I think one of the biggest problems in many companies is how people will defend a position based on their ignorance. I was aware of this behavior in the past but I never realized how destructive it could be until last weekend.
I was at a Christmas party put on by the my dirt bike trail riding group. I was discussing the group’s web page with the treasurer who is also the “webmaster”. This has been a pretty consistently lame web page for as long as I have been a member but I realize that maintaining a web site is a pretty time consuming task. Keeping it fresh takes a lot of effort and I was not going to volunteer.
That was until I discovered WordPress , the software used to create this blog. In less than an hour I had WordPress installed on our server and had a pleasing theme installed. In that short period of time I realized that not only is WordPress a great blogging tool but is also a killer Content Management System (CMS). Content is the key to keeping a web site fresh. No FTP, no Dreamweaver, no complex log ins. Just about anyone can contribute.
With a simple setup you can easily have members post ride information, photos, and comments in a clear and easy to use format. Truly brilliant, perfect for my riding group. Check out this page for some amazing sites run from the WordPress platform.
Anyway, as I was praising the benefits of this type of system he got visibly tense and started downplaying the use of a blog for this type of setup. He constantly compared it to a forum and said that no one would participate. I countered with my best arguments of how this could help take our group’s site out of the 90’s without placing a burden on his time. He mentioned that he had a blog on his .Mac platform and didn’t like it. He got so tense he actually ended up just walking away from me. I think he felt threatened by my suggestion that our group’s site and process could be improved.
That got me thinking how many times I have seen this behavior in my company. People will vigorously defend their position from a point of ignorance. I used to let it slide but the consequences of people in a decision making capacity defending their bad decision instead of realizing their mistakes and moving on are huge.
The people you want in your company are the ones that will make mistakes, realize they made a mistake, correct the mistake, and learn from the mistake. NOT defend their mistakes.