The story of goldilocks and the three executives

Posted on: August 6, 2010 by Rob Price

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks. She went for a walk in the City. Pretty soon, she came upon a large office of a global corporate. She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in and found herself in the Executive area.

At the table in the kitchen area, there were three breakfasts. Goldilocks was hungry. She went to the first, a bowl which contained thick gloopy porridge from Starbucks. She tasted it.

"This porridge is too rich and creamy!" she exclaimed.

So, she moved on, and tasted the packet of crisps (Prawn Cocktail flavour) and jaffa cake laid out for the second breakfast.

"This breakfast is way too unhealthy," she said

So, she went to the last bowl, but it was empty. Obviously its owner didn’t believe in the unnecessary expense of breakfast.

After she'd eaten the three Executives' breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired. So, she walked into the offices area where she saw three chairs. Goldilocks sat in the first chair, a maroon coloured, leather studded armchair, to rest her feet.

"This chair is too cold and uncomfortable!" she exclaimed, although she was briefly interested in the IPad she noticed on the arm of the chair seemingly showing dashboard information of the current state of IT service provision to the business.


So she sat in the second chair, a hybrid concoction of chair with gadgets attached all over it – pop up screens running beta versions of open source operating systems, keyboards that rolled out from recesses in the arms, a docking station (she thought, but for what she wasn’t sure) and some technical gizmo of which she couldn’t make neither head nor tail.

"This chair is too uncomfortable too!" she whined.

So she tried the last and smallest chair, cost effectively made out of recycled MDF but seemingly a better fit for her figure.

"Ahhh, this chair is just right," she sighed. But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!

Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom (the business liked to support round the clock working!). She lay down in the first bed, a nattily designed single bed surrounded hand sculpted panelling that resembled an Aston Martin DB9, but it was too soft and she’d scraped her leg on the edge of the panelling.

Then she lay in the second bed, which noticed had a 42” dual screen monitor that emerged from the foot of the bed and a keyboard and other gadgetry that swung around in front of her face, not to mention the surround sound speakers that popped up at every corner. But it was just too hard and invasive. Then she looked around for the third bed, but all she could find was a sleeping bag in the corner of the room and the floor. She snuggled in and found it just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three Executives came back to the office from getting coffee.

"Someone's been eating my porridge," growled the CIO.

"Someone's been eating my crisps and Jaffa cake," said the CTO.

"Someone's been licking my empty bowl and now I’ll have to wash it all up!" cried the CFO, worried already about the cost of the dishwashing cycle.

"Someone's been sitting in my chair," growled the CIO.

"Someone's been sitting in my chair," said the CTO.

"Someone's been sitting in my chair and they've broken it all to pieces," cried the CFO, thinking it was perhaps fixable with some sticky tape.

They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, the CIO growled, "Someone's been sleeping in my bed, and there’s even a dint in the front wing!"

"Someone's been sleeping in my bed, too" said the CTO.

"Someone's been sleeping in my sleeping bag and she's still there!" exclaimed the CFO.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three Executives. She screamed, "Help!" And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the City. And she never returned to the home of the three Executives.

The moral of this story of sweeping stereotypes and generalisations is that so often, there is a tight knit relationship in any organisation between each of the CFO, the CIO and the CTO. Each brings a different perspective that is essential to the ongoing development of the business. Driving forward technology adoption that delivers business benefit in a cost effective manner should be the mantra for all. A healthy tension and a healthy balance between each of the roles is what is needed – not for one to become the dominant.

Innovate, but innovate to drive value up and costs down

... and you better remember to have better security on the doors whilst you’re at it!

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About Rob Price
COO for Worldline UK&I and member of the Scientific Community
Rob is COO for Worldline UK&I, the European leader in the payment and transactional services industry. He was previously Head of Digital for Atos UK&I, is a member of the Atos Scientific Community and was a founder of the award winning CIO/CTO Atos blog, the predecessor to Ascent. He successfully melds inspiration and creativity with strategic direction and implementation, focusing on driving more efficient and effective exploitation of technology and services to drive positive business outcomes and better connect our clients with their end consumers. The insight gained through both operational delivery roles and strategic Digital evangelist roles ensures that he views the Digital Revolution from multiple perspectives. Find him on twitter @The_Digital_COO

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