Leadership in technology means more than getting good performance out of your team. It emphasizes superlative performance out of the products that your team produces. Whether your product is Nobel Prize-worthy research, or the next killer app, how can you get your team to demonstrate greatness through the products produced?
The thing I love most about leadership is the way it magnifies my ability to be creative. People bring their special ingredients to the team, and pulling together massively innovative results from their gifts becomes a thing of beauty. That, in fact, is the highest and greatest skill of the technical lead.
While the term collaboration can mean "working together" in a very generic sense, we use it to denote the social processes that lead to greater leaps in creativity. We have also found that highly collaborative and creative workplaces measure much higher levels of job satisfaction among all of the member of the team.
Digital Clones can supply pre-paid, retained services for major project design and launches. Retainers based on a 160 hour (four week) engagement. Send consulting enquiries to Consultants At DigitalClones Dot Biz.
We would also be happy to supply speakers to your organization to present on the principles of LO+FTTM and how they work in research and development teams. Send speaking enquiries to Speakers At DigitalClones Dot Biz.
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Astrophysics was my second academic career. Dissertations take six to ten years to do, and I was determined that I would NOT be graduating when I was forty or older. I decided I'd have to get more out of my computers than just scientific analysis.
From then on, for every research task, I always asked the question, “How can I teach a computer to do this so I don't have to?” So, I taught my machines to do my data management and the primary data measurement activities. I even got my machines to write a third of the dissertation for me.
By teaching machines all these tricks, I did great science in record time. Here's a little table to show what I got done as compared to similar projects prior to mine.
The bottom line is that I figured out how to work nearly 3000 times faster than astronomers typically did back then. These kinds of performance breakthroughs made new approaches to astrophysics possible, especially in the area of large-sample, survey research.
It's the ability to find the new approach that makes high-impact innovation possible. This could be building new products out of off-the-shelf parts like Steve Jobs frequently did. This could be finding out how to get things done ten times faster like I frequently do. The key is the tenacious discipline to learn.
Even in pure research contexts
it's all about problem solving.
Problem solving always begins with
careful problem characterization.
Innovation is the art of turning
a great solution into a great application.