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TBM 39/52: Joyful Complex Work
Here is (most of) the thread:
Doing research with developer teams, something that really strikes me is how much people look for ways to make complex problems easy rather than make it easy to work on complex problems
What I mean is, sometimes it's really useful to admit we just are trying to accomplish tough things. Asking how we can support our teams who NEED the time and space to work through that, it's often a much more tractable lever than trying to change the inherent nature of the work
I think it behooves me to say as a psychologist here that I think people are actually really excellent at working on complex problems! It's one of the reasons research with developers is so great. Overall devs love to learn, love to be curious, love to innovate. It is core stuff.
What would it look like if we could ask, "how do I make this the absolute best environment for complex problem-solving" instead of "how do I take away all these annoying hard problems." The stuff we want to accomplish in the world is hard. But can be joyful to accomplish.
So much to think about! Don’t share this post with coworkers. Share Cat’s thread.
I don’t have anything to add at the moment, but I do have a question for you!
When we reframe the goal as “making it easier to work on complex problems” (vs. making complex problems easy) what comes to mind?
What describes an environment that is conducive to joyful work on complex problems?
What have you seen work?
PS: I’m very excited to be chatting strategy with Ibrahim Bashir (VP of Product at Amplitude) who writes one of my favorite Substacks Run the Business. Today/tomorrow Thursday, September 8. Will be recorded.