Subscribe Now:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid!

Have you ever heard someone talk about “drinking the Kool-Aid”?   If you "drink the Kool-Aid", you buy into a new concept, initiative or way of doing things.    In our space, it is often used to describe an individual’s acceptance of new or improved service management processes by drinking the “ITIL Kool-Aid”.

I am not sure how the concept entered into our common vocabulary, but it has terrible origins.   In 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana, over 900 members of a cult drank cyanide-laced Kool-Aid as part of a mass suicide.   Approximately two hundred of the dead were children who were fed the Kool-Aid by their parents.

Still want to drink it?   It’s poison.

If we treat ITIL like an IT cult or religion, we are potentially poisoning the perception of some of our most important and influential stakeholders.  Many application developers already consider ITIL a four-letter-word.  Why?  We need to work towards stakeholder alignment, not alienation. 
ITIL was never intended to be perfect, complete, prescriptive or auditable.   It was intended to provide broad-based guidance that is scalable to any organization or vertical market.   To ensure sustainability, you have to foster an environment that allows individuals to buy-in on their own timeline – some will be early adopters, others will require proof of concept.  Both are OK. 

While your program is maturing, encourage confidence, creativity, dialogue, metrics, analysis and even healthy conflict.  Not blind acceptance and certainly no Kool-Aid.


No comments:

Post a Comment