Podcast-ep-18-featured-image||challenges organizational alignment and autonomy

Podcast Ep. 18: Challenges Around Alignment and Autonomy, with Chris Spagnuolo

Podcast-ep-18-featured-image||challenges organizational alignment and autonomy
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Episode Description:

In today’s episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast, your host, Dan Neumann, is joined by repeat guest, Chris Spagnuolo. Chris is a product specialist at AgileThought, serving as the Principal Consultant of Product Management and Innovation. He has a deep background in product strategy and development, and is incredibly passionate about all things related to design thinking, Lean Startup and agile.

Today, Dan and Chris will be looking at some of the challenges around alignment and autonomy within organizations.

It’s not unusual to go into an organization and see that things are out of sync from top to bottom—and usually, the root cause of most of these problems is a lack of alignment. Lack of alignment within an organization manifests in many ways, from a lack of discretionary effort from employees to ample activity that’s not meeting the market needs or advancing the strategy of the organization. In this episode, Chris helps identify these failure patterns, along with the success patterns. He also gives a thorough 101 on OKRs (Objectives and Key Results)—a powerful strategy to better align an organization.

 


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Key Takeaways:

  • The ways that a lack of alignment manifests in an organization (AKA failure patterns):
    • Strategies that are not meeting their goals from lack of implementation
    • Ample activity that’s not meeting the market needs or advancing the strategy of the organization
    • Interruptions and a high volume of requests
    • Focusing on the emergent work that’s truly not important or urgent
    • A lot of autonomy with no alignment
    • Really high alignment with no autonomy
    • Low autonomy and low alignment
    • A lack of discretionary effort from employees
  • How to better align your organization (AKA success patterns):
    • High autonomy and high alignment
    • Focus on the emergent work that is important
    • Join autonomy and alignment together
    • Commit to the organization’s culture with high engagement
    • Maximize the creative potential of employees, allowing them to consistently achieve goals
    • Make sure everyone is aligned with the overall decisions
    • Internalize the mission statement and live the vision of the organization
  • OKR (Objectives and Key Results) 101:
    • Created by John Doerr
    • It’s a stated objective and two or three key results that are used to measure how an organization is moving towards that objective
    • Helps with alignment within an organization because they are cascaded throughout the organization (and every level that is cascaded down builds their own OKR set that has to directly align with the level above them)
    • They give lots of autonomy, allowing the people within the organization to decide how they’re going to execute and what strategy they’re going to build to meet the organization’s top-level goal
    • They’re very adaptable
    • It’s important to set difficult, audacious goals (that, even if you hit 75% of them, would still have a great outcome)

 

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

Chris Spagnuolo’s Book Picks:

Like what you heard? Check out our podcast page for more episodes full of interesting discussions, agile insights, and helpful resources.

Transcript

Intro: [00:03] Welcome to Agile Coaches’ Corner by AgileThought. The podcast are practitioners and leaders seeking advice to refine the way they work and pave the path to better outcomes. Now here’s your host, coach and agile expert Dan Neumann.

Dan Neumann: [00:16]  Welcome to this episode of Agile Coaches Corner. I’m Dan Neumann, your host, and our goal here is to bring agile topics in an approachable way. Just the little reminder though that the opinions here will be mine and those of Chris Spagnuolo who’s joining me today and not necessarily those of AgileThought or other companies or other people. If you have a topic you’re interested in hearing us discuss, email it to us at podcast@agilethought.com or tweet it with a #AgileThoughtPodcast. Thanks for joining us today, Chris.

Chris Spagnuolo: [00:48] Hey, thanks for having me, Dan. Good to be back.

Dan Neumann: [00:51]  Glad to have you back and today we’re going to be looking at some of the challenges around alignment and autonomy. I know it’s not unusual to go into an organization and see that things are not aligned from top to bottom.

Chris Spagnuolo: [01:08] Yeah, there are. I can’t tell you how many clients we walk into that, you know, when we really dig deeply that the root cause of most of the problems that we see have to deal with a lack of alignment and, and they’re all different ways that it manifests itself, right? There are tons of statistics about it as well. If, you know, 70% of projects actually, or a strategies don’t actually meet their goals because of lack of implementation. Right. And lack of implementation is usually because there’s a lack of alignment. Nobody knows what they’re going for, right? So, uh, we have lots of people working on a lot of things and there’s lots of activity going on, but it’s not necessarily aligned with the strategy and the things that we’re trying to do. So yeah, we see it all over the place for sure.

