By Kevin Tatterson
At one level or another, I’ve managed for nearly 10 years. One of my favorite philosophies goes like this: "Hey Kev, what is <team-member> doing?" And I say, "I have no idea."
In reality, I probably have a rough idea of what most of my 3D Development team is doing most of the time. But I certainly don’t track every movement. In my experience, the more micro the management, the less the 'magic'. What is the 'magic', you ask? 'Magic' is when one of your team members does something amazing – something unexpected – something transformative.
There are three variables that control the amount of 'magic':
- Trust. A powerful variable. Every team member knows that I’m not going to watch their every movement – I trust them with whatever autonomy I expect for their level.
- Boredom. Someone (quote pages say “Anonymous”) once said, “Boredom, like necessity, is very often the mother of invention.”
- Creativity. Every human is driven to satisfy their creative need. Don’t just take it from me – this is stuff from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Think I’m crazy?! Consider a couple facts:
- Google employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time on a project of their own design. Gmail and Google News are just a couple projects that have come of this.
- Amazon has an award for employees that you can only get if you do something great but didn’t ask permission.
Spatial’s approach, like most other software companies, is a bit fragmented. We’ve tried one week hack-a-thons (about every couple three months), I’ve tried the "don't tell me what you’re doing" approach… and we have seen some really cool results! The results are divided between research, productivity tools, and some efforts turn into actual Product level projects.
Still think I’m crazy?! What is your approach?