"The latest news about engineers discriminating other divisions of a company may be a shock to some, but insiders know about this issue very well. Furthermore, the trend is catching on. These days, tech companies are proudly flying the flag of "Engineers Rule" or "Engineer First Organization." Such kind of thinking is not only arrogant, but it's also dangerous for start-up companies.
Let's step back a bit. Imagine Apple and Intel to be heavily invested in such "engineers rule" kind of mentality. Who would come up with catchphrases like "Think Different" or "Intel Inside?" Let's be honest. For engineers who are always working with algorithms, numbers, and formulas, they would never come up with such slogans. And yet, those slogans are some of the pillars that lead to the success of the companies that own them.
Balance Versus Bravado
We get it. It is only natural to think that your profession is more important when compared to others. However, the reality is that a company has to be made up of different divisions. In order to succeed, each department needs to learn how to pull together as one. Encouraging such "engineers rule" mentality will not help and it only creates a divide between departments. Hence, it's better to adopt a balanced approached in which every division is deemed essential in its own way.
So, How Do We Achieve Balance?
Achieving balance is not easy as it can be tricky. However, you can start with these suggestions:
- Be comfortable with hiring individuals that are better than you. It's not in your best interest to become a rockstar at everything. It's not only exhausting if you attempt to do so, but it's also impossible to achieve.
- Hire ethical, proven, and experienced people managers. This may translate to hiring individuals that are older. Just as long as they are good at doing their jobs, most people won't care.
- Cultivate your managers. Once a manager is hired, take the time to develop a professional relationship. This means that you will need to communicate and agree on issues that significantly affect your company outside the engineering lab. Effective communication, employee management, exceptional integrity, and innovative thinking are only a few of the many aspects that you can develop with your managers.
- Emphasize the significance of every employee and every division. This is crucial. If certain divisions are favored or discriminated, then this could bog down the entire system, and may even spell demise.
The idea of promoting a balanced ideology may not be edgy or hip, but you can be sure that folding your company will be a lot worse. As a start-up, it's critical that the right people are assigned to the right jobs. More importantly, it's crucial that everyone in the company learns how to pull together as one. Promoting one division as "superior" does not encourage teamwork, but does quite the opposite.