Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lessons in Blogging- Rights and Responsibility

A recent series of posts by an employee of a US healthcare provider has landed him in hot water for his criticism of the technology decisions made by his bosses. His postings have been amplified by other blogs. I don't wish to comment on the specifics of this case.

Technology is complicated. There are rarely right decisions. Most decisions are a trade off with associated risk mitigation. When raising concerns in a corporate environment, you will rarely be criticised if you act professionally. The key is to avoid looking like a whinger or someone with an agenda. I'm not saying that senior management is infallible, but if you are not seen to carry your right to complain in parity with your responsibilities, you could find yourself on extended leave.

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3 comments:

kaiserfraud said...

The one thing I learned from my own Kaiser situation is that bloggers love to project motives onto other people and then pass judgment. How about giving Justen some benefit of the doubt?

And don't rely on mainstream media to report it accurately, either. What we need is to lay off the preaching so more employees will blog, and then we will really be able to determine whether it's a lone grouch speaking or a widespread sentiment.

ClickRich said...

Kaiserfraud, thanks for your comment. I'm giving Justen lots of benefit of the doubt. Are you suggesting I didn't?

I chose to not to comment on the specifics of the case because of my position in healthcare IT. It would be unethical of me to comment given that I only know what I've read in the public domain- and by the way, most of that was NOT in the mainstream media.

Therefore, I've simply posted on what I know about decision making in technology management. It seems that people were quick to criticise the CEO in question for his corporate rambling attitude. As an outsider, his opinion was more concisely presented so there's a mismatch. My opinion is that the attitude has been projected onto him.

For example, and sticking closely to the facts, scaleability is possible with any system that broadly ticks the 'enterprise' box. The questions become "scaleable at what cost?" and "what's the nature of the risk to scaleability?". In the case cited, no one has said what the basis of the named system not being scaleable is. Is it that it hasn't been done before with that system? How could mankind progress on that basis?

"Lone grouch or widespread sentiment". In my view, neither is an input to corporate decision making. We need leaders operating within a Governance framework. I don't know enough about the organisation involved to say what they do, or don't have.

What is great though, is the opportunity of all parties to have their say.

kaiserfraud said...

There are some interesting remarks about the scalability issue on HISTalk right now.

http://histalk.blog-city.com/

I'm not qualified to comment on this either, because I wasn't there when the rollout actually began in my region.