Dan Neumann: [01:55]  Yeah. And you touched on the topic of lots of activity. I mean, it’s not that people aren’t busy doing things, but is it, are they doing the right things?

Chris Spagnuolo: [02:06] Yeah, that’s, that’s the thing. And you know, when they’re, when they’re not working on the right things, it looks like there’s a problem with like, you know, quote unquote executional excellence, right? And, and that’s not always the problem. You can have really, really high performing teams that, you know, their output is just phenomenal, but it’s not meeting the market needs or it’s not advancing the strategy of the organization that you’re with. So like we said, ample activity but not a whole lot of good stuff coming out of the machine. So we have to make sure that that machine is aligned to whatever it is that we’re trying to deliver.

Dan Neumann: [02:41] How do you get the sense that it’s an alignment issue versus versus not? One of the things I look at is oftentimes the interruptions or the number of different, um, activities that are demanding somebody’s attention, just sheer volume of, of requests and interruptions.

Chris Spagnuolo: [03:01] Yeah, that’s definitely one way that we track it, right? So there’s a tool, and we can probably do a whole nother podcast on this tool that I built out, but it’s a prioritization Schema and it’s very visual, right? Um, and we put all the different opportunities that are in flight up there and we, we stack rank them into a pyramid, but we color code them by things that are strategic in nature and the opportunities that we should be working on. Um, and then there’s some compliance ones of regulatory things that we may have to be working on, but then we have another color coding for emergent work, right? And those are all the distractions that they have nothing to do with our strategy, you know? Um, and more often than not, when we build that map out places that are misaligned, organizations that are misaligned, most of it is like flashing. It’s flashing at you. We have too much emergent work, right? There’s all these little things coming in from all over the organization that people don’t have an objective way to say no to. Right. So they, they need a filter to pass all of those opportunities through to be able to get rid of the ones that are strategically aligned and only focus on the things that we need to be focused on.

Dan Neumann: [04:11]  That reminds me of the principle behind the agile manifesto where a lot of people really get tripped up on it and it’s the maximizing the amount of work not done. And that can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. And the one, you know, yeah. At the technology, but  now at the one you’re talking about here, which is that emergent work that truly isn’t either important to do right now or truly as an urgent right now and trying to really focus in on just working on the strategic, the regulatory and the emergent work that really is appropriate to work on because work emerges, that’s one of the concepts with agile. It’s, we don’t know everything up front. Things will emerge and how do you know which emergent work to address?

Chris Spagnuolo: [04:56] Yeah. And that, that sort of gets into another problem, right? Um, and it’s the problem of autonomy in organizations, right? And we want to give all of the really smart people that we hired the autonomy to do the right things, right? But alignment and autonomy have to go hand in hand. And what you’re describing right, is this sort of chaotic culture, right? It’s, it’s a lot of autonomy, no alignment, right? So, so in that case, when we have that going on it, it’s exactly what we talked about. Tons of activity, but the energy is diffused all over and it’s not actually achieving any goal, right? Because there’s no alignment at all. So, so those two things go hand in hand in a aligned autonomy is a big topic that I’m super interested in. And, and I think when you look at how those two things joined together, it solves some of the problems that you’re talking about.

Dan Neumann: [05:51]  One of the anti patterns or misperceptions of agility is that it’s not very disciplined or that it’s chaotic and it’s um, he makes stuff up as you go along. And the concept of aligned is a: it’s always a misnomer and second, this concept of aligned autonomy really helps bring focused and it is very disciplined. It should be, you know, Scrum is disciplined Kanban has lots of discipline in it from visualizing the work and having explicit policies and limiting work in process. And then you can use that discipline to make sure you’re delivering with, and you’re in alignment with the corporate vision, the corporate strategy, and allow really smart people to, to have some autonomy and how they contribute to that.

