Running the IT service desk isn’t exactly a superhero gig, though it may feel that way on occasion. An effective IT service desk has a uniformity of mission, but also a variety of personalities and skills mixes.
When it works, the service desk is greater than the sum of its parts, and that’s pretty close to superhero status in today’s workplace.
So what would it be like if the IT service desk were run by Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy? Probably interesting, messy, but ultimately effective – perhaps not unlike your organization’s IT service desk. Here’s how the team might function.
Peter Quill: In Charge, Mostly
The person running the show has to have skills, certainly, but he or she also has to be willing to get out there, communicate with people, and risk looking stupid on occasion. Maybe he takes on challenges on behalf of the IT team that seem ridiculous, but something inside him knows there’s a way to succeed. Sure, he can be a bit self-absorbed, but he’s willing to listen to criticism and can bounce back after being taken down a peg by the peanut gallery. The question is (to borrow from another fictional universe), is Peter Quill the hero the IT team deserves, or the one it needs?
Drax: Working Behind the Scenes to Show Up the Competition
It’s good to have someone on the team who didn’t get the job he wanted with your competition. Fortunately for you, losing out on that gig made him bitter, and he’s determined to do all the heavy lifting behind the scenes to make sure your organization’s IT infrastructure is run with a level of finesse that makes the competition’s look like a bunch of kindergarteners playing with their See ‘n Says. He never seems to get your jokes, and maybe he’s a little intense, but he’s more than willing to put in the time and effort to see things through.
Gamora: Used to Work for the Competition
It’s also good to have someone on your IT team who used to work for the competition. She cut her teeth there, and may have once felt she owed them a debt of gratitude, but now she’s firmly on your team. She knows what goes on behind the scenes at your competitor – the good and the bad. She’s not only great at developing a strategy for success, she’s willing to put in the hard work necessary to carry it out. This IT superhero is no prima donna content to tell you how it should be done. She’s willing to show you, and in the process, show the competition.
” … expanded notation … carry the one … clearly they’ve made a painful miscalculation. Let’s show them how it’s really done.”
Rocket: Devil’s Advocate Who Nonetheless Brings Out Everyone’s Best
You have a great idea on how to do things better or how to accomplish a new task the IT team has assumed responsibility for. So you brace yourself and pitch it to Rocket and then watch as he tears your idea to shreds. He’s not doing it to be mean (mostly), but rather because he wants you to think it through all the way to the end. You subject yourself to this person, not because you like it, but because once you address all his pointed criticisms, you’re ready to take your idea to management, the CIO, and the chairman of the board if need be to prove your idea is a great one.
Groot: The Glue That Holds the Team Together No Matter What
There’s one on just about every great team: the person who doesn’t say much, and maybe doesn’t appear that bright, but who the team could not function without. He’s there through thick and thin. He’s solid, rooted. Just being in the cubicle next to him somehow makes you feel a little better about things. You know he’d have your back in any professional or personal crisis, and if your team ever split up, you know you’d miss him the most, so you make sure you have his Skype info and personal email, just in case.
The IT service desk team has to be prepared to take on a lot of routine challenges, as well as challenges that are unpredictable and that force you to call on skills and strengths you may not have known you possessed. Whether your team is a well-oiled machine, or a rather motley group of odd characters, providing them with the tools they need is essential to helping them do their best work.