Work

Section on Work

Vision

  • A company needs to be moving in the same direction with minimal waste.
  • Scrum encourages high velocity movement in the right directon that aligns everyone in the company along the goals.
    • These goals are the OKRs which themselves are a way to get to the Vision
    • A company must be able to accelerate over time and every person on the team must be able to accelerate over time as well.
    • It is important to create this culture of rapid tempo if you want to make change.
  • A scrum works in short intervals of time such as a week to a month
    • The goal is to get everyone to figure out their tasks
    • Everyday they need to move towards the goal
      • Impediments must be removed
    • Experiments that go towards the goal must be promoted regardless of who created them
  • The whole company needs to move as one.
    • That is the goal and objective of the scrum.
    • It is to relentlessly remove things to focus on the core that can get done in any iteration.
    • It is to have deliverables that you can show at the end of every sprint.
      • There MUST be deliverables that you can see and use.
      • It must be concrete.
    • It must lead to the objectives of the company.
  • An organization needs to know the “Why?” for its existence.
    • Why are you around?
    • Why are you the one that needs to be around?
    • Why do what you are doing?
    • This why is what leads the company forward even when the original team may leave.
    • The How and What you do may change but you need to know your Why.
  • The Why defines the culture of the company
    • Culture espouses a set of behaviors of the people who work there.
    • If your Why is to get rich fast then it will create a risk taking culture that may be amoral.
    • If your Why is to enact a change in the world that will enact a different type of behavior.
    • The Why creates a culture that exists long past the founder.
      • You need a strong Why to ensure that as the company goes forward in time and gets new people and old people leave that the Why is still there.
      • Companies that are led by their Why and who don’t forget their Why thrive while those that don’t go extinct.
  • Don’t base your Why on another entity losing.
    • If you beat your competitor than why do you exist?
    • You need to a bigger Why that is for a bigger, grander vision.
    • Think of examples of people who built things but didn’t really have a Why.
      • Alexander conquered but his empire collapsed as soon as he died.
      • HP and IBM lost their ways.
      • Microsoft for a long time forgot what it was before Satya Nadella returned
  • Organizations need a strong Why to also act as a motivational force.
    • When job A is no different from job B why does an employee stick around?
    • When you give a strong Why, your team has a vision of what it is trying to achieve.
    • When you have a strong Why, all of your team is aiming towards the same target.
  • The Why defines your fight, grounds your troops, and leads you forward when things get tough.
    • And things will get tough.
    • Companies are hard and things don’t always work the same way all the time.
    • You will have hard times and you will have good times but it is important that you move forward in strong manner and you Why will help you with that goal{

Why

When I first started out I had this vision of my company as performant, efficient, cost effective, environmentalism and yada yada yada. Unfortunately, it made my vision overtly ineffectual because what was I targeting? Was I targeting cost cutting, was I targeting efficiency, was I tareting performance.

One of the biggest thing that Lean Startup, Make it Stick, Lean Analytics, Startup Owner's Manual, Crossing the Chasm say is defining the vision. And simplify it. You should have a couple of words to describe what you are trying to do. This is what that goal is going after.

So I've settled on "No Idle Server"

This is great because I can see if the vision of the company can be fulfilled by this goal. Acksin's goal is that. By defining a vision for the tool I can align everything else around it. Decisions actually become easier because I can see if what I am working on fulfils that mission for the product.

Values / How

  • Define your values beforehand.
    • The values are your constitution on how your company should behave and what the employees should do when things are uncertain.
  • Things to define in your values
    • How do you make decisions?
    • Are you thinking short term or long term?
    • How do you get over two decisions when people disagree?
  • You values should also acknowledge things like what is expected of your team.
    • How are they to behave?
    • What is their relationship to the customer?

CEO

To be a leader is to push a single vision and enable others to move it forward.`

The CEO Job is really a Chief Visionary Officer role. However, initially it means doing Sales, Marketing, Value Delivery, Value Creation and Finance. The eventual goal is to for the CEO to focus on hiring key people to handle the individual units and focus on long-term vision and creating a solid culture while delegating operational responsibility.

However, this requires that tasks are delegated from the CEO to others or there is an operational person who can actually take the vision and put it into practice.

Roles

  • Vision Setting
  • Hiring Key People
  • Culture

Leadership and Culture

Mission

  • The What is the operational side of the organization.
    • You can have a Why but to attain your Vision you need the What and How.
  • This What and How will change over time since nothing really stays the same and the industry is always moving forward.
    • But your Why should stay the same regardless of What you do.

COO

  • If the CEO is the Vision person, the COO is the guy who takes the Vision and makes it applicable to the now.
    • Usually, when a company starts out this is the same role.
    • You are getting started and you need to figure out the future but work backwards and use the now.
  • However, after a company grows the roles need to be split.
    • A Visionary need to be thinking about the future and what arenas to play in.
    • The Operations person needs to optimize the present and get value from that.

Mission

  • Once you have figured out Why and your Values it is time to actually create a Mission.
    • The mission is different from the Vision in that the Mission is that What you are going to do to get closer to your Vision.
    • The mission can change but it the major goal of your company and how it will play in the market.
    • The mission includes What you are going to do and When you are going to do it can also likely be time boxed so that you have a timeframe for achieving your goal.
  • The mission defined What you are going to do and it has to be specific.
    • The Mission is most specific than the Vision in that it boxes in what you will do.
    • It is easy to get distracted doing a bunch of things so it is better to not do them and having a clear Mission in terms of What you are playing helps make sure that you are not entering or working on unrelated products or services.
    • The Mission is a way to focus the organization’s efforts.
      • Focus is super important for any organization as it is just as important where you are not playing as it is in where you are playing.
      • Playing in too many locations means playing a multi-fronted war and multi-fronted wars are never successful as you divide your teams energy.
  • The mission can also define the When.
    • Say you are going to do a political campaign you will likely have a specific deadline that you need to achieve that deadline.

Hiring

When hiring ask what of their skills they can bring to the table.

You have to create trust and belonging

• There needs to be a way to bring people into the family

• Ask them what specific skills they have that helps them work better

• Have them somehow belong to the group.

• This will allow them to feel like they are belonging to the group in a bigger way. Creates a ritual.

• Have to reinforce this behavior over time.