Do all the parts of your business work together like a well-oiled machine? If you don’t work in business, how about your school, government, church, or non-profit?

Any organization is comprised of many parts. Think about your workplace. It’s probably made up of various departments, perhaps including management, finance and accounting, sales and marketing, customers, vendors, IT, production, research, and maintenance. Or, if you work in education, there’s administration, faculty, support staff, students, a development team, alumni, IT, and maintenance. You get the idea.

Operating at its Best

In order for your organization to operate at its best, each part of the organization must also operate at its best, like a well-oiled machine. Each part contributes to the overall health (or otherwise) of the entire organization.

Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist, suggested in the Functionalist Theory of Sociology that a society is comprised of various parts, each of which contributes to the overall success or otherwise of society as a whole. For example, the parts of a society might include farmers, doctors, mechanics, teachers, students, parents (both stay-at-home and workforce-participating), and others. Each part of society must excel at whatever its members do, so the other parts of society can specialize in and master whatever it is that they do.

Excelling at What You Do

It’s the same with the organization where you work. Each department must excel at whatever it is that it does. The finance people must be experts at finance so you, as an IT person, don’t have to worry about finance and you can excel at information systems and technology.

Sometimes, we, in IT, get frustrated with our end-users because we feel like they’re clueless about computers and other digital systems. Yet, we don’t hold ourselves to that same standard in fields outside of IT. We may be masters at optimizing a database, but clueless in finance or business law. We might be experts in managing firewall rules, but not at all knowledgeable in buildings and grounds.

The point is simple. No one is an expert on everything. In order for society to function well, each of the people who contribute to the various parts must be highly competent in their particular area of focus. It’s the same where you work, whether at an MSP, in government or education, business or the military, non-profits, or anywhere else. Each of us must serve our colleagues.

We do that by focusing on what we, as individuals, can do to improve our contribution to the organization. How can we make ourselves more valuable to the organization? That’s how you make all the parts of your business work together.

Our jobs are not about technology. Our jobs are about helping our end-users and other customers (including our colleagues) do their jobs more productively, efficiently, and creatively. That’s what makes a well-oiled machine.

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