Remember the band “Nickleback?” They were a hit band in the late 90’s early 2000’s. But for whatever reason, it became “cool” to hate on Nickleback. They’ve sold over 50 million albums worldwide, had multiple Top 10 songs and is the 11th Best Selling Band Of All Time.
But, people sure do love to hate on Nickleback.
Guess what, IT. You’re Nickleback! Like the song, you used to be rock stars. Today? Every single department loves to hate on IT. Maybe more so than HR, and that’s saying something.
What happened? One word, three letters: EGO.
We got used to being rock stars so we started acting like rock stars. We’d show up late to meetings…if at all…carrying our laptops, ignoring what was being said while we finished up some code. Got back to our desks, ignored the 50 emails and IMs. But we could because people needed us! No one else could do what we did.
But then, an odd thing started happening. Vendors started going directly to marketing. Directly to sales and HR. We found ourselves less and less involved with strategic decisions and saddled with more of the routine work.
Despite all our “hits” we started to become like Nickleback. Irrelevant.
Budgets were cut out of IT. Perks removed. And less and less of the “fun” work came our way. Our own egos killed our rock star status.
We have to get back to what made us great…innovating. But like a music artist, we can’t just come up with innovation in our spare time. It requires real work. It requires interacting with internal teams. We have to check our egos at the door and free up time to actually sit in a meeting and have conversations with other departments.
Or, you can keep doing things the way you always have. Which means you’ll keep on re-booting routers while humming “I wanna be a rock star.”