Here at MIT Sloan Management Review we’re big fans of the folks at 37 Signals. We use some of their software and we try to follow their ideas about simplicity in everything from product to process. Indeed, their notions about underengineering dovetail nicely with Clayton Christensen‘s much-repeated but still timely theory of disruptive innovation.
In a recent post on the 37Signals company blog, entitled Hire managers of one, CJ Curtis writes that businesses should try to bring on board
…someone who comes up with their own goals and executes them. They don’t need heavy direction. They don’t need daily check-ins. They do what a manager would do — set the tone, assign items, determine what needs to get done, etc. — but they do it by themselves and for themselves.
These people free you from oversight. They set their own direction. When you leave them alone, they surprise you with how much they’ve gotten done. They don’t need a lot of handholding or supervision.