I’m fascinated by the word “Rogue”, depending on the situation it has either a positive or a negative connotation.    In the following piece it is looked on as a negative, which reinforces a somewhat troubling aspect of corporate culture.

Recently the company I work for relocated.  Once we moved, I realized that my office was quite far from any shared printer location.   Our IT manager had a very precise plan of what printers would be utilized in the new building and where they would be located.  During the course of the move I also uncovered a stack of old printers,  leftovers from an asset acquisition of a former competitor.   In order to save time for myself, I grabbed a printer, brought it to my office and set it up.   This seemed to me a reasonable utilization of an otherwise unused piece of equipment. 

I also knew when I set up this Rogue Printer, that I would be violating the IT printer policy.  IT wanted only certain printers in use.  This would help minimize support costs and time.    A standardization process that I appreciated, but I set it up anyway.   I even located it on the floor under my desk in order to avoid detection.  The printer works great, I even found some extra toner for it in the stack of leftover equipment.  Enough supplies to keep it supported for a few years at my current consumption.

So, what’s the parable or dilemma here?  I took an action in spite of a policy against it, to utilize a resource and aid my individual productivity.  I relied on judgment instead of a prescribed policy in order to make a decision.   My problem is that this willingness to act, show initiative if you will, should be the company culture.   The IT guys will argue that too many printers run amuck will not be an efficient use of their time and resources.  I argue that my actions do not require their support and therefore should not be opposed on these grounds.

The bigger issue is creating a corporate culture where people are encouraged to take calculated and well thought out risks.