Come and join the flock!Peter Drucker said "Culture eats strategy for breakfast," and you'll never see a better example of what that means than when a big company tries to digest a small one. As a helpdesk support tech, Woody had a front-row seat for the merger between his employer, a 100-person shop named Initech, and Megatrode, a hulking giant of a corporation that saw Initech as (according to the stirring on-boarding speech given to Woody's team by one of Megatrode's seven-dozen VPs) "a strategic acquisition in the enterprise space." Drucker's remark became more than just a pithy witticism when the time came to bring Initech's systems in line with Megatrode's Byzantine corporate policies. First on the long list of blanket edicts: "local admin rights for all users".

Woody's boss, Ryan, stumbled into Woody's cube and poured himself into the spare chair. He delivered the new policy with a cheerful "what could go wrong?" But Woody had never seen him look less cheerful: since the merger, Ryan's days had been an endless series of conference calls with Megatrode's Hydra-headed IT departments, trying to address their disparate and frequently contradictory support procedures. Woody was sorry to burst his boss's bubble. "Something already has," he said, pointing to his inbox. "Eleven—make that twelve—users have reported that the shortcuts to the network databases have gone missing from their desktops."

Ryan blinked his dark-rimmed eyes. "What?"

"I'm going to push out a quick batch file to fix the issue. With any luck, it's gremlins." Ryan waved him on, and wheeled himself back in the direction of his own desk.

But it wasn't gremlins. A week later, Woody and Ryan were both peering at their monitors late into the evening, scouring event logs, logon scripts, GPO lists, even antivirus reports. All had been well until that Tuesday morning, when the support inbox had once again become a flood of complaints. Desktops were going databaseless, and their users were stumped. Ryan and Woody were stumped as well, until, admitting defeat, they Googled the problem. The answer had been but a search query away: It turns out Windows knows how much you hate broken shortcuts, and is willing to take matters into its own hands. The guilty maintenance task was run once a week on startup, before the network drives were mapped, dutifully cleaning up the "broken" links.

"Glad we found the problem, and your solution seems to have worked," Ryan told Woody a week later, "But Megatrode's IT Governance committee is anxious to know why we'd never had this problem before. Have you figured that out?"

"It's easy," Woody said: "Windows Computer Maintenance needs local admin rights to delete desktop icons. You can tell them it's one more reason not to let the users be admins."

Ryan waved the proposed argument away. "Thanks, Woody. I'll tell them it's just one more corporate policy successfully implemented. You should know by now that the Megatrode IT group prides themselves on a culture of success."