Chris Spagnuolo: [06:38] Yeah, absolutely. And, and I’ve always believed that about agile. You know, when I very first started doing it, you know, that the organization I was with at the time thought we were a bunch of hippy kids and this was all about everybody gets to do whatever they want and nobody has titles and all that kind of stuff. And, and what we were finding the, as we were going through was that we were becoming exactly what you just said, you know, more and more, um, structured about how we were doing our work, right. Um, and there were a lot of rules on how we did things and we were building filters to make sure that only the right work was getting into the, the machines, so to speak. Right. So, so I’ve always kind of viewed it that way, that Scrum or agile, it was just the braces to kind of give you that level of discipline to do the right things. Right. And, and as I saw teams mature and we moved into Kanban, like we took the braces off of, you know, Scrum with all the prescribed practices, but the discipline sort of remained, and I think that’s a key word there, right? Is, is the discipline to do the right thing and stay aligned?

Dan Neumann: [07:44]  Yeah. We had a, I had a conversation today and the subject of like a daily Standup, a daily Scrum, a daily whatever, walk the board, came up and they said, well, we have this, this thing at the end of the day. And um, we call it the dinner table conversation. I’m like, fantastic. Like I’m not going to make you call it something else. Like you’ve, you’ve got this thing that works for you to about three or four days a week depending on workload and other things. And it’s looking for patterns in the data that they see, the data of their behavior, the date of the systems, where are issues coming from. Um, and I loved that they, they have a name for it. It’s the dinner table conversation. It’s their name. They don’t need to go take somebody else’s name. Um, you know, maybe if they’re doing Scrum, I’d make him take another name, but they’re not doing Scrum so it’s okay. Um, so alignment helps the teams know how to contribute towards that alignment with autonomy. And then the, the visual that comes to mind then as the consultant two by two Matrix. So how do people start looking for failure patterns or success patterns within whether they’ve got alignment or autonomy?

Chris Spagnuolo: [08:57] Yeah. So where’s that, where’s the sweet spot? Right, right. Um, yeah, so, so we already talked about one, you know, anti pattern, right? And that’s the whole low alignment, high autonomy, right. And that that’s kind of the, you know, I love the shiny objects. I’m running all over and doing whatever. So that’s a definite failure pattern, right? So we want to avoid that. Um, the other quadrants would be, um, you know, if you have low autonomy, uh, and low alignment, right, then we have a serious problem. And usually what we’re seeing there is a compliant culture, right? People are just doing what they’re asked. There’s a lot of, not my job syndrome and a real lack of discretionary effort, which is a real fancy way of saying creativity, right? People just aren’t creative in an environment like that. Um, they’ll follow it. It whatever would end, whatever anybody tells them to do, that’s what they’re going to do, right? They just don’t have any direction.

Dan Neumann: [09:50]  I see like pointy haired boss kind of thing there just going in and telling people to do stuff just because.

Chris Spagnuolo: [09:56] Yeah. That is totally what it is. It’s the, it’s the clueless leader leading the whole rest of the organization off the cliff. Right? So, so that, that, that’s kind of how that one feels. Um, the other failure pattern is when you have really high alignment, but no autonomy, right? That’s a really tough place to be as well. So, so that again, really compliant culture, super aligned because somebody is telling me what to do, but I have no autonomy. And again, that really stifles all of your creativity. So, so you have two different things at play there, right? The first one was really about survival mode. The second one is about lack of creativity and compliant cultures. Um, so those are your failure modes. They are, the other one we already talked about was that diffuse energy but the upper right quadrant. You know, if you kind of thinking of the two axes there, um, you’ve got high autonomy and high alignment, right? And, and that’s where we want to be super aligned, but very autonomous, right? Um, in that state, we really start to see organizations that have people committed to the organizational culture, right? There’s a lot of goal clarity and organizations like that. People are super engaged and it really maximizes two things, right? It maximizes the creative potential of the people who are in your organization and because they’re very well aligned, um, that creativity allows them to consistently achieve goals, right? Because now they’re working with clarity. They’re working with purpose, they’re working with energy, they’re motivated, right? Um, and organizations like that, we see a lot of freedom to have this ability to have autonomous decision making happening, right? Because people are aligned with the overall objectives. We trust the people in our organization now to make the right decisions because we know they’re aligned. We know they’re going to make the right decision based on that alignment.

