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Serving the Enterprise

With the application of consequence-based thinking, people recognize that ideas build on ideas and that one person's work builds on another's. People recognize that it's not any one person's responsibility or efforts alone that lead to the answers that will get the desired consequence. Therefore, the focus on decisions is not whether a particular decision was right or wrong, but rather what we can learn from each decision that propels us to the next step in achieving the desired consequence.

Individuals are organized into workgroups, which need to be aligned to ultimately serve the true purpose of the existence of the organization—the enterprise.

It's important that individuals in any part of a business understand how they connect to and serve the overall enterprise of the business. This is particularly relevant for those in IT positions.

This begins with an understanding of what the enterprise is. Sadly, many people get so caught up in the portion of the work of the business they do that they either don't have the opportunity to understand the nature of the true enterprise, or lose sight of it in the heat of everyday endeavor. A commitment to serve the enterprise is different from a commitment to serve a workgroup or team:

  • It's important for individuals to understand how they connect to and serve their own workgroup, department, and the organization as a whole, and how that system supports the enterprise.

  • It's also important for individuals to understand how they connect to and serve other workgroups and departments, in order to work synergistically within the organization for the success of the enterprise of the organization itself.

People should measure their decisions and actions in light of how those individual decisions and actions serve the enterprise of the business—not merely by how well they serve the outcome of a project or the needs of a department.

It's key that members of IT teams see themselves and their work as core to the business itself and not view the IT function as an appendage of the business. IT is an integral thread woven through all aspects of the business. The rest of the organization is unlikely to see it as such if the IT team doesn't approach each endeavor with just such a mindset.

As members of IT teams understand their place in the organization and recognize that they serve the enterprise of the organization—not merely other departments in an organization—it's likely that others will view them as critical and necessary partners who can be trusted to provide solutions that don't merely serve process, but truly serve business outcomes. As a result, they gain more opportunity to influence their internal clients with appropriate solutions. This view of their role, combined with their understanding and commitment to the enterprise, allows them to create solutions that go well beyond the needs expressed by internal clients, to ultimately benefit the overall business.

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