I've recently taken to thinking about leadership, businesses, and why many of them fail. And having finished the Phoenix Project novel about applying a more holistic approach to business towards an IT department I began wondering how to go about creating the utopia that the book seems to end with. If you haven't read The Phoenix Project, I highly recommend it, but if you want the TLDR version, here is a long sentence that doesn't give anything away.
The Phoenix Project is a fictional / how to hybrid novel describing how a company with a deeply flawed culture gap between IT, engineering, and the rest of the company can change how they work and in turn take a failing company to a wildly successful company in a very short time.
Of course, I want to work at a company that sees and treats the engineering department more than just a machine that produces the products that make money. Engineers are a clever bunch, we creatively solve difficult problems for a living. I believe that we could provide so much more value if we were invited to help solve some of the business problems rather than just a room full of MBA's.
Of course, that's crazy talk, right? Why would we want to step outside of engineering and into the political waters of the C-Suite?
For one, we might be able to fix the toxic culture that has developers and designers switching jobs every year or two. We might even be able to help more companies survive and thrive in an ever-changing marketplace. We might even build the right product for the customers and change people's lives.
I've seen far too many companies where danger is approaching, but the direction the company is looking is everywhere but that dark, stormy cloud. What is especially infuriating to me is that oftentimes (every time in my personal experience) the boots on the ground employees see the darkness coming, and even have really good suggestions that go unheard or worse, punished.
This is why I want to learn the full-stack of business so that I can have a holistic view, speak the language of every team, and hopefully, help some amazing companies succeed and do good to their clients and employees at the same time.