Fascinating piece in the Financial Times about a practice called "dogfooding," in which high level executives spend time on the front lines.
Examples cited in the story:
"The act of testing your own product or service has been dubbed 'dogfooding' in the technology world. It traditionally took place in software development but the use of the term has since expanded to refer to other employee initiatives such as spending time in frontline roles.
"When DoorDash was created in 2013 the founders carried out deliveries themselves out of necessity. Its WeDash initiative, which began in earnest in 2015 before being paused during the pandemic, has turned a necessity into company policy." The company's co-founder and head of consumer engineering, Andy Fang, says, “One thing that makes this programme so effective here is the fact that the founders and the company leadership team engage in it very passionately.”
Fang "recently used it to test the feasibility of using e-bikes for deliveries, partly as a response to rising petrol prices and concerns over environmental sustainability. He describes WeDash as a way for staff to understand the company culture, stay in touch with frequent changes to the product, and to provide feedback on how to improve the service."
FT writes, "Such practices are not confined to the technology sector. Ahead of becoming Burger King chief executive in 2013, Daniel Schwartz worked in its restaurants, flipping burgers and learning how other roles in the business worked."
- KC's View:
I love it.
Perhaps more c-level executives would have a better sense of exactly how essential those front line employees are, and how deserving of investment, if they actually had to do their jobs for an extended period of time.