I recently rotated through a different management position for a weekend. It was still in IT, but I walked home late on Sunday realizing I learned a heck of a lot.
As a long time professional services guy I often miss the freshness of the new client. Just some of the clients I got to work with in a single year:
- Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company
- Multiple app server vendors
- Online learning business
- State of California licensing agency
Managing within a corporate IT arena you do get different challenges and you have a variety of internal business customers, but it’s still centered around the same business context.
I’ve been with the new company for about 6 months now and I’m still stumped by a fair bit of acronyms. I have gotten comfortable operating within the development sphere and a pretty constant set of business customers. Working as the weekend manager for a different IT group gave me some perspectives I wouldn’t have gotten any other way.
The most valuable part of the weekend was talking to various folks on other teams about how they saw the work they were doing and what they’re value proposition was. They were all tired. (This was weekend work) A lot of them were a bit down on morale. They all were trying to do the right thing. I made a few of them laugh when I asked basic questions about things they’d been doing for years. Like, “don’t you just reject a patch if the install instructions are all wrong?” The answer turned out to be no.
Taking a dive into a different area especially an area of the business works out your brain. I thought I’d be tired coming in this morning after working 12-14 hour days over the weekend, but I came back recharged and doing a bit more strategic thinking. And I can bring what I learned back to my team.