Directing Green Desire – How not to tick off people
I was talking with a friend about how a new IT person came in and without notice, rewrote the website template and asked for approval to migrate the website to the new template. In the time it took to write the website and the email to get approval, the green IT guy might have set up his demise.
He’s probably lucky that I was talking with my friend before my friend visited with her colleages and lynched him. There’s two sides to the story and thus two solutions, but let’s hit the problem first.
My friend (who is not in IT or marketing) spent a year with her colleagues coming up with the design and layout of the website. It was a fusion of ideas, and had a coherent look to it.
The IT guy saw a website that lacked web 2.0 features and knowledge such as usability, minimalism and reducing the amount of glaring white. Unfortunately he didn’t understand the company, the users nor did he have any taste in color schemes.
My friend was planning on talking with other leaders and asking if they had assigned a website revamp after all that hard work. As they all would have likely said no, then the IT guy was going to look like he didn’t have enough to do and didn’t get the organization.
Communication before action. If the IT guy had talked with my friend and proposed some changes, like usability or user focusing through color, my friend would have appreciated the desire to work with the team and expertise.
On the other hand, leaders should recognize that people fresh out of college (like this IT guy) don’t have all the skills, especially organizational culture ones. A frank conversation about how to handle cases like this in the future, while recognizing his contribution will go a long way toward building a good working relationship. The key is to remember that this IT guy is motivated. He just needs some direction and people skills. Whatever you do, you don’t want to kill his motivation. And, yet, this situation was headed exactly that way.
So how do you fix your feelings? Get a fresh perspective. My friend asked me why he would redesign the website without asking and what was so good about his version. I was able to show her that while his color and design lacked coherency and attractiveness, he had used some good design principles and technology that was lacking on the original.
The guy straight out of college wants to make a name for himself. Instead of standing in his way, teach him how to do it. The organization, and dare I say it, you will be better off if everyone shares how to succeed, instead of everyone clinging to their own successes.