Dec 18, 2023
It is fun, and not fun at the same time, running an organization.
Communication is tough. Every 2 people would create one channel. Every other person would add multiple factors to the amount of channels. You’ll quickly realize a group of 4 people, we are talking about 6 channels. That’s it, 6 chances of any information to be delivered, out of context, with details cut, and information added.
Alignment is even tougher. Everyone should be opinionated and can be opinionated. Zero alignment is horrible because that means nothing is agreed upon, and not so much thing is going to progress in the right direction. Everything is aligned swiftly, which sounds good on paper, but in reality, it can be a vibe of Louder-takes-all, where alignment is likely to be decided by the highest pay.
Being an orchestra
There’s a great analogy for comparing running an organization to operating orchestra
A successful performance requires a tremendous amount of practice as an individual, well-organized and understanding as a team, and a decisive leader. Everything can go wrong, the piano comes a little bit too fast, the tenor comes a little bit off-pitch, the violin comes a little bit late, and everything can become a disaster in a matter of seconds.
An orchestra composed of so many different teams, some plays in a team, few plays as an individual; seems like not much communication, though there is so much communication is needed to make a great performance.
Though, an orchestra would share the same goal, having a great performance together, and having a great time together; that’s the moment where we all realize, the individual stellar effort is not going to make the night.
We would love to run the organization, as an orchestra
Where we all put the team’s goal to be the top priority. And we all put all our effort into making the team successful because we all know a rockstar would not make a concert.
It’s not about getting the ideal state, we are all humans, and we do make mistakes, we need to work together to get over mistakes and make things work somehow, at the end of the day, we all have a performance to deliver
However, we should not progress with just purely gut feeling. Because everyone’s gut feelings are different. Human beings are very opinionated, every one can give you options on “things”, no matter what their background regarding the context being asked. As such, building a common ground, metric alignment is the most obvious civil way to run a progressive organization.
And, again, everything can be wrong. Our assumptions about anything can be wrong, the world is changing way too quickly for assumptions to say long valid. Approach with zero hubris, that’s the only way to be metric-driven
Where are we?
At Silentium, we are still very early on the journey of being a fine-tuned organization. These are principles we are building our company on
OKR is the key to communication. The goal should be aligned as soon as it is on priority. Metrics should be tracked for us to understand the progress. Frequently check-in is the key to verifying our assumptions, and our understanding. And we can all be wrong, and re-justify our understanding, all the time.
Be systematic, be methodological, and step on our giant’s shoulder. For a lot of things we do, we need a deep understanding of the matter. We don’t want to stay far away and make a guess judgment, we want to stay near to the matter, repeatedly tap it from different angles, systematically, so we learn and progress. To find the fine-tuned, we need to define to our understanding, what the fine-tuned is.
Do fast, break things, learn, and improve, that’s how we can improve decision-making capabilities. Experience comes from time, success, failure, and constant learning. And there’s no shortcut for that
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