Craftsman Hacker Culture: the Key to IT innovation?


The organizations that feed us, manage our money and keep us healthy are leveraging software as a differentiator, yet most of them fail to tap into the intrinsic motivation of their technical staff by embracing the hacker mindset.

It’s clear that even a more modern definition of “hacker” doesn’t quite meet the needs of large enterprises. When these organizations make mistakes, the ramifications are more severe. Conversely, when risks pay off, the benefits are greater.

The good news is that I see a clear recipe for creating a Craftsman Hacker culture:

  • Dedicated unstructured innovation: the key here is really dedicating time to the practice of creating something entirely new without restriction. When pressure and deadlines mount, it’s very easy to delay or cancel periods of unstructured innovation because the value is hard to measure. Sometimes, the results of unstructured innovation don’t pay back immediately or directly since it may be a source of inspiration for an entirely different solution.
  • Focus on pride and quality: we all appreciate fine craftsmanship, high quality and attention to detail. We talk about handmade items with emotion that simply doesn’t exist with mass-produced items. While we want the unbridled creativity that comes from unstructured innovation, we also want to balance that with an eye towards pride and quality.
  • Sustainable pace: many of us have fond memories of pulling all-nighters when we were young. While it sounds impressive, we all know that our best work is not done when we’re sleep deprived.
  • Connect with customers/users: there are many examples of innovative companies that don’t use any customer input in the creation of their products.

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About olivierlehe

Passion for Innovations

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