Getting people to provide the information that they are required as part of their to is often a chore. If you want to sabotage the ‘machine’ today the easiest way to do it is to withhold or give wrong information. Information is the life blood of the organisations that I have worked for over the last ten years.

I had to chase up late information all the time when I worked on the GP Pay data collection at DOH, late returns all over the shop and no big stick to hit them with, except “If you don’t make a return we shall name your Health Authority as not contributing at the GP pay steering committee”. I hated being assertive and pointing out that it was “PART OF THEIR JOB” to make the return, not optional, not if they felt like it but REQUIRED! And I felt like an evil git, especially since I had spent the previous four years being a freedom & peace loving hippy. My boss David Stevens pointed out that the only tool I had was my power to convince them verbally. So with his help that’s what I learnt and the timeliness of returns increased as a result. It was one of the biggest lesion that I ever learnt.

As with many lesions in life that I’ve learnt, I’ve also quickly unlearnt it.

In my current job as our School’s web master I have to go through the same process. Convincing the skivers, the slackers and the cheeky weasels that they should submit the content/information to the school web site that they are responsible for maintaining. Up until recently I felt bad, even ‘evil’ about this. Then I had to go sort out the University Admissions officer, because the majority of our Undergraduate courses where not on the university course pages. Various excuses had been made, but I went into the meeting and was assertive about it, to the point that I got dates that the work should be done. As a bonus they’ve been keeping me updated on progress, were before I had to chase them!!! I have learnt that putting my foot down and saying that someone should contribute to something isn’t being evil as long as you don’t personally blame them from word go, but often part of the process.

Originally intended as a comment to one of maviscruet‘s posts, but it grew into a mini essay, which I thought would be a useful reminder to myself. So I posted it here instead.

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