Grooming system thinkers LO1291
Thu, 18 May 1995 10:17:00 -0500

Speaking entirely hypothetically ;-) suppose you worked for an
organization which developed information systems predominantly
for internal use. Suppose further that the staff had largely
come up throught the ranks, after entering the organization as
'programmers', even though many of them now carry the title
of 'designer' or 'analyst' and have received little or no
training regarding the different responsibilities of those
roles. Suppose that their day-to-day activities demanded that
they function not as specialists in any of the roles, but
rather as 'generalists'.

Suppose even further that most had considerable
longevity within the highly stable organization -- while
they may have moved from one 'system' to another, they
have remained largely insulated from / ignorant of forces
at play in the rest of the industry.

Now suppose that you had received a special appointment to the
lofty role of Designer General for that organization, and had
received this assignment: Go forth and build us some world
class systems designers, whom we will value as genuine human
resources, and whom we will groom to do _only_ design-related
work, floating from project to project to do good things on
behalf of the organization.

What would you do with this group of people, guessing that
you might have, say, six-to-eight people to work with over the
next several months, realistically getting 25-40% of their time?

How would you (speaking hypothetically, of course) help them
to focus on their development as a team of colleagues, as a
community of specialists in design, as learners? What books
wouldyou have them look at? Videos? Theories? Strategies?
Courses? Magazines?

If you will respond to me, I will report back to the list.
Michael Ayers     (612) 733-5690   FAX (612) 737-7718
3M Center    Bldg 224-2NE-02    PO Box 33224    St Paul MN 55133-3224

All ideas expressed in this note represent the author's thinking and do not represent the positions of any organizations -- or -- I take credit for the implications, you do for the inferences!