If you’ve grown up in the world of IT, you probably either get asked this question regularly or you feel that the people within the organization are thinking it.
Its fairly common to have a technology project finish up and everyone is shaking hands and slapping backs after the successful implementation. Then…the next day, everyone’s looking toward the next project, the next platform, the next milestone. While everyone’s happy that you’ve done “something” for them now, they immediately revert to a past tense mentality and the mindset quickly moves to one of “What have you done for me lately”.
I don’t believe this is intentional though. I think people truly do care that IT professionals are around and helping to implement and manage technology…but the world of tech moves so fast that it feels like there’s always something ‘new’ to do. This ‘never done’ mentality leads to the ”What have you done for me lately” approach.
In fact…many in IT ask this question of each other and of those outside of IT. Its a question that comes up often in most organizations. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Well…it can be a bad thing if you let it. This mindset can cause consternation and bad feelings throughout the organization. But…it can also be used for good.
Think about it this way..if you or your IT staff have become complacent, a form of this question might be a to ask yourself or your team. Ask yourself “What have we done for them lately”…and see where that takes you.
This type of question does a few things. It should force you to step back and revisit your recent projects and deliverables. It should also force you to revisit those projects that were successes AND those that were failures. It should also force you to step out of the complacency box and rethink those things that you are currently working on and how to deliver on those projects. Lately, it should force you to stop thinking about you and start thinking about them.
So…instead of asking someone else the age old question… re-frame that question. Ask yourself what you’ve done for them. Ask your team what they’ve done for the rest of the organization. Its a simple question but can deliver valuable answers.