It seems that every year there are some major changes in the R&D department where I work.
Changes are good to keep people excited, if only people opinions were being listened carefully ;)
It's an high level game where a few bosses call the shots without actually letting people below know what is going to happen.. until it hits.
For example, earlier this year I was given a choice on what direction to take, without actually understanding what that would imply.
The shape of the R&D also seems a bit weird to most of the coworkers. Some of us, express opinions but that has little effect because some bosses out there already made their big pitch and couldn't possibly change direction all of a sudden.
In practice, with time, things usually loosen up and move the way us workers make it move. Changes from the lower levels happen, but they are progressive, slow..
One can go ahead with a certain plan that he doesn't agree with.. and then slowly start moving towards a more feasible direction without hurting too many feelings on the way.
..another problem with high level changes is that one loses commitment from above.
Big plans and hard earned professional respect can fade away. That is not to say that I'm being disrespected, but rather that my skills and commitment can be underestimated.
One thing that hit me, was when the other day I realized that those of us that are better acquainted with the world of graphics won't be sent to this year's Siggraph.
Overall, not going saves me the pain of traveling.. but surely isn't going to help me improve in my field of expertise.
For this reason, aside from pushing research at home, I started pitching my ideas and views of where the company graphics R&D should move to.
The truth is that there aren't many people that can make sense of next generation real-time 3D beforehand.. especially in the non-English speaking world. And it would be a waste to leave such an important topic in the hands of the inexperienced.
So, I really hope that my company will support me in this.. or else I'll just keep doing my thing until it's obvious that I'm the man.. but by then, because of all my free time invested into it, the price of my commitment will be higher ;)