Fostering Creativity

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Fostering Creativity

  • Steve, I had to read your Fostering Creativity article twice, before I understood what you were describing. Redgate's Down Tools Week is so foreign to my experience, that it doesn't resonate at all with me. I've never been fortunate enough to work anywhere that fostered creativity, to the level you've described. Sounds like it would be exhilarating.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • So this FedEx Day sounds like asking your staff to work 24 hours straight on a company project in order to boost morale... am I being cynical in thinking that this might have the opposite effect?

  • Rod at work wrote:

    Steve, I had to read your Fostering Creativity article twice, before I understood what you were describing. Redgate's Down Tools Week is so foreign to my experience, that it doesn't resonate at all with me. I've never been fortunate enough to work anywhere that fostered creativity, to the level you've described. Sounds like it would be exhilarating.

    It's quite exciting to be there. I've only been there for one, but it is interesting to see how many people are thrilled with the process during the week. They get quite proud of the work they've done.

  • Davis wrote:

    So this FedEx Day sounds like asking your staff to work 24 hours straight on a company project in order to boost morale... am I being cynical in thinking that this might have the opposite effect?

    You aren't asking this, and that's quite the cynical view.

    Companies take a day off from work. I think the original one was 3pm Thur-4pm Fri. Teams self-organize, and they have that period to see what they can accomplish and get done. Some do work longer hours, some don't, but they try to get done what they can in the time allotted. There isn't any agenda or milestone. Teams set their own goals, going as far as they can.

  • "Fostering Creativity".  I think that assigning a specific day or week can be motivating but...

    What I'd rather see is a company that "Fosters Creativity" all the time.  There are multiple ways to do this but the easiest way (IMHO) consists of a mix of the following.

    1. Plan better and remember that an "Emergency on your part" actually DOES "constitute an emergency on my part" because I'm "just" an employee.  Finally make the realization that "If you want something real bad, that's the way you'll usually get it".  Before a manager sets a deadline, talk with the team that's actually going to do the work.
    2. Along with Item 1, don't "punish" people for being late... instead, reward them for doing it right the first time.  Stop enforcing the idea that schedule is more important than quality.  This is a "self-perpetuating" process... the more you do it, the fewer problems you'll have to send back for rework (which usually cost 7-8 times doing right the first time), and the fewer problems you'll have out in the field which actually does cause an emergency all of which means the will be additional time available to do it right to begin with.  You just have to break the current circle of rework to start this off and that will initially seem to take a bit more time.
    3. If the goals of 1 and 2 above can be met, innovation will happen every bloody day because people will have more time to think about how to do it right/better instead of simply being concerned with "what's the fastest way I can get this off my plate".  It might even lead to new ideas to either add to a product or, possibly, be a new product.  THEN if you give folks a week to put an idea into code, the company will actually stand a chance of benefiting from it instead of being used for mental "down time".

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • From the article:

    We usually suspend regular activities from 3pm on Thursday to 4pm on Friday, allowing individuals and small teams to concentrate their efforts on their FedEx Day projects. All meals are provided, and the office is open overnight. On Friday afternoon, we gather to share our accomplishments, and we vote on the 3 best projects.

    I get that the intent is to boost morale. I guess I've just reached an age where overnight work activities don't appeal to me, and this is therefore considered cynical... Maybe the young 'uns enjoy this type of thing.

  • Davis wrote:

    From the article:

    We usually suspend regular activities from 3pm on Thursday to 4pm on Friday, allowing individuals and small teams to concentrate their efforts on their FedEx Day projects. All meals are provided, and the office is open overnight. On Friday afternoon, we gather to share our accomplishments, and we vote on the 3 best projects.

    I get that the intent is to boost morale. I guess I've just reached an age where overnight work activities don't appeal to me, and this is therefore considered cynical... Maybe the young 'uns enjoy this type of thing.

    It's ok by me.  I'm just as cynical about such things and I don't care at all for what I call "Reindeer Games".  If someone wants to boost my morale, then give me a reasonable schedule to do a job right and listen to me when I have an idea.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • That company does allow the office to stay open and some teams/people do work late. Some don't. It's once a quarter, so I think you decide based on your life. At Redgate, we don't expect people to come late, and usually there's dinner catered each night of our week and drinks, so not a lot of late night coding.

    We also have plenty of people in the company not participate.

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