It’s always good to consult an expert.
Phil Sanderson, a venture capitalist with over 20 years of investment experience in the video game industry, shares some insights on where he is looking for the next big thing in gaming.
If you were to ask me, what the key underlining strategy of my management approach is, the answer to that would be easy — “PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT”.
For as long as I can remember, almost every decision I’ve made as a leader, has had people development as key aspect or consideration when I made the decision. I learned early on in my leadership career, that if you take care of your people, and work hard to develop them, everything else will take care of it’s self.
I’ve worked with a lot of different types of leaders through out my career and the one trend that is the most noticeable is that the managers who put lots of time and effort into developing their teams and finding ways to increase their teams knowledge level, typically have the most success. They have highly engaged and effective teams that are prepared to make decisions and to follow through on commitments. The leaders themselves have more time to be strategic thinkers instead of fire fighters. Time for strategic thinking allows the leader to continue to look for ways to strengthen the abilities of their team. This creates a cycle that allows for long term and sustainable success.
I’m sure if you are reading this, you probably already buy into the concept of People Development, but here are some of the Key benefits of having a leadership style that emphasis it:
Employee Engagement - One of key drivers of employee engagement is the feeling by an individual that they are progressing and/or learning new skills. Fostering an environment that prioritizes people development will allow all involved to feel like they always have the ability to learn and try new things.
Increased Ability and Capacity - Probably the most obvious benefit is that by creating a framework for people to learn new things and develop new skills, you are creating a team that has the ability to do existing tasks with more proficiency, and more then likely, at a quicker rate. You are also putting your team in a position to take on more complex tasks.
Reduction in Staffing Costs - This is not talked about a lot, but one of the biggest benefits to investing your time and resources into people development is that it leads to reduce costs in regards to staffing. Anybody that’s had to hire an experienced Developer or Project Management knows that they don’t come cheap. So instead of hiring somebody that already has a ton of experience and skill, take the time to create one. You will benefit from the fact their skill and experience will develop at a pace far greater then the compensation they will get. The hirer engagement will also lead to a greater level of loyalty and longevity within your team and company.
Time - This may seem counter intuitive, how would you possibly have more free time as a leader if you are spending a lot of time focusing on people development? The reason is very simple; if you have well trained and engaged people, you spend less time fire fighting. Think about the amount of time as a leader you spend putting out fires. Now thinking about why that is? How many times has somebody within your organization made a poor decision based on a lack of insight or knowledge? You are now required to jump in and solve that problem. Creating an organization of well trained people, allows them to make better decisions, which allows you to not have to put out fires all the time, which allows you more time to be a strategic thinker (Not a reactive one).
“People Development” is not something you do, its something you should live as a leader. Think of your investment in the success of people on your team as a direct investment in your own success.