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everything happens for a reason March 6, 2009

Posted by That Guy in A Very Corporate Something, Lessons Learned, Management.
Tags: , , , ,

Everything happens for a reason. At least, it does at first.

CorporateSpeak is such a big company that we can’t get away without having a Community Affairs department. They’re in charge of making sure that we perform charitable acts in the community (as a company, not as individuals), and they recently came up with a way to encourage others to do nice things for people. Naturally, they wanted to track it. Naturally, they wanted to tell the stories on our community web portal. Naturally, I got tasked to do the web elements.

So, with the help of marketing, I developed a way to keep track, a way to log in and tell the company what you’ve done to help others, and a way for us to contact people who have paid it forward, as it were. I thought about it for a few hours, came up with a plan, and got it approved. Three days later, it was on our website and working perfectly.

Every part of the microsite I created existed for a reason: tracking numbers, little cards you can give to people you do nice things for, forms to track cards on our microsite, forms to input what you’ve done to be nice, and a place for you to upload photos, videos, and stories to share with everyone.

CC-licensed photo by Foraggio Fotographic

CC-licensed photo by Foraggio Fotographic

Then along came the new VP, who thought this was such a great idea that she just took out a huge stack of the little cards and handed them out at random to everyone in the building.

When we started, I explicitly told her that cards had to come through someone on the community affairs team before we gave them out. I told her why. She agreed and thought it was a good idea. She never came to me and said “let’s change this aspect for this reason.”

Everything I put on a website I design or develop, I put there for a reason. I explain it to everyone involved. I make sure everyone understands and is on board, and I make changes if I have to before we roll the project out. And then, if someone has a concern, the proper course of action is to bring it to me so I can come up with a better way.

This VP has now made my life difficult because I have to now fix the system (she wants me to keep my tracking system running, by the way), and she’s made one of her own employees’ lives difficult because that woman now has to keep track of all the little cards before they go out. Which she can’t do because the VP drops another handful on the staff every day or two.

Just goes to show: if you make everything happen for a reason, then someone else will ignore those reasons.

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