Defining a hero in your organization is probably correlating to the gap of knowledge availability in the organization and his private knowledge.
But what is a hero? From wikipedia “hero (male) and heroine (female) came to refer to characters (fictional or historical) that, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self sacrifice”
Let us define danger in the IT world. danger will be the loss of ones reputation due to failure to execute.
Using that logic a Hero is a man who delivers an IT solution.
But what does the gap of knowledge availability and personal knowledge have related to delivery?
Everything! not knowing how to solve an issue prevents you from delivery and the more complex and the less information the harder it is to deliver.
Heroes are created when they display their abilities to know some thing that is not clear and takes some experience and thus both put their reputation on the line for a job every body else is trying to avoid and save the companies reputation.
We all know that all Service providers are in need of keeping up with other entities and keeping its reputation and market positioning.
Professional Service agencies are measured on quality and reputation that represent the abilities of the workers and their capability to deliver.
The environment where these heroes grow in is typically a selfish and hiding environment where people are fighting on knowledge sources and tend to hide the knowledge in private means.
Heros, as we all know, were very proliferate in the dark ages and later. they were very proliferate in combats and usually were holding a story of surviving in the place where no other man has survived. but if no other man has survived where is the information to make them a hero? the lack of that information made them the hero’s they could be. i can extend my argument to which’s and magic that today is no more then acts and herbal medicine. the more proliferated the information is the less likely we are to see an extraordinary phenomena and when we meet one we know that it just something we dont know yet.
Now lets get back to the Professional services age and the IT Heros.
If the information is collected in a Content Management system or a collaborative means it is usually becomes more available with time. but that is only true when people share, and sharing is a conjunction of the environment they are in.
So what will be a good environment to get people to share.
There are a few reasons why you wont share:
- Over competitive environment where your performance is directlly linked to your compensation
- Protecting your existence in the company
- Environment that is ruled by a secretive manager who divides and concures
So technology in this case is not going to share the content between people unless they get an incentive to do so.
My guess is that when companies devour the Hero culture they embrace the team environment.
Cultivating the team as a value in a company that usually is scattered across clients is quite hard and requires the effort of the managers and the instantiation of technology.
I assume that team building will be poised at the top of the companies pedestal but the question is what actions will be put into place to support this.
I guess that in my opinion the yearly team meet is not the greatest and a more regular team gathering is in place.
another thing is putting the compensation to extra effort like bonus as a team bonus.
Will this stop the neanderthal hero from coming back?
I am not sure.