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It’s Friday morning in Canary Wharf, and I have been asked to facilitate a meeting of a chapel of IT Dogma and Snake-oil Victims, the self-help recovery chain for people who have fallen victim to the pernicious and debilitating effects of IT dogma and professional rip-offs.

There are twelve of us in the church hall. We sit in a circle, to ease communication. After a more formal welcome and brief introduction, the floor is opened up for people to talk about whatever they want to talk about. There is silence.

“Pantxo!”, I look across to Pantxo; he is staring out the window at the falling rain. He can usually talk the legs off a giraffe, but today he is having none of it. Sensing that things are not going too well, I enter into my well-worn routine of floridly and inanely relating anecdotes from the distant history of IT.

As I am entering my tenth lap of the track of tedium, one of the new members chimes in, first nervously and then with the increasing confidence of someone who knows exactly what they are talking about and precisely what they are going to say. “Hello. My name is Crème”. A woman in a blue adidas tracksuit looks around the room.

“Yes. My name is Crème Brûlée; you may well know of it from the tabloids… I used to be the CIO of a major household name.” She pauses and looks into the middle distance, searching for the truth, avoiding the pain.

“This is a bit embarrassing – awkward maybe would be a better word – but what I want to unburden upon you all is the story of how I outsourced my Data Warehouse, my Business Intelligence, my MDM, my CRM, and my life”.

She takes a deep breath and continues; making a point of looking at each of her fellow members in turn as she does so.

“About five summers ago, I decided that I really needed to do something to boost my career prospects and to get things moving faster in my part of the organisation”. “In the spring of that year I had been to a management conference with some of our senior IT management team, some of whom are here today. Okay, I won’t single out any one of you, and you know who you are.”

“As part of the week-long conference we were wined and dined, stroked and cajoled, flattered and sweet talked by a whole entourage of sales execs from the technology and service providers. They were telling us that the future was in outsourcing and offshoring as much as we could, they were bewitching us with stories of future success, of IT paradise and professional nirvana. We in turn wanted to believe, needed to believe, desired to believe. All of this was reinforced by the so called independent industry analysts who insisted, in their agnostic way, that we should seize the moment, with courage, determination and illusion.”

“When I got back to the ranch my mind became occupied with other things, but I didn’t entirely forget the compelling messages that I had brought away with me from the conference.”

“Nothing happened for a couple of months until, one day and out of the blue, things came to a head.”

Part 2 can be found here -> Part 2

Many thanks for reading.

File under: Good Strat, Good Strategy, Martyn Richard Jones, Martyn Jones, Cambriano Energy, Iniciativa Consulting, Iniciativa para Data Warehouse, Tiki Taka Pro