Thursday, 15 April 2010

Are you stifling your staff's creativity?

While most sensible folks appreciate the need for an organisation to be safe and secure, this should not be at the expense of giving your staff access to information and technology. Frequently blocked sources of information includes the following:

  • - Webmail
  • - Blogs
  • - Forums
  • - Social media
I fail to understand why any organisation would block access to information. Blocking access to blogs and forums does not make any sense to me. I would even question the need to block access to social media and webmail. If people wish to check their webmail or update their Facebook page during their lunch time, then that is their business.

My main means of keeping my knowledge up to date in terms of technology is to use Web 2.0 applications such as blogs, forums and social media. For example, I follow many people on Twitter for their views and opinions on the latest technologies. Often, they may link to their latest blog, where they have written an article giving their thoughts on a specific technology. This is now how I keep up to date. I can access more information in a shorter time.

As a software developer, I need access to this sort of information. I also need access to the latest technologies as they come out, so that I can play with them, evaluate them, see what they can and cannot do. We have seen applications such as Google Wave and Google Buzz coming online, and the only way to see what they are about and what benefits they may offer an organisation is to start using them. You just never know, an innovative use for them may come about as a result.

This is where a different mind set comes into play. Some people demand to be shown a clear business case for granting access to particular technologies, tools and information, and some people do not. For these latter people, the benefits are obvious enough. Their staff have access to information. By being allowed to use the latest tools, they gain a competitive edge and increase their skills and knowledge.

If you give your staff access to information, tools and technology, then you are empowering them. As someone who works in the field of software, it's vitally important that I have access to this information and tools. Denying your staff the tools they need to do their jobs - not just today but tomorrow - is misguided. If you don't use these yourself, then that's not a valid reason for denying them to those that do. Find out what they are why they are important to your staff.

A sensible compromise needs to be found, where the enterprise is secure, but also where your staff have access to the information and tools they need. Otherwise, you may be stifling their creativity!

No comments:

Post a Comment