Enterprise YOLO and Working Like You Don’t Give a Damn


In this article we are going to analyze the YOLO (You Only Live Once) lifestyle and find out if this is a youth culture artifact or if it has a hidden applicability in the enterprise and business world as well.

What is YOLO?

YOLO is labelled by some people as the “Carpe Diem” of millennials. This is not entirely wrong but I think it’s not interchangeable as well. I feel YOLO is a bit more carefree and possibly more destructive in its meaning. Carpe Diem has an emphasis on productivity and creation while YOLO is often used as an excuse to do something you normally would not do on a regular basis. YOLO despites the consequences of your actions and focuses only on the here and now.

Enterprise YOLO?

The enterprise culture parts we are talking about in this article need to be distanced a little bit from the common usage, but hopefully you would still agree, or more importantly, find the approach interesting and maybe even recognize the behavioral pattern from your own experiences. The enterprise YOLO is commonly to be considered as undesirable in the angle of the organization and to be considered a “lazy way” of doing your job. I found several enterprise YOLO spheres but the most curious ones where YOLO Security and YOLO Service Management (ways of phrasing and hash-tagging this vary).

YOLO Service Management

YOLO Service Management is the approach to reduce your own or your team’s activity. Any type of metrics that would give insight to superiors, users, or clients is forged and falsified with every known option in order to make the KPI and SLA report stay green. The YOLO service manager discards all kinds of improvement initiatives that are not immediately returning a value-add. The only exception is for when such initiatives are launched by their own management.

green face in jar street yolo itsm service management infosec information security crop

If that is the case they will try to give as little insight into the low level operations as possible and close their action items in panic mode regardless of the quality or usefulness of the outcome. The YOLO service manager is so stuck in fire-fighting self-created issues, that he or she will be so overpowered by the effect, that they are likely to lose all vision and hope. This is the moment when innovation turns into a negative, harmful thing and ideas become a sword of Damocles.

Cure for the YOLO Service Management

How can you fight this anti-sustainable behavior in service management (or possibly other spheres as well)? Whether you identify this to match your own way of working or someone else’s, this is something that can be overcome and fixed. Don’t take it lightly though, because such cultural aspects of working usually build up over many years. If you are able to prepare a more or less formal case in any form or shape, you can explain easily why things should be done in a way, which accounts for a better tomorrow. You need to put the emphasis on “short term pain, long term gain” strategy.

Martin Luther (1483-1546), German theologist and reformer said:

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

Yes, it is okay to invest a month of effort to sustainably improve the future of the operations and save time on the long run. Because you know time is money and money makes cases. Even reducing the effort of people not directly in your line is desirable. Even if you drop out of the team / organization at some point in foreseeable future, it is desirable to improve the operations. Report actual numbers, highlight problems and work on them, if you hide your pain points, who are you fooling at the end of the day? If you don’t commit to an issue, you won’t get budget for improving it either. If you don’t work transparent you introduce risk to the business, which you accept with your name and role. Check out the related article “10 Things You Can Tweak on Your Service Desk” here on TechAcute to address some of these common problems.

YOLO Security

I found #YOLOSEC to be a very entertaining hashtag to follow on Twitter. Next to #DailyComplianceMeme, it belongs to the group of “oh my gosh, this can’t be true”, but it’s true. The sphere of InfoSec (or Information Security) deals with the protection of data from unauthorized access. With internet based technologies such as the IoT (Internet of Things) or Wearables on the rise this field has grown significantly recently. May it be privacy related or corporate data, it is the duty of the data owner to govern the security and manage access diligently and in adherence to standards.


Some people however represent a weak link in the organizational chain of people who manage data and make decisions. If these people are YOLOSEC practitioners, due to the absence of other practices, they are likely to introduce information risk to governments and their people or enterprises and their staff and clients. Yes, that means you, user who put the terminal password on a post-it note on the desk or display. Yes, that also means you, manufacturer who sets up network devices with the MAC address as password. Yes, that means you, YOLOSEC managers who considers admin/admin a safe and sound access credential to access infrastructure components and shares same with a variety of people – because it’s easy.

Cure for YOLO Security

The cure for bad practices in InfoSec come in baby steps. Awareness is a good start towards a better information security. One way of increasing awareness in the organization is to learn about RESILIA as a tool and set of practices to better protect data and build resilient systems. The CeBIT got it right a few years back already, people who own data need to be demonstrate Datability and be responsible for these assets. Of course you also need more than common sense. You require secure technology, which is configured right and managed right.

The most expensive security solution won’t help you if you have a poorly educated team supporting (or not supporting) these components. If there is news on a new vulnerability and nobody applies a preventive software patch, what’s that technology worth, if open and available for the whole world to make use of? Your users, employees and clients are worth that! If you disregard this, they will look for a place, where they and their data is managed with the right level of professionalism.

Your Thoughts

I hope you found this two primary picks interesting. Have you encountered such behavior before at work or maybe with another company? Are there other Enterprise YOLO fields out there? Please share your thoughts and experiences below. I would love to hear from you. In case you wish to drop a comment based on your direct environment make sure you make an anonymous comment, if you don’t want to post them under your real name. No problem!

Editorial note: These are general negative examples of working behavior. They are made up and not relative to any one or more organizations / teams that could be referenced. This article pursues to inform about such practices and can hopefully help affected individuals to improve the situation for a more efficient tomorrow. The controversy between the title and the spiritual quote is intended and serves to balance neutrality of the article.

Photo credit: Jayel Aheram / James Vela

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isakhttps://techacute.com
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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