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Network Culture Hacks

by Andrew Lerner  |  March 26, 2018  |  Submit a Comment

We’ve written about the need for culture change in networking several times, including:

We’ve also written about how to start to overcome this challenge, including shifting spend from premium products to premium people, and how to stimulate innovation. That said, changing culture is extremely difficult in practice, although easy to understand in theory. Along these lines, I regularly talk to clients about how to kick start network innovation, discussion things “network automation hackathons” or declaring “No CLI Friday’s”, etc.  There is actually a formal term for some of these things:  culture hack.

A culture hack is a small adjustment to the culture that garners big results. A great culture hack includes four characteristics: emotional, immediate, visible, and low effort. We/Gartner (Mary Mesaglio) just published research on culture hacking that your (and your boss and CIO) should read:  The Art of Culture Hacking.

A couple snippets from the research:  Start today, start small, and start with a hack that is fun and not too scary. Know what you are hacking toward (i.e., don’t just hack for hacking sake). Watch for signs that the hack has backfired, and have a plan to contain damage (i.e., create a contingency/resiliency plan – we should be pretty good at that as networkers). Sounds pretty cool, right?  Check out the full research here:

The Art of Culture Hacking (Paywall)

Summary: What’s the biggest barrier to change and transformation? According to CIOs, the resounding answer is culture, but that’s not a very useful answer. Culture is big, unwieldy and hard to change. Most CIOs approach big change with big transformation efforts. We suggest you hack your culture instead.

Regards, Andrew

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Category: culture  just-published  networking  staffing  

Tags: culture-hack  incrementalism  

Andrew Lerner
Research Vice President
6+ years at Gartner
21 years IT Industry

Andrew Lerner is a Vice President in Gartner Research. He covers enterprise networking, including data center, campus and WAN with a focus on emerging technologies (SDN, SD-WAN, and Intent-based networking). Read Full Bio

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