I was pointed to this article by a colleague - I wonder if he was trying to tell me something, but as I read it i also pondered how this might manifest itself in a small software house, rather than within arguably the largest space research organisation in the world with basically a pretty sizeable budget. How would we see the defiant rebel within our ranks and could I easily identify who that rebel might be?
Here is the problem, we don't have an unlimited budget! end of story! but it is more perhaps, it is also that we already have a culture of "Build it, they will come". I am always frustrated at companies in the market that say to me "let's partner we can create great things, go and get an interested client and we will cost it out for them" ...mmmm I am not sure a car manufacturer would be met with welcome arms if they came to me and said we have an idea please pay us and we will show it when we've finished!" I tend to like to go to a showroom, sit in the test car and feel the options on offer.
So are we all rebels? Do we all always wake up and think of new things to do, probablly not, but I do think it is, at least at the SME level, all down to a culture of empowerment. A balance of giving no direction at all to a team of developers who call out in wails of pain at the lack of a spec, to empowering them to take an outcome and code how that is delivered in the best way it should be. And if they want to add in new features, experiment, repair a historical workaround - ok it's small and not on a scale of NASA but it is the reality at a more modest operation. In a regulated market we can't break the rules, suddenly account differently, but we can think outside the box and listen to clients.
Do you empower your team to wake up and invent new stuff? then watch them turn it a reality and deliver what is essentially a work of art? try it - it's very rewarding.
There is psychological evidence that rebelliousness is essential for creativity. Harvard psychiatrist Albert Rothenberg spent more than five decades researching individuals who had made ground-breaking contributions to science, literature and the arts, seeking to understand what drove their creativity. As part of a broader research project that encompassed structured interviews, experimental studies and documentary analysis, Rothenberg interviewed 22 Nobel Laureates. He found that they were strongly emotionally driven by wanting to create something new, rather than extend current perspectives. He found they consciously saw things with a fresh mindset rather than blindly following established wisdom – two qualities that would seem to suggest a rebellious, rather than conformist, personality.