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The start of the journey

At the beginning, I sat in a powhiri, a Maori ceremony of welcome, for an ISO conference on IT Governance which just happened to be in Wellington, New Zealand, because my friend Alison Holt is the chair of that particular standards committee.

One of the conference attendees, Mike Taitoko, got up and introduced his tangata whenua - his tribe, his place, his people, which helps define who he is - in Maori, and gave us a Maori proverb.

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

Something about that proverb coalesced a mass of ideas in my head, brought together a knot of many threads. It moved me, and I knew what my next book was about: He Tangata, it is the people.

Of course that is not enough to fill the first page. As I thought about it I realised how out of my depth I am. All my books to date have been about familar topics. the books capture what I know and believe. This one has the passion and belief but not so much the knowing. I want to write about IT culture and IT culture change, and how by focusing on those we can make everything else work so much better. I understand culture change, I have read a lot, I've even done some. E.g. I helped 80 software techs change a little with a course I designed and delivered. But it is not a familar stamping ground. Until I grok it, the writing does not flow.

What does one do? I called on trusted local friends and colleagues to help; organised a workshop, a brainstorm.

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