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Art Wittmann
Art Wittmann
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The Art of IT: Get Out of the House

Insular environments can lead to insular thinking. The only cure is to get out of the glass houses we've built for ourselves. This is critically important to guiding our

As I'm sure many of you can attest, a new job comes with unique challenges. My still relatively new job at Network Computing is no different. During my first weeks here, the editors and I have had many discussions about what our magazine needs to deliver to you, our customers, but I've spent just as much time learning the intricacies of NWC's day-to-day business.

Since I wasn't necessarily aware of what had gone on before I arrived on the scene, the exchange of ideas with "the new guy" has been interesting. You hope your ideas are met with enthusiasm, but every now and then, you have to convince people you aren't a complete moron after you propose something they considered and dismissed months ago. The result is that the first few weeks in a new job are spent meeting the people you work with, getting a handle on their procedures and learning to appreciate the nuances of the organization you've just joined. It's energizing and draining all at once.

Shatter the Glass

In this early phase, you can get bogged down in day-to-day operations and the minutiae of business procedures. If you're not careful, they'll consume all your time and attention and distort your sense of what's important and what's not.

Insular environments such as this can lead to insular thinking, and thence to utterances like that of Charles Duell, the U.S. Patent Office Commissioner who in 1899 said, "Everything that can be invented has been invented."

Art Wittmann is a former editor for InformationWeek. View Full Bio
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