Technology Management and the Gilligan's Island Syndrome
Some people are constantly worried about making the right technology decision. They are always looking for the right time to buy technology, and for them, now is never the right time. They worry that price drops are just around the corner. They worry that new technology will make their new tools obsolete too soon.
Technology is a fast paced business, price drops are always around the corner, and new tools that make your purchase obsolete are inevitable. Don't let fear of making a bad decision slow you down, or prevent you from making a decision.
Refusal to accept basic assumptions
Everything we do is assuming something, like when we drive, we assume the car coming at us won't swerve and crash into us, your monitor you are looking at won't explode in your face, the food you eat isn't poisoned, the person next to you in Wal-Mart won't stab you. Everything we do starts with a basic assumption.
The world is full of experts that self proclaim themselves as masters in some area of technology simply because they use a buzzword to describe some technology product or feature. But there also comes a point in time when you need to seek out someone you can trust, someone who understands your needs and your situation.
I have worked on both sides of the fence, as service technician and technology consultant representing a service provider, as well as a technology specialist and systems administrator servicing a network. In the pages of the Guru 42 Universe we do what we can to help you look at things from different perspectives to better understand and appreciate how things work in the world of technology.
As a service technician or technology consultant representing a service provider, you sometimes run into clients who ask for help, but refuse to accept advice you have to offer.
It is natural for us to get angry at others when they make an assumption that results in our inconvenience, but we have to remember everything we do is based on an assumption of some sort. Unless I have reason to believe otherwise, I assume that someone is acting in good faith. Keep in mind that these remarks are coming from someone who is often called cynical.
Open source projects, such as Wikipedia are based on the fundamental principle of "assume good faith." Wikipedia states the importance of the principal as follows, "In letting anyone edit, we must believe that most people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it. If this was not true, a project like Wikipedia would not work."
The refusal to accept a basic premise and the need to gather more data beyond a reasonable means leads to various states of mental anguish for management
The Gilligan's Island Syndrome
The premise of the 1960's television sitcom "Gilligan's Island" is a charter boat is on a "three-hour tour" and runs into a tropical storm and gets shipwrecked on an uncharted island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. What was meant to be a "three-hour tour" turns into a life long adventure.
In the business world many companies suffer from "The Gilligan's Island Syndrome." That is when a decision that should take three hours, turns into a life long adventure. The "Gilligan's Island" television sitcom was a funny show, and was of course, fictional. For many businesses, "The Gilligan's Island Syndrome" is very real, and very sad.
Paralysis by Analysis
A mental affliction which sometimes develops in an individual after prolonged exposure to the "The Gilligan's Island Syndrome" is "Paralysis by Analysis." This affliction is characterized by the constant need for information in any and all decision making.
Sadly enough "Paralysis by Analysis" becomes the negative mechanism for justifying no action being taken, under the misguided philosophy that you can't make a wrong decision if you make no decision.
There's a big difference between going with the flow and being too paralyzed to go anywhere. It is fine to gather information, but true leadership is about being decisive, coming up with a firm decision and sticking with it.
I have many personal stories of The Gilligan's Island Syndrome and Paralysis by Analysis from working in the business world as well as from the realms of schools and government. Many times the over analysis is done in the name of saving money. So a person is tasked with spending days to find the lowest of a product or service. Even if you forget for a minute that the lowest cost is not always the best value over time, how can you justify a significant amount of time used to analyze a purchase in order to save a few dollars.
Once a minute is wasted, there is no way to re-live it, no one to borrow it from. Time is more valuable than money, use it wisely.
Many times the over analysis is done in the name of saving money. So a person is tasked with spending days to find the lost of a product or service. Let us forget for a minute that the lowest cost is not always the best value over time. Often a significant amount of time is used to analyze a purchase in order to save a few dollars.
Wasting time can be far more devastating than wasting money. Wasting time almost always directly relates to a waste of money.
Think about it. But don't take too long. True leaders have the ability to make decisions quickly and effectively.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." — Albert Einstein
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