Thursday, July 17, 2003

The shape of things to come (or have I used that already?)

Like witnesses to a bank robbery it amazes me how even two people witnessing the same event can come away with vividly different interpretations. Let me explain.

Our new director - the one who is in charge of our area - called a meeting today. It was sort-of a meet and greet thing. We all gathered... well, not all of us. There was a significant disparity in the number of people in the room and the number of people I thought should have been there. I'm not privy to how many people were supposed to be there but, given how many areas she is in charge of, it didn't look to me like there were enough people there. But that's beside the point.

Our new director stood before us and delivered the expected bit of rhetoric about how "good is the enemy of great" and how change is good etc. etc. No surprises there, I was just looking for her spin on it.

I came away feeling okay about working with her. Mind you, I'm not excited. I haven't been excited about any of this. The whole deal feels like a hostile takeover with people appointing themselves Grand High Poobah of some element or elements of our organization that extend beyond our campus. I won't even go into wondering why four people from the same institution happen to be the perfect match to lead us into... wherever we are going. I just hope they have a map.

Okay, my paranoid side is showing through but it's not without merit. I'm scared shitless. Not for my job, mind you, I can get another one of those. I'm scared for the institution. I don't want to see my alma mater churned through a cookie factory and have it be spit out on the other side top-heavy with administration (something we had fixed but has already happened again) and left to crawl under the porch and lick our wounds.

Boy, this whole thing was a little more upsetting than I thought.

Anyway - I was talking about interpretations. I have little to no control over or say in how the administration is setup or run. I just accept that she is our director now. I feel comfortable talking with her and, so far, don't mind working for her. She has a vision of greatness - whether it's her own or whether it was handed to her remains to be seen - and I really want to be Gung Ho about the whole thing. So, for now, I have the spirit of the squirrel and I'll follow the way of the beaver. Of course, where I can, I'll give the gift of the goose. I want the institution to transform and grow and I want to be part of that. So what if my cheese has been moved?

On the flip side, I was talking to another person after the meeting. His interpretation was much darker than mine. He came right out and told me that the new CIO was an idiot and our new director scared him. He wondered how someone with three years experience could tell us how to run our service areas when there were others in our organization with many more years experience.

On the flip side, the status quo wasn't moving us forward but he does have a point.

I have to go make sure my resume is up to date. All of the new bosses have been asking for them and, this afternoon, she said she wanted to review ours.

In the words of Han Solo, "I've got a bad feeling about this."