Why Creative Confidence Is So Important

It turns out that what a lot of us IT managers have been lacking is called creative confidence. We really don’t have any problem coming up with creative new ideas when it comes time to solve a problem; however, all too often that is where things stop. If we are able to gain some creative confidence, then we’ll be able to not only have great ideas, but we will then also be able to have the courage to act upon them.

One of the things that can kill our creativity is deadlines. We need to change the way that we think about deadlines. Even if the idea that you’ve had about how to solve a problem that you are currently working on is not the best idea that you’ve ever had, you can still get things done. What you need to do is to attempt to get as may iterations completed before your deadline arrives. Instead of just trying to get things done by the deadline, you need to try to get things done multiple times. Each time you are working on an iteration you can use your creative confidence to perform more experiments and hopefully get better results. Your goal always has to be to see how many iterations you can get done before the deadline arrives.

Creative confidence ultimately comes down to having the courage to go out there and take risks. You need to be able to work with your team and instill a sense of “we’re all in this together”. This means that your team needs to be able to suspend their critical judgment while they are interacting with you. All too often an IT manager’s biggest fear is that of being judged. With a little luck, your creative confidence can make failure just as much fun as success.

How To Get Innovation Out Of Your Team

All of the creative confidence in the world is not going to do you any good if you can’t get innovation out of your team. One of the things that you are going to have to understand from all of your IT manager training is where innovation comes from. It turns out that it’s more of a culture thing and less of a how the team is organized thing.

In order to get innovation to occur within your team, the responsibility is going to be on you. What this means is that you are going to have to do a good job of IT team building and convincing your team that they are permitted to do their job in a creative way. You can make this happen by rewarding members of your team for trying new things and not being critical when they fail.

This is all going to come down to the social contract that you have established with your team. You need to acknowledge that the good ideas that your team is going to have is going to come from them. You need to let them know that you are not the one who will be having all of the ideas. You are going to need to have them constantly bringing new ideas to you.

What All Of This Means For You

Successful IT managers are the ones who bring more than just efficiency to their jobs. They understand that what their companies need from them is for them to have creative confidence.

It’s not enough for an IT manager to have great ideas. You need to have the creative confidence to take your ideas and then see them through. It’s this combination of skills that will make you a valuable IT manager. You’ll need to use your creative confidence to get your team to get them to do their job in a creative way. How you reward your team has a lot to do with this.

It is not easy to be creative. There is a great deal of exposure that we all risk when we have an idea that has not been tried before. However, we need to find the courage to take our innovative ideas and move forward with them. This kind of thinking is exactly what your company is looking for from you.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: What do you think would be the best way to reward your team when they have an innovative idea?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Managing an IT team has always been a challenge and with the recent economic challenges that every firm has faced, it has become harder. What IT managers are discovering is the members of their team are shell shocked. They are stuck in survival mode in which they are trying to keep their heads down just in case there is going to be another round of layoffs. As an IT manager, you are going to have to use your IT manager skills to do something about this…


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