As much as chaordic organizations embrace chaos, they don’t forgo structure altogether.
Here are some frameworks that high performing teams embrace.
♻️High velocity feedback loops
Most of the startup world is well acquainted with the theory of agile development laid out in The Lean Startup
, but the concept of high velocity feedback loops doesn’t just apply to product development.
Feedback loops, and more specifically the velocity of feedback loops, is important in every aspect of your company.
When I say velocity I mean both the speed and quality in which feedback is processed.
Quick feedback loops with crappy inputs help no one. Slow feedback loops with high quality feedback is better, but your competition will quickly outcompete you.
As a leader you must be looking to shorten the time it takes to receive feedback, and increase the quality of each cycle.
To increase the quality of feedback in your organization, I highly recommend reading Radical Candor
. For increasing speed, it’s really a case of building feedback loops into your processes.
Lose a deal? Write a post-mortem.
Receive some great customer love? Share it in a public slack channel.
Do everything in your power to get high quality feedback all the way to the top. Don’t underestimate how hard this becomes as you grow. Leadership can become quickly detached from crucial information in the trenches, particularly as you pass the Dunbar number of 150 employees.
📍Give context not control
Your organization should provide employees with enough context about a problem, and then let them run wild.
Avoid dictating how problems should be solved. Remember, controlling the process stifles creativity which is essential to solving new, hard problems.
Providing context also means setting expectations. Many employees fail not because they can’t do something, but because they don’t know what’s expected of them. How can you perform well when you don’t know what good looks like?
👨✈️Centralize decisions, while collectively sourcing inputs
Unpopular opinion: dictatorships are effective organizations.
Decisions are made quickly.
Dictatorships fail however when the person in charge becomes corrupt or is incapable of doing the job. You want to guard the effectiveness of a dictatorship while leveraging the knowledge shared within a democracy.
You want to crowdsource your inputs, but centralize the decisions.
Communicate to your employees that their contributions will influence outcomes, but they won’t determine them. Leadership dictate decisions which are influenced by employees.
It’s your job as a leader to make decisions, but it’s equally your job to know that your employees are the domain experts. Their input is often more valuable than your own in isolation.
In a chaordic organization truth is more important than consensus.
📉 Embracing failure
Our goal is obviously not to fail. Our goal is to succeed.
Having said that we should not be afraid to fail.
We must accept that failure is the path to success, not the opposite of it. Don’t proactively seek out failure.. avoid the “failure porn” culture that’s become popular in the valley. But equally don’t avoid failure either.
When failure comes knocking, embrace it and ensure those high velocity feedback loops are running on full blast to get you to success quickly.
📈Growth mindset, not fixed
You don’t need to have everything figured out. But you do need to be able to figure it out. Growth mindset is all about learning. Fixed mindset is about proving what you already know. Scrap that mindset.
Know that you should always be improving. It’s not your Y-intercept that matters (where you start), it’s the speed of your growth curve that determines where you end up.