I was at a course back in March where people were supposed to introduce themselves and explain what they were trying to get out of the course. When it came time for me to speak I said that I was trying to learn how to start a revolution.
I’ve been trying to do that for the past few months, but I’ve come up against a very interesting question: how do I tell when I’ve been successful?
Granted, if the world worked in mysterious ways and IT started working as how I picture it should be working, then I could confidently say that my revolution was successful. But we both know that’s never going to happen. I’m in government. No, let me rephrase that. This is the machine behind the government. Governments can change, but the machine runs on. Changing the machine is hard, very hard. It requires people to put themselves at risk. No, not Tiananmen Square risky (unless you’re in government for the pension plan) but career risk.
You can burn a lot of bridges on the way to the revolution, but if the revolution fails … you’re stuck in no man’s land. If the revolution succeeds you can be proud of the fact that you contributed to the change. But how much change is required to be classified as a success? I guess part of that definition comes from the definition of the word itself.
- a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people’s ideas about itsynonyms:
dramatic change, radical alteration, sea change, metamorphosis, transformation, innovation, reorganization, restructuring;
“marketing underwent a revolution”
Am I trying to bring about a dramatic and wide-reaching change? I guess I am. I’m trying to change how people perceive IT and I’m trying to change how IT perceives itself. I’m trying to change how IT does business because to be brutally honest, we kind of suck at it. There are spots of brilliance in an otherwise murky environment. Not everything is bad. Not everything is good. We’re in the quagmire that many companies find themselves in, with little to no direction on how to get out.
These little notes, I hope, are little drops of light that people can use to navigate the gloom.
Has my revolution been successful? No. There has been no “dramatic and wide-reaching change”. But just like how water created the Grand Canyon, constant pressure, even by something as small as a drop of water, can ultimately have an effect. So I will continue my revolution as I hope you will continue any revolution of which you are a part.