Knocking down the firewall

In the last few months I have joined the Spring intake for HRM Diploma and have been working with colleagues in the IT department to get access to this site. I originally found that the company firewalls would not permit access as it was classified under social media which was forbidden under the internet use policy.

 I had to provide a rationale as to why I needed access to this site and have this endorsed by my manager. Despite my compliance to this request I was refused. I then took the tack of going to speak to the people in the team directly and discussed why the site was so necessary. I added that the course was part of my professional development which was being sponsored by the business and that through the site I would access both essential course material and fellow students where discussions were being held that I could both learn from and contribute to.

Following this meeting I was passed from one person to another person as if no one wanted to make a decision. Each time I made the same argument. I finally concluded in the email that swung the decision that it seemed foolish that an organisation would fund me in both financial and time terms but then deny me access to the very materials I needed to complete the course. At that point it seems someone saw the sense in my application and decided to switch me on. Only took 5 weeks but persistence paid off in the end. An important lesson to us all. If you really want it don’t let go.

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  • Hi Andrew

    Agree with Mike here, great example of the right way to approach this and well done for sticking to your guns and effectively challenging the decision with valid business justification.

    I'm sure others will benefit from reading this thanks for sharing. If anyone else is struggling to access the site from work for these reasons then get in touch with Mike as I'm sure he can help with a case to get it unblocked.

    Remember a core behaviour in the HR profession map is 'Courage to Challenge' and as Mike as said this a great example of bringing this behaviour to life.

    Well done x 2


  • Thanks so much for sharing Andrew as I think these sorts of things need to be shared. By it's very nature this network can be viewed a social network as as such gets put in the same category as Facebook and Twitter by most firewall tools. If it isn't then those who make decisions have the power to block or forbid it's use because of a lack of understanding of what this site can offer and provide to support development.

    If it is blocked then it's an even harder sell sometimes as it means the web address has to be 'whitelisted' so it gets through the firewall and can be accessed. This is possible however and relatively straight forward to do by any IT or data security team. I worked for RBS for a long time so I'm familiar with anti social policies and internal policies that are out of date to the modern world.

    Ultimately though and as you've demonstrated we should have the courage to challenge and present clear reasons why this site and other similar sites can support development. We are adults and should be trusted to use this site with due care and use it to support our development both personally and professionally.

    Well done and a great example for others who may come up against this.

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