I recently read a post about the difficulties of becoming of CTO and the struggles of no longer being part of the “doing the menial work” crowd as it relates to a web programming department of an organization.
The job of the leader in this instance isn’t to be on the forefront finding and implementing new technologies, but instead to provide guidance on which technologies can be implemented - and when - based on the information provided by the person that researched it.
So often the leader of an organization or department sets boundaries on how far the employees can go with their research, “because I’m the leader and I know from experience what is best”. How do you know what is best now compared to when you WERE in the trenches? Are you prematurely limiting the research based on your prior experience in an ever fast changing market?
Such is the case with innovation within an organization. New ideas or technologies are tossed in the trash before at least a little due diligence has been done on them. Were the ideas too progressive? Too Risky? Too resource intensive? We’ll never know, because you allowed your bias to overrule those that actually have their ear to the tracks watching for the next great train to come along.
You wouldn’t walk into the nearest elementary or high school and tell the teachers not to allow the students to stretch their boundaries of educational discoveries would you? Maybe we should be giving our employees the benefit of the doubt too - because maybe that next discovery will be the one that makes your company great.
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