Generating Excitement and The New Technology Paradigm
by Minda Zetlin, November 2010
Steve Romeo is passionate about information technology. As an author and as vice president of IT at Breg/Orthofix, Romeo believes an inspired and excited tech staff is better equipped to promote their projects to business peers. But that requires taking a different posture than the stereotypical “guy from IT.” “In the new technology paradigm, IT professionals not only know what IT can do, but they also know how to unlock its power for the company,” Romeo writes. “They step out of the box. They take more initiative. They expand their own job descriptions and territories.”
In the following excerpts from his new book, The New Technology Paradigm (Blue Lizard Press, 2010), Romeo suggests two ways, among others, that IT staff can use the passion they have for their jobs to get others excited about enterprise technology projects.
Have a Vision and Make Sure You’re “Bought In”
In order to ignite your passion, you have to have vision. You either have to inherently love what you’re doing or have a compelling dream or picture of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You have to be able to almost taste it, and you have to be convinced that it’s going to work.
When I think about a new piece of hardware that just came out or a solution I can provide with an old piece of hardware, that creates a vision, a picture in my mind’s eye of what the final product or solution will look like. So vision is the igniter. Of course, once you’re lit up, then you have to do something. That’s where the passion comes in. Vision without passion is a path to nowhere, but if you can see your objective, your passion will make it happen.
Socialize and Have Some Fun
The unfortunate but widely held perception of IT professionals is that they are disengaged and uninvolved. We are often seen as loners, nerds, or even antisocial.
If you’re an IT person or a student of IT, I encourage you to begin to break this stereotype by stepping out of your comfort zone. For you, this might be something as simple as getting out of your chair, walking around, and saying hello to a few people in other departments. In the beginning, it might just be being more sociable. From there, it might evolve into making new friends and asking them about their work, their needs, their visions, and their perceptions of the business and its competition.
Each time you expand your comfort zone, you shift your personal paradigm. Each time you push the envelope, you grow a little bigger. Each time you extend your sphere of influence, you become better known and appreciated. If you develop the habit of being more sociable—and if you do it consistently enough—you may eventually lead the company in a whole new direction. You don’t have to go back to school or join Toastmasters to advance your company and your career; just get up and have a little fun!