I Don’t Want My People To Think

Over the last few months I have been doing numerous scoping sessions with customers - helping them map their business drivers onto the technologies and features available in the Office & SharePoint platform. I have worked with a number of private and public sector organisations and spotted an interesting difference in the way these orgs want to use new technology.  Whilst one of the main drivers in the private sector at the moment seems to be making better use of information already in the organisation, many of the government orgs plan to use it to implement structured processes where previously there had been ad-hoc collaboration.

The intention is probably a good one - consistency of delivery - but twice now from different customers I have heard decision makers say "I don't want my people to think".  And that worries me. What kind of organisation do you get if people aren't empowered to think, make appropriate decisions and question whether things can be improved?  As a consumer of government services, it's not one I would like to deal with.

Have you noticed this trend in government organisations?  I wonder why it is that they see their employees ability to think about working practices and make decisions as a risk they need to mitigate, rather than an skill they need to develop?

Comments (2)
  1. dstrange says:

    yes I like to say that we need to improve the sausage machine so that we only need to bother your people when we need their judgement or discernment.  Other times get out of the way and let them be more creative.

  2. laptopjockey says:

    Maybe (and this might be just wishful ‘thinking’ on my part) they are referring to the typical cognitive overload evident in most classification schemas. Most of my clients just want to get the job done – not figure out what the information architect had in mind when he or she decided that the moons of Jupiter might be a cool way to organize documents.

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