Cloud. Results. The management challenge.

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“Cloud people” is not really a term. Google it and you’ll find a front page of discovering a long-lost tribe in Peru. The closest business relationship to the term is “cloud computing” which means the computational power of the work is processed on the Internet and not on company property.


If you are a results person, you know what a cloud person is. A person that thinks in theory, always works with the big picture and tries to sell the grand design. But get down to cases? Deal with the minutia? Nope. Cloud people discount all that stuff because it doesn’t fit the theory. It disrupts the big picture of everything fitting together.


If you are a cloud person, you know what a results person is. A person that is always dealing with the temporary, the fix that needs to happen now, one that doesn’t try to move the work into a more cohesive strategy that makes sense for the entire corporation. Results people ignore the grand design — can’t you see we need to fix this problem and worry about the big picture later?

Ideally, you’d want both: the ability to think strategically while working through the details of what needs doing now so that it fits into the bigger picture. The reality, however, is that teams are rarely made up of the wonderful blend of strategy and tactics, of the work at hand fitting into the big picture.


And that causes conflict on teams. It means managers pick one type of person for their team — one that matches their cloud or results style — and ignore the others. Whole departments get caught up in the cloud versus results paradigm creating departmental conflicts that rival Armageddon.

There are few things more frustrating at work than a results person listening all day to cloud people object to their work because it doesn’t fit with the grand plan. And there are few things more frustrating at work than a cloud person listening all day to results people pushing their position to solve problems while ignoring the fact the implemented solutions will make matters worse for the company. There is a reason States are collecting more taxes from the sale of liquor…

We need a little of both

Conflict is inherent in the work that we do. Get enough conflict inside a company and watch the company progress come to a screeching halt. The management challenge is to have teams be both cloud and results oriented. But managers don’t like to do that because they too often surround themselves with like-minded people — and job candidates get advice in their interviews to make sure their style of work matches up with the manager, including my advice as well.

But the best match is a team that can strive for the big picture vision while tactically solving problems to fit into the big picture. After all, our short-term actions, like it or not, evolve into our long-term strategy. We need to look at those short-term actions and decide if they fit into the longer view picture. If they do, great. If they don’t, you’ll probably end up trying to solve a bigger problem later.

Is your team a cloud team? A results team? Or both?

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