Another idea that hit just today morning in my mind while connecting the dots of what I have seen in my life multiple times is that you shall always make a pair of a technical associate (fresh out of the college after diploma or engineering) with a functional recruit from the world of business or MBA or CA for the functional roles. This combination as they join the same organization and gets assigned to the same project together form a great bond between the two resources which has multiple benefits that I thought of -
1. Empathy - A mindset which gets developed during engineering or MBA is totally different as everyone is doing the same course and in the same pair of thinking shoes. But as and when interchange happens, it brings in empathy between the two resources that have just joined and got a single computer system to work or the same computer lab to sit. Generally, we are confined in our own thoughts and thinking patterns so it's a necessity to think from another person's point of view.
2. Develops Technical and Functional Skills - This exercise also develops the technical skills of the functional associate and the functional skills of the technical guy who may be a JAVA developer or C# developer. As they start their career together in the same organisation it creates a camaraderie which is a necessity in the Software industry. I am not sure if this practice is enabled already but if not it's a worthwhile exercise.
3. Curiosity - All this can only work if the new recruits have the curiosity to enter the territory they have never seen before or maybe part of it earlier but couldn't develop an interest in the same. We all change as our mind grows and what seems to be a difficult task earlier during our education phase may feel like an easy task now. So always keep challenging your brain and mind to solve something which the world is struggling for.
4. No Project Pressure Initially - This bond doesn't have the pressure to perform in the initial days or months so they have plenty of time to venture into each other's territory. Though this is based on the intent shown by each individual towards learning and developing themselves.
5. Trust - As they share the bond from their initial struggle of knowing the unknown, they start to develop trust in each other and that's how the culture gets formed within the organisation. Trust is not easy to come so it takes time to build and grow but you will see people in the same boat fighting the same monsters or the hole in the boat will have much more trust in each other.
Initially, at the start, a thought might come to the persons that there is not going to be any benefit by cross-skilling themselves but in the long run it's always better for the person as well as the organisation. I have seen them grow into some of the competitive people who get picked by the competition so quickly and offered great packages and roles. I wish I could have thought likewise during my initial days in the software industry when I started 15 years ago but I have never shown the eagerness to learn the technical part of the programme. Though I have my own strengths which I feel is solving the problems at hand and also foresee if something doesn't go as planned. I love creating something unique for which I can be admired and that's what I am trying to do here too by sharing my knowledge and thoughts with you all.
This idea can be implemented in many industries where there is inter-dependency between the management and technical roles so as to create a culture of respect, mutual trust and dependency on each other. Let me know in your comments and tweets.