Last week I wrote an article on 5 types of thinking found in the workplace. I explained how and why you want to integrate Big Picture Thinkers into your workforce. This week, I’m going to talk about why it’s especially important to seek out Big Picture Thinkers for your IT department – sound interesting? Then go ahead, grab a cup of coffee and read on!
Why it’s important to hire Big Picture Thinkers for your IT
IT is a vastly complicated resource that many businesses depend on to survive. You’ll rarely if ever find a business these days that doesn’t rely on e-mail at the very least to get by.
We go to an eye doctor to get our eyes checked, a dentist to get our teeth checked, a GP when we’re ill and a surgeon when we’re injured. Vets on the other hand, do all of the above for every species of animal including dogs, cats, birds, rodents and even fish.
Like a veterinarian, IT people need to have a firm grasp on all aspects of their field, including (but definitely not limited to)*:
-Applications (installing and configuring)
-Administration (user creation, passwords, network policies, etc)
-Security (against both internal and external threats)
-Backups (keeping your business alive during a disaster)
-Supporting end users (your staff)
-Redundancy and uptime (IT will get blamed if there’s an outage, regardless of who caused it)
-Provisioning (I need a new laptop)
-Storage (which is taken for granted by people who never delete anything)
-Change management (basically making sure all of the above happens on time and without causing problems, but God forbid if they do it during business hours)
No wonder so many IT people end up quitting out of pure frustration!
The consequences of self-preservation
In the last article we talked about how short-term thinkers are often surprisingly good at spotting issues. However, there is a big difference between band-aid solutions and seeing the big picture.
Enter critical thinkers – which is pretty much a requirement for hiring an IT person these days. Most companies want to hire someone who can spot issues coming down the pipe and anticipate the possible fallout of implementing solutions.
But that’s where things get complicated – in the world of IT, many workers are stretched so thin across different departments that they are simply unable to focus on the big picture. And given how critical many of the tasks delegated to IT really are, many businesses don’t realize just how much they’re endangering their very own survival.
The ugly truth is that while many IT workers possess the relevant skillset, they’re too busy focusing on self-preservation to be truly effective. Does that mean they’re selfish? No! What I mean by self-preservation is that they’re literally treading water as fast as they can, and the number of tasks just keeps pouring in.
Simply put, when your workers are drowning in service tickets, there is simply no way they can be as effective as when you have Big Picture Thinkers running the show.
Why outsourcing your IT can’t fill the role of a Big Picture Thinker
IT providers consist of many critical thinkers, but like everyone else they have a hard time keeping Big Picture Thinkers. They may even come up with an ingenious solution for your business, but given that they base themselves around recurring revenue, their bottom line is important which means they tend to demand long working hours and offer less than competitive pay (issues for BPTs), and they’re focused on growth insofar as
1.Whether your current infrastructure can support it
2.Whether they’re charging enough for the number of seats / devices in your organization
That’s not to say these providers only care about money (many of them exhibit a high level of customer satisfaction and have excellent relationships with their clients). But the question remains whether those clients have grown significantly, and if so what role did the provider play indriving that growth?
*Now add all of these responsibilities up and split it across 100 different environments and a small team, and you have the outsourcing model in a nutshell.
Why recruiters can’t fill the role of a Big Picture Thinker
Recruiters play a fairly important role in the workforce – their job is to connect employers with potential talent. However, Big Picture Thinkers tend to be elusive, and that’s where things get tricky.
Recruiters mainly look for the following:
-Experience and qualifications
-Whether you have a criminal record
-Whether you have good references
-Gaps in employment
And any other number of things you look for when hiring someone to fill a role. But do Big Picture Thinkers necessarily exhibit all of these traits? In the previous article, I mentioned that BPT’s are similar to high performance machines in that they often take high-octane (and therefore expensive) fuel to run.
If anything, due to their high maintenance nature, BPTs are sometimes seen as serial job hoppers, which can be off-putting for recruiters (who often don’t receive full payment unless a candidate is retained for a reasonable period of time). Further, short-term departure of an employee might discourage an employer from wanting to work with a recruiter, so it’s certainly in the best interests of a recruiter to make sure the expectations of the employer and the employee are in alignment with each other.
In addition, BPTs often command a higher salary (high octane fuel). Recruiters usually require some sort of commission for their services – thus potentially taking away from the salary a Big Picture Thinker could be making, unless you’ve budgeted extra cost to cover the requirements of the BPT as well as the services of the recruiter. Unfortunately, most companies don’t do this – and many of them use recruiters as an excuse to hire a cheaper workforce – which, in my opinion, is the wrong way to utilize the skills of a recruiter.
This article isn’t meant to bash recruiters – in fact, a recruiter is just as likely to attract a BPT as anyone else, which means not very (they're rare and hard to find). But as I explained in the last article, placing a Big Picture Thinker into a role they’ll be happy in is another story.
The Perfect Leap™ advantage
At Perfect Leap™, we see the bigger picture.
-Start from the bottom,analyzing every aspect of your business to identify common pitfalls and find outhow you’re really using technology
-Build out a solution that will not only solve these issues, but also deliver cost savings and return on your investment in the form of a technological leap forward
But more importantly, we will help you recognize and bring in other big picture thinkers who can vault your business to new heights.
Why settle for optimizing your IT systems when you can optimize your business instead? Make the Perfect Leap™ to better IT today.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Interested in learning more? Reach out to us and we will provide you a free consultation.
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