I’ve been using Moodle here at Compound Thinking for the TurboGears classes (look for new classes coming soon!) and I am setting one up at work. The classes will be optional, but we’ll do contests and prizes for the most activity, the highest average quiz score, etc. It all started as a way to get people to take the time to find new ways to use their computers to do cool things. The classes will teach things like logging, editing photos, using flickr, putting together DVD sideshows, along with the standard Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Open Office training.
Hopefully other people outside IT will post classes that will help us bring new people on board more quickly. This is functionality we need, but I am hoping that it also helps to communicate that the IT department exists to amplify people’s ability to execute on their creative ideas.
Too many companies have an ingrained view of IT as nay-sayers and obstructionists. Or, even worse they see IT people as trying to automate them out of a job. The tools we deploy, and the way we deploy them speak volumes about how we view our jobs — and people know how to read the message we send.
How powerful would it be if everybody saw IT as a lever they could use to move their individual worlds? What if they believed that IT connected to the things they really care about — even if those things aren’t always work related.
Studies at Gallop show that people are consistently happier and more productive when “someone at work cares about [them] as a person.”
So, if IT’s job is to make people more productive, it also needs to be IT’s job to care about people.