Dan Neumann: [11:47]  The thought that came as we as we went through that. So you talked about survival mode and um, some high alignment, but low autonomy for, for me that kind of a thought of a traditional military, of course, General McCrystal’s book team of teams, he talks about, I think shifting away from that high alignment, very low autonomy, uh, towards something different with his team of teams. And I don’t know if you see that similarly or like, because military came to mind for that quadrant, right or wrong.

Chris Spagnuolo: [12:20] Yeah. Military very much comes to mind that that is the command and control quadrant for sure. And you know, McCrystal’s book is, I think he’s spot on. You know, he’s, I think he really nails it. And when he talks about that, right, that high alignment’s really necessary, but giving the people the right information to make autonomous decisions when you’re in the heat of the action, that’s really essential, right? Um, that, that gives us, you know, the real agility in a business to have everybody making decisions in real time without having to go up the ladder, get approvals, come back down, give it to your team, tell them it’s okay to do it if everybody’s given that autonomy to make the right decisions. Because we know that organizationally we’re all aligned and everybody not just reads the mission statement on the wall, but internalizes what the mission is and what the vision is and what the results are that we’re aiming for. If that’s internalized and people can, you know, live that instead of just read it, that’s the difference.

Dan Neumann: [13:32]  The other thought that came to mind, and we use it in some of the training that we do is the Cynefin model. So a sense making framework where it breaks issues down into four different parts. Although, uh, David Snowden says it’s not a two by two consultant matrix. That’s okay, well it starts with the simple problems. And then so those are ones where there’s a very obvious cause and effect. And then there are complicated ones where I think of my car, you have to go find an expert. I just know it’s making a weird noise. The expert Joe’s, Oh that noise is this thing and they fix it. And then it gets into the complex domain where you can no cause and effect, but only by looking backwards. And that’s typically where agility fits in really well. And then chaos is where you want to stay out of. And I was relating that then as you were talking about high autonomy and high alignment, it feels like there are some areas where the military structure, the high alignment, low autonomy makes sense. So, my example is always Mcdonald’s for simple and, and that type of like, I do not want the person making my burger getting creative with it. I don’t want autonomy at Mcdonald’s. Just make the Burger. I want the same, you know, Mediocre Burger that I get every time and it’s fine. Um, and so I think of that even with technology teams or other businesses though there are certain areas where you really want, um, high alignment. You want a highly reproducible behaviors, then I don’t, I don’t if you, and then hopefully maybe we’re automating them so humans aren’t doing them. Uh, and, and feeling bad about it, but I don’t know. What are your, what are your thoughts on that?

Chris Spagnuolo: [15:12] Yeah, see, I’m a, I guess I’m a creative, solid hard. So when I hear things like that really disheartens me, but no, I agree. It depends on what the expectation is of what you’re producing. Right. Mcdonald’s entire business model is built on the ability to replicate, uh, you know, down to the most nitpicky detail. Every single restaurant is exactly the same. Same with Starbucks. They baristas are trying to produce the coffee like a machine, you know? And when we make people machines and take creativity away from them, I feel, you know, on a, in a broader sense as a society, I think we lose something there. Right? So, so when I think about, uh, you know, most of the organizations that we work build software, right? And I think that’s a creative endeavor, right? There’s a great book called Artful Making that that talks a lot about, um, the mindsets of artists and the mindsets of software engineers and how similar they are, right? So they’re very creative people. So when I’m working in the technology field and dealing with customers who are building technology and building software, I tried to really look at it as a creative endeavor and how do we create that strategic alignment without taking creativity away from the people whose hands are on the keyboards?

Dan Neumann: [16:38]  Yeah. And I, I use the Mcdonald’s example. I still think there’s, there’s probably more autonomy there in some facets. I just don’t want it with my burger. So how you treat your heartburn, the whole franchise model is designed to be highly reproducible with low variance. But then you look at like southwest airlines and the other unregulated airline industry, but they, they still have this feeling of fun and the flight attendants get autonomy within a boundary of sorts.

