Does this sound familiar?
Someone is newly hired into a position of influence or leadership at an organization. One of the first things they do is propose investing considerable resources into making a big change.
The organization says "yes!" because it's new and different, instead of evaluating the proposal on its merits. Time and money is spent, things are changed. And then the new hire moves on to another organization, leaving things in turmoil. Maybe someone else is hired and the process repeats. Oh no!
Maybe you've seen it play out in these ways:
- A new director of marketing wants to change the logo, tagline and reprint all promotional assets.
- A new website manager wants to change the underlying Content Management System.
- A new lead back-end developer wants to change the underlying software framework or database system.
- A new lead front-end developer wants to redesign the website from the ground up.
- A new CEO wants to change the company from distributed to centralized, or vice versa.
- A new HR manager wants to switch to a new payroll system.
- A new customer support manager wants to switch to a new support ticketing system.
- A new office manager wants to install a new phone system.
- A new finance director wants to switch accounting systems.
And so on.
Sometimes these changes are absolutely the best and most important things to happen at an organization. If it's been avoiding switching to better tools or processes because of apathy or fear, having a new voice in the mix can be just the thing needed to push everyone in a better direction.
But I suspect many times these kinds of changes are being used by the new hire as way to establish their value and power. They want everyone to know that there was how things were done before they arrived, and how things will be done moving forward. And if the new way is derived solely from their personality or preferences, everyone will need to depend on them to figure out best practices.
When these unhealthy dynamics are the driving force behind a big change it can be at best a huge disruption and waste, and maybe even an existential threat to the organization's work, services or products.
Continue reading I'm new here, let's change everything
This post is a list of all the questions that I and my team would try to get our clients to answer (in some form or another) during our early conversations about a website development project at Summersault. I'm dumping them out here in case they might be useful to others.
Every project is different, but if you're planning a new website and/or are considering hiring someone else to help you with that work, you'll probably give everyone a head start by having these questions answered:
Continue reading Visioning questions for web development
A recent editorial in the Palladium-Item again called for candidates in this City election to provide more detail about the specific changes and tasks we will take on if elected to improve City finances and the community as a whole.
I feel confident that in my own campaign I've provided a thorough look at how I would approach my role as a member of City Council. I've posted a consolidated list of my views on a number of issues facing the community, I've continued to post updates and more thorough commentary on the topics that have emerged in this election, and part of my history in this community as a volunteer is some extensive writings on my personal website about Richmond and our approach to governance and community building.
Continue reading A Plan for Richmond
Chris and Kelly have slightly different approaches to packing for international travel.
Kelly is an experienced international traveler, which means that she will probably casually throw a few things in a bag as we walk out the door to go to the airport. Somehow everything will just fit fine in her luggage and everything she needs will be there or will be magically brought to her by travel fairies along the way.
I, on the other hand, haven't traveled much outside the country in a while, and that in combination with my general engineering approach to life's challenges means that I've been planning my packing for a while in advance of this trip. Like, weeks and months. Like, I have a room in my house dedicated to the arrangement and assembly of my trip stuff.
Continue reading Packing
As with any good trip, our itinerary for our time in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is partly set and partly open-ended.
We've secured the services of a private trip planner in the form of the Lonely Planet book about Ecuador, and it's already proved to be indispensable for looking at our options. (Kelly cringes here because OF COURSE you use the Lonely Planet guide, there's no other way to plan a trip...) Our hope is to get a good mix of time in sunshine out on the ocean by the equator, time hiking through the mountains and the cloud forests, and time interacting with locals in cities and towns.
So, here's what we know right now:
Continue reading Our Itinerary