I've seen careers made and broken based on whether people got to play thinker or doer.
This makes rewards for thinking very lopsided. However the problem is that actual credit for success REALLY belongs with the people who did the work.
This problem shows up at every scale in every organization. For example there are hundred people who want to be the business side of a startup for every person who wants to build the tech. Why? The business person gets to be the thinker, the developer does the work. And then the business person expects to become the CEO and get the bulk of the payout!
However these cases are the exception, not the rule. As a rule ideas are cheap, implementations are hard. And success has more to do with iterating on the implementation than the starting ideas.
But that transformation involved nearly destroying the company first, getting himself ousted. Then recreating MacOS as a UNIX platform for a market that did not want it, only to be finally integrated by the dying Apple as a Hail Mary play by both Jobs' and Apple.
Jobs' get a lot of credit for the vision, and even the execution. But it could have turned out lots of different ways. If Pixar had not been successful (in no small part because of Jobs dumping millions and millions of his own money into it), one could imagine NeXT not being bought by Apple.
> However the problem is that actual credit for
> success REALLY belongs with the
> people who did the work.
> And I didn't say that the doer always
> deserves the credit.
Take my Steve Jobs example. Do you really think that he didn't work hard?
What matters is the technical skill to make the idea go from a fantasy to a reality semi-reminiscent of the idealized fantastic version, whether that skill is in business, accounting, programming, marketing, or whatever.
You can execute as hard as you want, but if you're headed in the wrong direction, the only good thing that's going to happen is that you're going to learn when ideas really are important.
The real pain is making a decision and expending resources on your challenging/risky idea. There's very little appetite for the responsibility and risk that come with big ideas (in a BigCo).
Got the ability to think up new ideas, sell them within an organisation, and get them executed (hello 'doer') in a way that provides value to that organisation? You're gold, and worth way more than the 'doer'.
No one can "have" this ability because it's transient. Unless you control the entire corporation (in which case you don't need to influence anyone else anyway), there is always someone who can come in and break your previously-perfect ability to "sell" your ideas inside the org. You're claiming that artful politicians (or, more blatantly, "good bullshit artists") are more valuable than skilled engineers. I don't believe that.
The valuable thing in a big company isn't the idea; it's the way the idea is executed. You'd be amazed what kind of nonsensical ideas will work if your team gets it just right.