Chris Spagnuolo: [17:06] Yeah. And, and that’s sort of what I’m a fan of, right, is um, you can play in the sandbox all day long. We’re just going to tell you what the sandbox is, right? And within that sandbox you can build whatever you feel like building in there. So, so that’s where, you know, some of the work that I’ve been doing lately with OKRs is really focusing around building the boundaries of the sandbox to say, okay, here’s where we’re playing, right? Um, we’re a technology company today. We’re not building refrigerators we’re, you know, building software that supports, you know, a business application. So it gives us a little bit of focus or where we’re going, but it doesn’t take away you creativity within that focused area.

Dan Neumann: [17:48]  Yeah. And so, OKRs to spell out the three letter acronym objectives and key results to the framework you’re alluding to there. And maybe, um, maybe a little kind of, OKRs 101. What’s the cliffnotes maybe share the cliffnotes.

Chris Spagnuolo: [18:11] Yeah, yeah, no problem. OKRs are objectives and key results and they’ve been around in one way or another for a little while. A guy named John Doerr started playing around with them when he was at Intel, brought them over to Google. Google now uses them. Netflix uses it. Um, I dunno, I ain’t just about anybody you can think of really. I know Spotify has been using it and Geese and Slack and NerdWallet and tons of other organizations. Um, but an Okr simply stated is what you said. It’s, it’s an objective, a stated objective, and then two or three key results, the metrics that are going to measure how we’re moving towards achieving that, that objective. Right. Um, so the objective is very, um, I wouldn’t say flowery language, right? But it’s, um, it’s very qualitative, right? It’s inspirational, it’s motivating. Um, it’s a, it’s sort of independently actionable thing that we can have our organization decide this is our objective, right? Um, and we, we make them timebound we generally do them on a quarterly basis and say for the next quarter, here’s our objective, right? So it’s sort of like a, an organizational mission statement. Uh, you know, with, uh, I dunno, time box around it, right? For lack of a better word, the, the key results part of it. Um, those are the measurable results. Those are quantitative. Um, they, they let us know how we’re doing in terms of getting towards there, right? And we check in on those things on a weekly basis. Are we moving the needle? And are we not. Right? Um, so, you know, an objective can be something as simple as, hey, in the next quarter we want to launch a, an awesome MVP, or it can be, you know, very specific to your business. I was working with a company that does insurance adjusting, right? And they wanted to transform the compliance patterns of the adjusters, right? So that was their objective. Right? Um, key results are a little more numbers oriented, right? And they should always be a number in your key results. It’s what, what needle are we moving and where are we trying to move it too? Right? So it could be as simple. Again, it’s like increased sales by 27% or in the case of our insurance folks, right? It could be increase adjuster compliance by 60% over the next quarter. So simply that’s, that’s the high level of what an objective in a key result would look like.

Dan Neumann: [20:44]  One of the tips on the key results that I’ve is trying to take the number as opposed to just an increase to to say we want to move the metric from x to y. Um, as a, as a way of keeping track of that. And I don’t know, I don’t lose any sleep over that distinction, but I thought it was an interesting way to make sure that that is a very specific numbers that we know how, let’s say a percentage would be calculated. It we’re, we’re really talking about that raw number.

