Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hunters, skinners and diners

Read a piece somewhere recently which put the corporate people into three categories - hunters, skinners and diners

Hunters - should be quite obvious. Our beloved sales people. They are after the prey. Hunting. Hunting for deals and making a killing.

Skinners - Finance people. It is one thing to hunt and a different thing to skin, flesh the meat out, dress it and prepare the stuff for consumption. Finance people are good at that. They can take what has been hunted and prepare it for consumption.( Revenue recognition is an art. Window dressing is a super-art. Profit smoothening is a divine-art.)

Diners - marketing and advertising people. At least the piece I read put only marketing and advertising people in 'diners' category. May be IT folks also fall in this category. Diners spend what's been hunted and skinned.

Many studies have shown that it is the hunters who make it to the top. Many CEOs are from sales background. Hunters are able to make golden rules - men with gold make golden rules.

Knowing that hunters make it to the top, we all need to cultivate the mentality of hunters if we want to rise up. We need to be able to sell something that's useful to hunters - at the least. Then we can probably get close hunters and become their allies. What does that mean to IT people? Get to know your business partners well. Even when you think their demands are unreasonable, try to put on their shoes and walk  a mile. May be you will understand. Drop your puritanical and ivory-tower academic attitude and do what is needed now and necessary for hunters to be successful. If hunters come empty handed, we are all headed home empty handed. Hunters are needed regardless of skinners and diners.

IT people can position themselves as people who make hunters more effective. Like those artisans who used to make best quality bows and arrows. We can provide IT edge to our hunting brethren so that they can hunt more effectively and thank us for helping them.

Keeping everything aside, IT is a cost to the corporation. So, it is only natural that people think it should be cut as much as possible like any other cost. When we are diners, we can  enjoy sumptuous dinner only if we help create enough ingredients for the dinner. So, help create the meat.

Long live hunters. May skinners give us good chops. May other diners spare us some good ribs.


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