Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Change'd Management...

I went to a meeting with the campus IT steering committe a few days ago.  This is a regular quarterly gig where the IT stakeholders from the various sector partners get together and run through whats happening, where its up to, etc.  It also serves to be a forum where we can get together and look over each others fences to see whats happening.  The discussions  are generall technical and consist of topics like router loading, authentication and WLAN configuration issues.  Fun stuff like that. This has tended to attract people with an interest and role in IT.

Previously the meetings have been chaired by a person who had a good facilitory manner and showed interest in the subject matter. People talked at a level and it was collegial.  Meetings moved along but the material was treated well and the stakeholders had their say in their own time. 

We had a new chair person this time. 

He spent 10 minuets talking shit and making jokes about people being late, talked shit about expensive cars that he could afford but no one else on the panel will ever get paid enough to buy,  blew off most of the agenda, talked his way around listening to the operations report, asked if there were any questions and basically bolted.  You know a meeting has gone well when all the people around the table have that pursed mouth look; like they're pissed off but don't have anything specific to say. Just a little bit stunned.  Kind of like their assumptions have been roughly violated!

The fact that I had a report to present that didn't even get mentioned, that I had been working on for the past 3 months didn't actually bother me that much... but it was surreal.  It was like a script from "The IT Crowd". 

I felt a complete lack of respect for the people at the meeting, for the purpose of the meeting and the content matter.  I accept that the people who did get a chance to speak may not be the most dynamic talkers. But they still matter.  The take away impression is that nothing we do is worth mentioning, our time and preparation is of little consequence and why did we bother showing up?

I can respect the position that if there is nothing to say in a meeting... why have it?  But on the other hand... making sure no one else has a chance to say anything is different from there being nothing to say. 

I think we have a serious lack of cultural understanding at play. Is "IT" a culture...?

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