What management values

This is a pointer to an article on my sun/oracle blog, originally called Geeks & Suits. A you can see, I have changed the title. I made a video with the Sun’s EMEA head of pre-sales together with a Chris Gerhard. I used my and Chris’s dress code as an excuse to segue onto the dichotomy of style, knowledge and power in modern business. The original article is not well written. I was able to quote a recent poll in Management Today and reviews of Nick Carr’s “IT doesn’t matter”, both suggesting that the tradition that management values …. itself has and will continue. This means that in a modern knowledge based business they will under value the geeks, those with the knowledge.

I said, something like,

Interestingly, the following day Management Today, published the highlights of a poll on the state of Business/IT alignment jointly funded by the Chartered Institute of Management and the BCS. This also suggests a them and us attitude still exists. The author, Rhymer Rigby suggests that the epitome of the split can be found in Douglas Coupland’s latest book jPod, set in a Games Company where the marketing manager is at war with the development staff over their next best thing! This opposite position is counterposed by Nicholas Carr, who has turned his Harvard Business Review Article into a book called “Does IT  matter?”. He of course has the view that it doesn’t, so the suits will always despise the techies because they cost too much and do stuff that doesn’t matter. Having started with a stupid and false polarity, a more careful reading of the results suggests that things are a bit more evenly balanced and that due to the increasing maturity of the IT world and its penetration into the schools and consumer leisure markets, together with increasing access to business education, the stovepipes are not as rigid as our fictional & polemic authors would have us believe. (Although in the UK, knowing something, and certainly being qualified in or about business is not necessarily a requirement for a business/management career.)

The final paragraph of the original article makes no sense on review. I was alluding to the role of time on the competitive process, which since the previous part of the article is about talent management, I am not sure how I got there; I certainly didn’t make it easy to follow.

ooOOOoo

Originally posted on my sun/oracle blog, republished here in April 2016.

3 Comments.

  1. I think there was something there in the final paragraph although its hard to find. Knowledge based businesses, to compete need to generate new knowledge, otherwise their competitors will copy them. It’s rare that geek based businesses can survive with their launching management and inspiration. Facebook & Oracle have managed it, Sun was to fail, or already had. Our view of human capital is better informed today as is the commoditisation of ideas through the copyright laws. I tried to provide some examples of technologies which were once competitive advantage, but no longer were and where invention had not stopped. The need to continuously improve is the need for geeks.

  2. I have been working with COBIT over the last month and they have a reasonable view on innovation as a culture and recognise the need to look for ideas where the knowledge is.

  3. Season 3 of Silicon Valley on the other hand makes it clear that the product of startups is their stock. Silly me (and silly Richard).