On a recent trip I had a layover in a major airport.\u00a0 I had just a few minutes before the next plane started to board.\u00a0 But I was starving and decided to get something to go from a major food chain in the terminal.\nI ordered chicken strips and rice to go and started making my way to the gate.\nWhile walking to the gate it occurred to me to look in the bag to make sure I had dipping sauce (after all, you MUST have dipping sauce for chicken strips!).\u00a0\nI realized there was no sauce, nor a fork or a napkin.\nSo I rushed back to the restaurant as the loudspeaker announced that my flight was now boarding.\nThings are getting scary\nI got the attention of one of the workers and asked if there were any dipping sauces.\u00a0 She responds \u201cyes\u201d \u2013 and I\u2019m waiting for her to finish the sentence.\u00a0 You know, tell me what kind of sauces you have and ask me which one I want.\u00a0 She just stares at me.\u00a0\nSo I ask her to tell me the flavors of sauces, which she does. But she does so in a disinterested way and shows no interest in serving me. So I tell her which flavor I want and she goes off somewhere to get the sauce.\nShe comes back a few minutes later with the sauce and I ask her about the fork.\u00a0 She just points in a general direction that is obvious to her but clueless to me.\u00a0 So I head over in that direction and finally locate the forks behind some other condiment items.\nIn the Twilight Zone\nBy this time I\u2019m wondering if I\u2019m in the Twilight Zone or something.\u00a0 Did I just have an encounter with a zombie?\nWhat happened to customer service? \u00a0What about being engaged with your customer? That lackluster experience left a lot to be desired and certainly created a bad impression for that restaurant chain.\nI ran to my gate and as I stood in line to board, I tried to parse things out.\u00a0 Why did this experience have to be so difficult?\u00a0 Why didn\u2019t the staff provide what they knew I would need in the first place?\u00a0 And why when I went back for help was I met with disinterest and apathy?\nZombies haunting your IT department?\nAnd as I replayed the incident I thought about how we in IT can treat our business partners in similar ways. We get focused on our own agenda or we aren\u2019t curious enough to really understand our business partners\u2019 needs and concerns.\u00a0 So we end up delivering the wrong things, or not delivering at all.\nSo as we approach this Halloween season, I\u2019d like to put the challenge out to all IT leaders: ask yourself if you have a zombie culture within your IT organization:\n\nIs your IT staff engaged with your business partners in a way that meets business objectives?\u00a0\nAre your IT folks focused on their agenda instead of a collaborative partnership with your business stakeholders?\nDo your business partners view IT as a necessary evil rather than a trusted partner and adviser?\n\n\u00a0If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you may have some zombies lurking in your IT department.\u00a0 It\u2019s time to disinfect your organization of these zombies before they completely take over and you end up needing to find another job! \u00a0Now that\u2019s a scary thought!