I had the pleasure last week of having lunch with Jerry Harvey, a retired professor of management science from The George Washington University, who now spends his time consulting with companies on organizational and management issues.
I had the pleasure last week of having lunch with Jerry Harvey, a retired professor of management science from The George Washington University, who now spends his time consulting with companies on organizational and management issues. Harvey is best known for his book The Abilene Paradox And Other Meditations On Management, a witty account of the destructive nature of groupthink. As he explains it, the Abilene Paradox occurs when groups or companies take certain actions, but, individually, no one in the group thinks he or she is making the right decision. The result: an organizational mess, low morale, wasted money, and worse. (The story is rooted in a family that travels many miles to have dinner in Abilene, Texas, when no one really wants to go). If individuals have the confidence to speak their minds, these kinds of situations wouldn't occur.
Jerry can rattle off tons of examples--many of which were published in the book in 1988--but a steady stream continues to surface: research projects that will never see the light of day, companies that pour money and resources into standards efforts that never amount to anything, or organizations that mandate "mechanical" employee performance evaluations.
I was reminded of the Abilene Paradox recently when a business-technology manager commented that his company doesn't really have a need for RFID tags, but it has to figure out some way to jump in because "everyone else is doing it." Maybe the company will find a brilliant use, and it's great for anyone to be thinking about ways to apply emerging technologies, but surely there's got to be some identifiable value!
Fortunately, many companies have found great value, and the number of case studies and best practices are growing. Want to learn more about RFID before making any decisions? Check out rfidinsights.com.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.