There's a frightening job opening coming up soon - let me summarize the requirements.
Your job will be to lead the integration of fourteen competing IT groups ranging in size from 2,300 employees to eleven people - they've all been operating independently, subject only to the collective guidelines of generations of central IT bureaucrats whose primary agendas have been self-preservation and budget growth - and who collectively implemented that by controlling communications and budgets while vigorously refusing to let any Unix variant or open source software inside the funding tent.
There are two rules:
And, of course, you have a couple of goals:
On the face of it, this is hopeless - but there is one strategy that might work: pick the best of the internal people and promote them, pick the worst and assign them jobs or supervisors they'll hate enough to quit, ignore the budget issue, and then let time and best efforts lead to the evolution of a service oriented culture.
It's easy to pick the worst offenders - they're the people in charge, the people who go golfing with consultants, the ones with secure go-to job alternatives with major vendors, and the shrillest advocates for the worst solutions. The rest are cost and performance drags, but given time and strong new leadership you can expect to save some while filtering others out.
But meanwhile you've got maybe 300 people who think of themselves as IT executives; people with standing within the predecessor organizations - and once you sideline of the worst 30 or so pending their resignations, how do you pick the top twenty or so among the remaining 250+ without having the time to really get to know them?
I've got three rules of thumb to suggest:
The right answers, I think, are obvious - and I think their initial ranking as candidates for senior positions in the combined IT operation can be largely based on the extent to which the record verifies that they really do act accordingly.