Enter In Ignorance

July 29, 2008

Over the years, when I have been interviewed to join new organizations I have been asked what the first things I would do to fix a certain issue or problem. Invariably my response is something along the theme of “learn”.

While experience and skills can provide a framework to apply, every situation is unique. As Peter Drucker is reported to have stated, he entered his consulting roles with mammoth organizations such as GE not from a position of expertise, but a position of ignorance.

Hiring, Or Being Hired

As a business manager In the SMB space, it can be difficult to accurately assess the skills that you want to hire as far as technology goes. Maybe it is the “first IT individual” you are hiring. Or you realize that you need a more strategic managerial view of your IT spending.

My comments of “learn” is exactly that. No preconceived notions or assumptions. Something that seems obvious on the surface, may have a root cause that is completely different.

When hiring, (or if you are being hired as a small business IT staffer)

Don’t: Assume that the world can be changed the day after a new hire starts. (warning flag if they say they will!)

Do: Ensure that you have documented the expectations that you have for the position – Especially for a more senior strategic role, this is not necessarily a “job description” – but the fundamental goal that you want the position to achieve.

Don’t: Set it and forget it. As detailed in other posts on this blog, it takes continuing management.

Do: Ensure that speaking in business terms, not “geek speak” is the norm.

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One Response to “Enter In Ignorance”

  1. […] We are then introduced to the concept of unknowledge and G.L.S. Shackleton. Which Dr. Taleb refines as epistemocracy. Regular readers of this blog will note (taking this concept out of pure philosophy) that this is something I have written about several times. (eg Peter Druckers Enter In Ignorance) […]

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