There’s no ‘i’ in Team, but there’s an “us” in User


Most of you will be familiar with the term: ‘there is no ‘i’ in team’. When it comes to the adoption of technology for improved business outcomes, I believe it’s key to remember that there is an ‘us’ in ‘user(s)’.

As IT professionals responsible for the implementation and support of technology, we need to consider the ‘user’ as ‘us’. We need to adopt the mindset of a user, to get the best uptake of the technology we are attempting to deploy. We also need to understand – and communicate to the user – that the deployment of technology is not the end of a process, but the means to an ongoing ‘end’ of positives for the organisation. Ultimately the deployed technology is intended to improve business outcomes. Eg: better communication (inside and outside of the organisation); improved metrics; workflow efficiencies; ultimately having a positive impact on customer satisfaction – which should be the base driver for any business.

Users need to remember that IT is not the ‘deliberately make it difficult’ department (although it can feel that way). In many cases IT may be operating within technology, process or budget constraints. They don’t deliberately set out to make it hard.

If you are a user of technology, or in the IT department, there is no place for the term ‘them’ when referring to colleagues. You were all hired for the same end goal, each of you playing your different roles.

In my experience, organisations that use the inclusive ‘we’ or ‘us’ – regardless of the employee’s role – are more open to innovation and have higher rates of technology adoption. This directly impacts business outcomes and efficiencies.

If today you say: ‘they’ or ‘them’ when you refer to colleagues in the IT department, or in other departments, try instead to say ‘we’ or ‘us’.

When you’re a member of a team within an organisation, there is no ‘i’, there is no ‘them’, when referring to colleagues, but there is always an ‘us’. You are all users of technology: for some it’s your job, for others it’s what helps you do your job. Don’t forget you’re all on the same team, aiming for the same goal. Success is very often about mindset: get that right, and the goal becomes easier to attain.


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