After spending two days in The Pacific Institute seminar, there are some interesting ideas I like that identifies a problem in implementing new data center projects that support a green data center. One is the concept of sabotage.
Many Six Sigma implementations fail because of
sabotage. Not overt resistance, but the silent, subtle,
“so maybe this program will go away” kind of
resistance. People won’t likely be aggressive, but
will instead display what we call passive-aggressive
behavior. For example, a Six Sigma implementation
imposed exclusively top-down can create a
counter-force – a bottom-up, nonproductive
“push-back.” If this happens, there can be much
waste, frustration, and many false starts.
The following article is written by Ron Mevdev on six sigma projects, and much of what he discusses applies to the problems of implementing changes in data centers. Rarely do you hear someone speaking on the issues of people in data centers. Why? Because the data center speaker system is dominated by vendors and products who sell to data center builders and operators. This group of vendors in general are selling how to solve problems by buying things, and the people factor is rarely discussed. Yet, some of the top data center executives are excellent people managers, building a team. Urs Hoelzle and Olivier Sanche are two examples of people who have a loyal following.
I think Urs and Olivier understand this paragraph well.
SOLVING PROBLEMS AT THE ROOT CAUSE
But sometimes problems can be tenacious. Often
there’s a complexity that includes the most interesting
variable of all – people. If we want to change
for the better, a fundamental understanding of
how people think and how their beliefs affect their
performance must be factored into the equation.
An appreciation of the basics of human behavior
and performance enhances analysis. Better yet, it
helps managers and employees solve their own
Greening the data center requires people to change their behaviors and thinking.
Which is why it is so hard.
Do your people sometimes feel like this crowd living in the past? So many people are comfortable staying with what has worked in the past. How far back in history should you go and feel safe you can copy? Last year, 5 years, 10 years?