TBM 51/53: Coherence > Shallow Autonomy

A short reprint post today as I watch my temperature creep above 102°F. Fingers crossed. With with 61,569 new covid cases and 407 covid deaths today in California, I'm not all that hopeful. And the ideas aren't there. Onwards…

A big lesson from the last year. Your most passionate team members will expect leaders to frame a coherent strategy. This is where autonomy and empowerment often hits a snag. Leaders assume it means "bottom up" planning. But that isn't it.

Writing up three vague bullets on a "vision" slide is easy. Also easy is planning out every chunk of work for the year. Much harder is detailing a strategy that leaves room for creativity and agency. And is also coherent, backed by evidence, and opinionated.

Opinionated? Isn't that bad?

Not when opinionated at the right level. Passionate problem solvers want to know that their company has a perspective. And doesn't want to be everything/anything. "Um hey, so what are your OKRs" doesn't land.

These passionate team members can sniff out the drift into mediocrity from a mile away. So the trick is going beyond a surface level of context. People crave smart context over shallow attempts at promoting self-organization.


In lieu of something longer, here are some potentially interesting bits of content: