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Barton, Gordon, Fenton, Juvvani, and Ruben, plus Gary Geisler—it all
seemed completely natural.
They had designed a presentation in five sections:*
- History of IT at IVK—Informal management
- Moving to more formal management
- Results already attained
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Opportunities and risks
Barton would review the slides with Carl Williams after lunch, so
they were down to final touches. Williams would probably make sug-
gestions that would send them scrambling, but Barton wasn’t worried.
They’d handle it. The whole thing was coming together. He’d be very
surprised if Williams spotted any egregious shortcomings.
Barton’s thinking had moved on, from the detailed content of Power-
Point slides to the big picture, the overriding themes he wanted to em-
phasize during the presentation and subsequent discussion with board
members. He had four issues in mind.
First, he wanted to make it clear that management of the department
in the past had been too informal. This problem was common through-
out the company, a consequence of rapid growth from a small firm to a
large firm, a side effect of success in the marketplace. The entrepre-
neurial inclinations of the current set of firm managers, their tenden-
cies to act as if the firm were much smaller, offered benefits: agility,
“can-do” attitudes, and willingness to innovate, for example. But infor-
mality was also a source of risk. Big companies needed more coordina-
tion, more management systems, and—especially—more controls than
small companies. This was particularly true in IT. Barton had begun in-
stituting procedures, systems, and controls that would reduce risk
without sacrificing agility or innovativeness. Some of these changes
were simple, things no one had gotten around to in the past; based on
his knowledge of Loan Ops and using his new vantage as CIO, for ex-
The Road of Trials