• Subject: Problems with Y2K solutions
  • From: HankHeath@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 10:51:48 -0500 (EST)

I am paraphrasing an article I read this weekend. Let me know if it has the
ring of truth about it. For those of you who like to flame before thinking,
THESE WORDS ARE NOT MINE:

IS managers are unwilling - and often afraid - to respond to you about Y2K.
They must cope with massive and constant change. This takes times, energy,
flexibility, and courage. And while they're busy coping, they've still got
their full-time jobs to attend to. As a result, many of them are having
serious trouble just keeping their heads above water. Their primary focus may
be on just doing enough to get by. One of the fallback positions in such a
high-stree situation is to do nothing or to become aloof and unresponsive.

IS managers are in information overload. They are already so battered with
information, demands, organizational politics, and all kinds of clutter that
they have become (or are fast becoming) numb. Often, their minds are so
buzzed out with data and details that they are simply unable to respond to
Y2K solutions. 

IS managers suffer from a serious lack of leadership. Many of them are scared
to think or act on their own beliefs and opinions. Many rely on committee
decisions, where two or more people have to sign off, thus taking the
responsibility off any one person's shoulders. In extreme cases, some of them
may have become robots. None of this is new - but in the 90s it has gotten
much worse than before.

IS managers suffer from a lack of recognition. Many of them feel unrecognized
or unrewarded in their current positions. As a result, they may be angry,
short-tempered, irritable, impatient, or even vindictive.

Often IS managers just plain don't care. It's no secret that for most
managers, job security has shrunk to almost zero. Many organizations don't
care as much about their employees as they used to (even though the corporate
talk invariably says otherwise). It should therefore come as no surprise that
many employees aren't terribly loyal to their employers - and they certainly
aren't going to bend over backward for them. From the point of view of the IS
manager, you presenting your Y2K solution are a pest.

IS managers often have their own agendas, which may differ from their
organizations' by as much as 180 degrees. Don't let company missions
statements fool you. And if the IS manager is primarily concerned with an
agenda of his own, he may try to freeze you out for undisclosed reason of
their own.

Many of the IS managers are arrogant and out of touch. You will come across
individuals who say routinely, "I don't need to be involved in the Year 200
meeting, thank you," or "My people will handle it and report back to me if
there is anything I need to know." While it is true that good leaders are
often excellent orchestrators and delegators, this kind of attitude can also
come from a general unwarranted cockiness, laziness. Or arrogance. This
attitude, unfortunately, has become common at all levels, and is growing. 


Hank Heath
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