From personal and professional experience, IT was a cost center, an expensive group of people (children) playing with very expensive toys, with leadership not really understanding their value. Did we mention, a cost center? Although IT leaders were part of management, many never really had a seat at the management/leadership table.
Actually, that's not completely true. Some did have a seat at the management table, but they were sitting in highchairs, not the big people’s chairs; playing with toys, dropping cereal on the floor while the rest of management looking down and admiring how “cute” they were.
Their voices were heard just as clearly as a family of 6 sitting at the dinner table with 4 children under the age of 9. The parents discussing what to do next through the noise and distraction from the young family members, doing what children do best, laugh, play, and use their imaginations to navigate early life. Parents get very good at tuning out those joyful sounds, only to find out much later, that they miss the chaos as time marches on (topic for a different blog). IT was that young voice, and leadership wasn’t listening.
And then it happened without warning, out of necessity - IT was launched out of the highchair directly to the boardroom due to 9/11. In an instant at 8:46 AM EST, the world changed. The thin veil of safety had been lifted, lives were lost, dreams were crushed, the life stories of so many could now no longer be written. Companies the world over felt the overwhelming pressure of their new found vulnerability, for some – it didn’t last.
There were many lessons to be learned on that day and the months following. Unfortunately, many of which were simply lost, forgotten in the dark moment in time. It was only seven short years later when the financial crisis and the Great Recession rocked the world.
So what does this have to do with Retrofit ACM? The answer is everything. A new innovative approach to Change Management.
Many companies didn’t pay attention, they simply relied on the command and control structure to survive. “We’ve always done it that way.” History tells us that many of those companies didn’t make it. The carnage was widespread and many big names fell.