The Man in the Middle - Page 2

Aug 20, 2007

Patrick Gray

Even more dangerous is the fact that most high-performers know exactly what they are worth, either through communicating with their peers or tentatively dipping their toe in the job market. If times are truly tight or there is in fact a hiring freeze, would it not make sense to hold onto your top performers all the more tightly, while providing incentives for the lowest performers to improve or seek employment elsewhere?

Outsourcing Your Core Competencies

Many CIOs balk at outsourcing their core competencies, whether it is an ERP implementation or maintaining critical infrastructure, yet they routinely outsource one of the most integral functions of their business unit without a second thought, passing on the “people process” to HR. Human Resource gets an undeserved bad rap, and ends up being the scapegoat for CIOs who do not want to manage the people process within their IT organization.

HR can be an invaluable resource, providing expert knowledge of HR issues and the right tools to deliver a CIO’s vision of how his or her personnel should be evaluated and rewarded, but HR should not set the IT organization’s strategy for how it manages its people. IT is an extremely knowledge-intensive business function, making hiring and retaining the right people all the more critical, and not a function that can be dropped in HR’s lap with an expectation recruiting and retaining the right people.

With IT so heavily reliant on people, it is amazing that we spend countless hours studying the latest compliance initiatives, or debating the merits of the methodology du jour rather than taking a long hard look at how we hire and retain IT staff.

While dealing with machines is far easier than dealing with people—they do not cry, demand undeserved raises, get sick or ask for the impossible—there is nary a leader who cited the machines or methods they worked with as the cornerstone of what made them successful. Rather, a truly excellent leader stands out due to the people that surround and follow him or her. Focus on this most important asset, and organizational excellence will follow.

Patrick Gray is the founder and president of Prevoyance Group, located in Harrison, NY. Prevoyance Group provides strategic IT consulting services. Past clients include Gillette, Pitney Bowes, OfficeMax and several other Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. Patrick can be reached at

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