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Published byNicole McAllister
Modified over 3 years ago
A Book in Progress
I Want Your Stories, Examples, Feedback email@example.com twitter: @ramez
How to Sabotage the Enemy
Sounds a Lot Like…
Life in a Big Business
Sabotage Technique #1 Insist on doing everything through channels. Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
Follow the Process
Sabotage Technique #3 When possible, refer all matters to committees, for further study and consideration. Attempt to make the committees as large as possible never less than five.
Sabotage Technique #7 Advocate caution. Be reasonable and urge your fellow conferees to be reasonable and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
Sabotage Technique #8 Be worried about the propriety of any decision raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.
Mind Your Business
Follow Orders from Above
Reminds Me of…
Why is this funny?
Committees, Process, Big Companies
Does it Have to Be that Way?
Is There Room?
In a Big Organization?
Is it even a good idea?
What I think:
Yes and Yes
Structure an Organization
Encourage Change and Innovation
Be an Effective Change Maker
From the Bottoms Up
Wisdom of the Crowds
Inside an Organization
Descends from History
Beat Top-Down Systems
Markets outperformed Command Economies
Democracy created more happiness than Authoritarianism
The Wisdom of Crowds Beat Wisdom of the Party, King, or Committee
Smarter Than + + + + + +
Why Do Western Businesses Look Like Communist States from the 70s?
Three Problems with Top Down 1.Slow 2.Information Gets Distorted 3.Lost Brainpower How Do We Get Out of This?
Three Pillars 1.Distributed Autonomy & Bias for Action 2.Darwinian Evolution of Ideas 3.Sliding Scale of Self-Determination
1. DISTRIBUTED AUTONOMY & BIAS FOR ACTION
Organization: A Network of Brains
Distributed Computing Model
Tight Information / Action Loop
Rapid Cycle Time
Logic Embedded at the Edge
Bias for Action
Three Ingredients for Local Autonomy 1.Goals are Clear to Everyone 2.People are Empowered 3.Clear, Simple Decision Making
If the People on the Edge
Know Where Youre Going
They Can Row in that Direction
On Their Own
If they Dont
Value of the Top
(CEOs, VPs, Managers, etc..)
Clearly Articulate a Direction
Reasons Behind It
SIMPLE LINES OF DECISION MAKING
How Many People Can Say Yes?
How Many Can Say No?
Committees Bias Towards No
Mythical Man Month
Grows with the Square of the Number of People Involved
2 People – 1 Connection 12
3 People – 3 Connections 123
4 People – 6 Connections 1234
5 People – 10 Connections 12345
10 People – 55 Connections 12345678910
N 2 – N 2 N = Number of Nodes or People Overhead =
Applies to Decisions
Difficulty of Decision Making
Is N 2 with Number of People
As Number of Stakeholders Increases
Odds Any One Person Can Say Yes Decrease
Number of People Who Can Say No Increases
Large Decision Bodies
(mostly ) Inherently Conservative
If You Want Nothing Done
Create a Committee
Or Spread Ownership
If You Want Things to Happen
or Self-Organizing Groups
of Like Minded Individuals
How do you Prevent Mistakes?
Hire Great People
Where Failure is Okay
From Which You Can Learn
Use Data, Metrics, Experiments
Example: Live Search Relevance
Engineers Create & Submit Experiments
Experiments are Evaluated on Metrics
Comparison to a Truth Set
User Click Rates on Results
Anyone Can Run an Experiment (within reason)
If an Experiment Improves on the Key Metrics, It Ships
Very Little Opinion Involved
Everyone on the Team
Knows What to Expect
Is Empowered to Improve the Site
Regardless of Level, Title, Rank
Rapid Problem Solution Cycle
Find a Problem?
Or an Opportunity?
No Need for This
Just Fix It
Uses that Distributed Brainpower
2. DARWINIAN EVOLUTION
Most Valuable Thing
In the World
Layout of that Page
Can Double Revenue
Or Cut it In Half
Just a Bit of Pattern
No Extra Cost or Resources
Huge Impact on Success
Germ Theory of Disease
Graphical User Interface
HTML & HTTP
Information and Ideas
Primary Source of Growth
Among Other Things
Idea Creation Machine
Pattern Creation Machine
To Get the Best Ideas
Harness All Your Available IQ
Create Lots and Lots of Ideas
(Most of them Bad)
Rule of Thumb
Highest Paid Person in the Room
Will Usually Be Wrong
Compared to Experiment
More Than Management
More than Your Own Ideas
Layout Picked by Darwin
Thousands of Experiments
A Word of Caution
Pick the Right Metrics
Short Term Success
Revenue vs. Customer Satisfaction
If You Need To
Mix of Metrics
A Word of Pragmatism
No Metric is Perfect
Keep Improving Them
Dont Get Paralyzed
Keep Making it Better
Ability to Experiment
3. LIMITED SELF-GOVERNANCE
Embrace Democracy Give Employees a Vote in: –Peer Evaluation –Immediate Management Why? –They Know Things Management Doesnt! –It Will Make them Happy
Embrace Democracy Requires Right Incentives –Employee Compensation tied to Team Performance –Cant Just Vote for Boss Who Will Let You Slack!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Shift the Conversation
Away from How
How? Implementation Details
move this line of code here
add fault tolerance to our checkout system
lost items from shopping cart is our #2 customer complaint
Why? Metric for Success
Lost item complaints drop by 80%
Shift the Conversation Up How What Why
Whats the goal?
What problem are we trying to solve?
How important is this problem?
How do we measure success?
Build a Shield
How What Why
How What Why
Ramez Naam firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @ramez
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