Last time, in Pt. 1 below, I was talking about local businesses (local to me), and a few I consult with out-of-town, lamenting the fact that they were having difficulty finding solid people. This comprises just about all disciplines, whether they’re staffing their Finance and Accounting departments, Sales and Marketing, Retail Sales, Customer Service, production lines, general administrative support, and so on and so forth.
However, when it comes to IT it’s a problem on steroids, apparently. I’ve heard a number of disquieting stories: Network Managers who slide on nightly backups (unheard of in my day, unless it resulted in a firing), programmers who fail to meet critical deadlines for new empiricals (such as price changes, rate changes, incorporation of new data points, etc.), business analysts who fail to analyze, and (the real bellwether of organizational health) even HelpDesk personnel who fail to answer service calls with requisite regularity.
Further, there is a dearth of quality in the outside agencies that any organization relies on: value added remarketers (VARs); solutions-partners, contractors – even regulatory oversight agencies. Consider what’s now going on in the housing market, and the allied foreclosure situation. We’re suffering through a foreclosure-freeze due to bank paperwork that fails to meet some sort of measure. Of course, one could suppose it’s nice that some folks get to remain in their houses a little longer, but the chief problem here is that banks not only don’t get their mortgage payments – they don’t get the asset (the house) either. Further, when the foreclosures ultimately proceed (and they will – estimated to be in the Spring), the dump of houses onto the market will really tank things.
But I digress. Consider: It doesn’t get any more regulatory-dependent, oversight-dependent, details-dependent than a bank, does it? Who are we hiring, to what standards, and who the heck are we graduating to fill critical positions?… Details, details, details. It’s always those pesky details.
However, and as promised at the end of Pt. I, I have a few ideas for improvement to the situation.
First, a question: You know that feeling you get when you encounter an organization that “gets it”? Solid customer service thrust… a sound business footing… attention to detail… things done right, right on time. A certain excellence in every touch you have with that organization. And, a very certain uniformity: Everyone knows what they’re doing, why – and enjoys doing it.
That engenders a very good feeling.
That’s my encounter and feeling regarding my local Business Incubator. If you don’t know what a “business incubator” is, let me explain. It’s a program and a space to improve the chances for new, entrepreneurial, businesses’ success upon startup, to enhance their chances for staying in business, and to help enable their growth. There is collective community benefit as successful startups grow; employing more people, and bringing positive impact to their region through vigorous and natural stimulation of the local economy. Success begets success.
According to some sources, 87% of Incubator “graduates” stay in business.
As Incubator candidates must apply and qualify for admission, and because they benefit from advice and ongoing counsel from qualified business leaders and professional staff, you find allied excellence in these startups. Their ideas, solutions, goods, services, and ethics harbor qualities that match the Incubator itself.
I would suggest that established and successful businesses, as well as individuals, might get to know their Business Incubators, and rake them for any startups that might deliver the very services you’re looking for – to the measure of your needs and standards, and likely at a very favorable cost. Google “Business Incubator” in your town to get started.
Another suggestion as follow-on to that last post: Professional associations of various stripes abound, but a nice one to examine is the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP). Locally, I’m working to bring students into my AITP in realizing fresh actualizations and relationships for everyone’s benefit, including my own. Not just IT students: Obviously, we need all manner of business students too – in tightening and freshening the general Business-Technology Weave.
Students who are otherwise knowledgeable often don’t know about groups like these. I’m on the hunt for the brightest and most motivated – they deserve a place to learn, grow, and as importantly, contribute.
Well, those are a couple of my suggestions and ideas. I’d like to hear yours. What can we do to ensure a qualified candidate pool for all disciplines associated with The Business-Technology Weave?
I think it’s time to get imaginative…
October 15th: On this day in 1951, the television show “I Love Lucy” debuted on CBS television.