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Chapter 54. Change Agents > Fashion Leaders

Fashion Leaders

In the software field, a noisy technical brouhaha is probably more common than a monastic team of developers quietly coding in their private cells. In very loosely run groups of innovation-oriented individualists, the technical charisma of a few focal developers can be an important factor in bringing new practices into the firm and in modeling them for others. Every company has some technical superstars who tend to be first into the ring with any new technology. Whether these technical fashion leaders are effective as change agents depends largely on the kind of organization in which they work. Where creative chaos reigns, informal leadership based on recognition by peers as the best and the brightest among them is often far more effective than front-office direction or even the best of training programs. If you are surrounded by ruggedly independent coding cowboys and cowgirls, yet want to see the spread of a new development practice or technology, look around to see who leads the technical fashions. To whom do others look for trends in tools and techniques? These are the natural leaders you want to recruit to your cause as agents of change.


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