In his book The Design of Design, Frederick Brooks describes his most productive decision as a manager at IBM.
My most productive single act as an IBM manager had nothing to do with product development. It was sending a promising engineer to go as a full-time IBM employee in mid-career to the University of Michigan to get a PhD. This action … had a payoff for IBM beyond my wildest dreams.
That engineer was E. F. Codd, father of relational databases.
Related post: Many hands make more work