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Is "Not a Priority" Really "Not a Priority?"

Posted by on June 28, 2011

I had a discussion with someone recently around deploying an internal collaborative platform for their organization.  It’s safe to say that this person was indeed a decision maker.  I asked why this wasn’t an area of investment currently and the response he gave me was that it is “not a priority.”  When I hear that I always get curious, “why is not a priority?” is usually my follow up question.  After a discussion I found out that the reason this wasn’t an area which the company wanted to invest in is because some key team members didn’t understand the business value and because they were scared about having their employees engaging in an open internal platform.  I asked if employees were ever consulted, if they did any research or looked up statistics, or have had in-depth conversations about this, the answer was no.

It turns out that “not a priority” turned into an education problem.  It’s easy to give any type of answers to anyone, what you really want to get at is why that answer is being given so that you understand how to properly address the response, the rejection, or the acceptance.  In this case, “not a priority” was the response, but it wasn’t the answer.

  • nice)))) thanks for posting) really sometimes it is difficult to understand!

  • It may be the case that the culture of this company may be very much different from the new age collaborative approach.   Not a priority may mean that the management believes that the cultural shift would be a long term investment decision and may even have a negative return (NPV) at the end of the day.   Thus managers may treat their business as a cash cow; get as much resources out of the existing business model as possible before the business becomes extinct.