I’m currently out in Las Vegas attending the EMC World 2008 tradeshow. If you’ve never heard of this one, then you probably aren’t a part of the world of computer storage. EMC is a $15B company that grew large by providing the storage that Yahoo, Google, the government, etc. use to store each and every bit of information that they mange. This year the show has been a real eye opener for me.
I dabble in the world of storage when I have a need. The folks who I’ve talked to at the show, on the other hand, REALLY get involved in storage on a daily basis. There are about 9,300 folks attending this show (see — I told you that it was a big deal).
What I’ve observed about this mass of IT professionals is that they all seem to be engaged and motivated. Now I can’t say what will happen when they get back to the shop, but at least for the few days that they are out here in the desert they seem to be satisfied with both their jobs as well as their companies. If only you could capture this feeling and bottle it!
How did they get this way? I think that it has a lot to do with the simple fact that they are among peers who share the same technical knowledge that they do. This allows them to remember that they are not alone. It also helps that EMC spends the entire show telling them that they are important parts of their company and that the future rests on their shoulders.
Perhaps this type of environment can be captured and used back at home. Within your firm is there any way to set up a birds-of-feather group for technical professionals who share the same types of knowledge but who don’t normally have an opportunity to work together? Be careful that this doesn’t turn into a complaint club, but if managed and directed, it can become a powerful reason why IT workers join and don’t leave your company.