So I woke up this morning to the sound of chainsaws. There’s only one reason there would be chainsaws in the complex – to cut trees. There are two things you simply cannot do in front of me, hurt animals and cut down trees.
I live in a sectional title complex where the body corporate leaves a lot to be desired. They never communicate with the home owners on anything – you simply wake up one morning to find all the trees on the perimeter cut down and your unit is next.
Needless to say, whatever I had planned for the day came to a grinding halt and there was a lot of screaming and shouting and tears instead. We are surrounded by indigenous trees that are 10 years old now. With no input, no consultation and clearly no expertise, our trees are busy being cut down and “trimmed” as we speak. Their explanation “it’s common ground, we have every right”. I’ve spent the last 5 hours shadowing the team, supervising the trees around mine and my immediate neighbours’ units.
Here’s the kicker – the woman who is arranging this “trim”, doesn’t live in the complex full time, anywhere near my unit, nor is she a gardening expert. She wants all the trees round and shaped because she thinks it looks nice. You don’t shape indigenous trees, they are not rose bushes! And in an African style complex!? How I want the trees around my front door has got nothing to do with her! She doesn’t live there, I do. Not only that, but every single tree is covered in new spring shoots, buds and flowers and they are busy being hacked to pieces. Completely the wrong timing for cutting trees. Does this woman know that, or care? No. She makes the garden service cut the dietes into neat round bushes – that should tell you all you need to know about her.
I had to argue with her for over an hour before she relented. Thankfully the tree-feller agreed with me and helped. If this chick had her way, no-one would have any privacy anymore because the trees that shielded units from each other would be flattened. Thank God I was home today – pity the poor other home owners when they get home at 5pm this afternoon to find their trees half the size of what they were. R1500 worth of plants got flattened by the falling branches in my garden.
And why? Because apparently they have suddenly become a fire hazard. There has never been an incident of that nature in this complex or neighbourhood ever. The fire brigade comes annually to check the hoses and they had no problem with the trees. Oh, then because a tree might fall over – they are all relatively young, not one of them is near that stage. Then they decide that the perimeter fence was being affected by the trees. Funny that now that all the trees have been trimmed off or completely cut to the ground on the road side, there is still a problem with the perimeter fence. The electricians are now here. I’ve been living here 5 years – how many times have they communicated in all that time? Eleven. And not about the trees.
Then she says to me, “but you’ll have more light”. I didn’t move here for the light, I moved here for the trees! Don’t make decisions on my behalf when you have no idea what my requirements and preferences are!
Eventually after much consoling by the tree-feller, and letting me personally decide which branches will be cut, let me watch and help, things calmed down. The workers have gone out of their way to make me laugh and ask me about every little branch. Where is the body corporate chick? Left hours ago.
What does this have to do with SharePoint governance? Everything! How are you managing the platform and communicating to your business?
If you don’t have the expertise to run something, you can’t just walk in one day and start switching stuff off because there might be a problem sometime in the future when you have absolutely no history to substantiate this fear. Not when business has been using the platform for years with no problem. Especially not without communicating it to the people it will directly affect. And especially not without investigating the true problem before just revoking people’s access with no warning. Just like we have individual units in my complex with unique needs, so do your business units. And while it’s true some tenants don’t do anything in the garden, I am absolutely passionate about it and spend a fortune on it making sure only indigenous stuff gets planted that will perfectly suit each zone, just like a number of other people here.
How do I feel about the tree felling company, even though they are the ones doing the cutting? Despite wanting to kill the lot of them this morning, I actually like them now, alot. They took the time to listen to me, actually hear what I was saying, take it into consideration, engaged me in the process and found a middle ground were we could both be happy.
How do I feel about the body corporate and that chick? I hate them with a passion and I just want to sell my place and move because I actually can’t their mismanagement anymore.
If you own SharePoint in your company, be very careful what you do on the platform and what you say to your business users. It matters. Get your story straight, get the right expertise in if you don’t have it in-house. And don’t alienate the people that take the most care of the platform by making blanket, baseless decisions that directly affect them. Because if you do, your users will hate you with just as much passion. And then nobody wins.