Steve Blank’s article about the difference between Motion and Action is an important read if you want to understand a corporate culture like Yahoo!, especially for those coming in from a startup where goals are small and the difference between having a feature and not having it is measured in days, not months.
This got me thinking, what if your job title was less about your political rank and goals and more about the motion you engage in daily?
- Meeting scheduler and Note-taker (as opposed to Project Manager)
- Mockup creator and Maker of Disappointed Grimaces (Visual Designer)
- Browser bug workarounder and Keyboard pounder (Frontend Engineer)
- Negotiator and Political Horse-Trader (Manager)
- Typist and Internet Reader (as opposed to Software Engineer)
In truth, nobody is exempt from having wasted their time in ways that would be embarrassing if looked at in this way. But it’s a lot easier to find cover for just going through the motions in a big company, and it’s also easier to justify there because it’s easy to feel as if your own personal work can have virtually no impact on the bottom line.
It’s vital to recognize that culture does matter – efficiency loss (useful here as a ratio between motion and action) is present in all systems, but it should be one goal of a culture to minimize it.