Who's driving the innovation in your organization? How many products or projects are on the ideas of individual engineers?
I'm not talking about allowing programmers to introduce minor features in the product. I am talking about full blown products here which take sizable time and organizational support to build. Engineers building full blown applications like teams of artists painting amazing pictures based on their own visualization.
There are two benefits to letting your programmers drive innovation in your organization.
- They have built in bullshit busters in their heads and can sense what will sell and what wont.
- They tend to be much more intrinsically motivated when they are working on their own ideas.
Go jot down the list of products that your organization is offering. How many of these product ideas came from "management" Vs. how many of them emerged out of "engineering" teams?
If you are wondering why your engineers aren't creating products that kick some serious butt, or why your products miss that final "wow factor" your answer might lie in the fact that your engineers aren't intrinsically motivated.
When you see engineers as cogs who build ideas that others think of and occasionally make a few changes here and there, that is exactly how your engineers work.
When you see engineers as artists, they will paint awesome pictures that make a dent in the universe.
What do you see your engineers as?
Just a little something to think about.