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Friday, December 17, 2010

Greasing the Skids

Sometimes it’s scary how much I enjoy my job working with IT for the Department of Leisure Services for the City of Saint Petersburg.  Ryan, our new employee, and I worked together today and slayed the dragon—we took to the ICS Warehouse old servers no longer used that were cluttering up the server room.  After this, we went to Enoch Davis Center to install a Xerox copier as a network printer.  Everywhere we went people were kind and helpful.  Sometimes people complain about government being unnecessarily bureaucratic.  This is not the case here.  For example, the old servers (along with some nonworking card printers) could have taken days if not weeks to dispose of had asset disposition paperwork been followed to a “T”.  Skip, at the ICS Warehouse, agreed to take the old hardware and help process the disposition on their end, while we simultaneously completed our paper work on our end.  But these necessary accounting requirements did not delay unnecessarily equipment transfer. This, of course, is possible due to trust.  There has to be mutual trust that no one is trying to “pull a fast one” and circumvent the spirit of relevant policies and procedures.  There is confidence that requirements will be processed in due time while not unnecessarily holding up progress.  While this may seem to be a minor matter, trust actually underlies much of the interaction between and within departments.  Trust is what often greases the skids.  Since trust is so valuable, people work assiduously hard not to undermine it.  This gives a great sense of freedom coincident with responsibility. It significantly enhances creativity and energizes human effort.  It nourishes esteem and contributes to happiness.  It minimizes the need to defensively and forever spend time and energy “covering one’s ass.”  True, to a certain extent it is risky.  Once in awhile, someone is bound to prove untrustworthy.  And when this happens the organization must treat it with utmost seriousness and dispatch.  That’s the other side of trust—a firmness and even harshness on the part of the organization showing an intolerance of perfidy.

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