Chris Spagnuolo: [21:13] Yeah for sure, and, and whenever I’m coaching organizations, um, if we do have key results, like the ones I just mentioned, we will always baseline it to where are we starting from, where are we trying to get to? So we know just how hard that is. Um, so the question is probably hanging around of like, okay, great. So you built an objective and key results. How does this help us with any of what we were just talking about? The whole aligned autonomy thing. Um, so, so the way it kind of, we’ll go through each piece. So the way it helps with alignment, right, is that we cascade, um, okay. Ours through the organization, um, and every level that we cascade down through gets to build their own set of objectives and key results that have to align directly to the one above them, right? So if there’s a top level Okr, you know, a second tier would look to that Okr and say, okay, what are we going to take out of that, that my team or my team of teams can accomplish? Right? What are our objectives and what are our key results going to be? Um, and then they are free, um, to execute against that Okr however they want to. Right? So, so that gives us an alignment to the top level Okr and it also lets us say, we’re going to decide how we’re going to move forward on this thing. Right? Um, so there’s, uh, an example that is probably completely overused at this point, but everybody uses the football example and the whole football example of cascading OKRs goes like this. The, the top level is, you know, you’ve got the, the general manager of the organization and his whole goal is to make money for the owners, right? And he’s going to look at it and say, well, the way I’m going to make money is, you know, I’m going to win the Superbowl. So win one Superbowl is, you know, a key result for him. Um, but another key result may be about increasing attendance at the stadium on Sundays, right? And maybe there are lousy team and they need to increase their attendance to 88% from 80% or something like that. They don’t fill the stadium in general, but an 8% increase would be great for them. Right? Um, when we would cascade that to the next level, you have all different parts of the, the football organization, right? Um, you’ve got the head coach of the actual football team who looks at it and goes, well, I can’t do much about filling the stadium sort of. Right? Um, but I can’t do something about trying to win the Superbowl. Right? So his objective for his organization, the team, uh, is to have a winning season, right? He’s going to put together key results based on metrics that he knows are to deliver. Hopefully what a winning season might be. Right? And it may be something about how many yards they need passing per game or how many yards on average they need for punt returns to have a winning season, so they’re going to put together something like that. Right. Um, there may be something around a defensive metric, but there’s a lot of other pieces of a football organization besides the team, right? Take public relations. They would look at that objective instead of key results and say, well, I can’t do anything to help you win a Superbowl, but I can definitely help you fill that stadium, right? So they’ll take that and they’ll create a public relations oriented objective and a set of key results that their team can execute on, right? So maybe something about media coverage or presence in social media or how many times they are getting their players, you know, featured on local news stations or something like that, right? So each one of those can kind of look at the top level objective and key results, uh, define their own strategy for their own set of teams and build metrics on how they would move forward. And then you would naturally cascade further and further down, right? Within the football team. You know, we have an offensive line and defensive line, special teams. Each one of those would look at the head coaches objectives and key results and build their own that align with that, right? So you can kind of see where this goes. It would cascade all the way down and a lot of organizations will cascade all the way down to individuals. And the whole purpose is to be able to point up through that stack, um, and see how your individual contribution or your team’s contribution is directly aligned with the top level goal of the organization. So that gives us tons of autonomy and it’s also letting us decide how we’re going to execute and what strategy we’re going to build to help meet that top level goal. So is that a good enough one on one?

Dan Neumann: [25:36]  That’s beautiful. And I didn’t realize the football thing had been overdone but maybe not yet. The, what you mentioned though does bring to mind one of the challenges I think I have with with OKRs and an organization where once a target is what out there, you’re expected to hit that target and failure too is bad. Like only one team wins the super bowl. So like, don’t bet your life on it, you know, in, in the football. But working toward that goal and falling short of it still can result in an outcome you want, I guess not. Yeah. It can result in an outcome you want. So we’re going for the Superbowl, we only make it to the NFC championship game and we lose let’s say, but it’s still better than if we hadn’t had those things in place, I suppose. But I still, I struggle and with organizations where safety is an issue, I wonder if there’s some ways to help foster that mentality within an Okr.

Chris Spagnuolo: [26:36] Yeah. So that, that’s a really interesting point you bring up. Um, and, and when I’m coaching and consulting, I never talk about OKRs as, um, solid goals. Right? It’s not that you have to achieve this, otherwise you failed. And while, OKRs are a goal setting system technically, Um, I kind of look at them as a very educational system. Right. Um, and I, I think it’s because of, you know, working in lean and working in agile for so long that we’re always retrospecting that I kind of look at Okrs as, hey, on a weekly basis you have a chance to figure out if what you’re doing is moving you in the right direction and on a quarterly basis you have a chance to reevaluate a: you know, was our strategy right? Where these Okrs the right ones and it lets us adapt much more quickly than having big, you know, two year or five year plans that, you know, by the time we get that far down the line we’ve screwed our business completely. Right? Like I liked the adaptability of it. Right? And what I usually coach teams towards is kind of what you just said, right? Like set a really hard goal. You don’t want to set easy goals. If you set an easy goal, you’re going to sandbag it and meet it every time. Right. And it doesn’t really push your company to do anything special or different. So set your goals difficult, you know, make them difficult, make them, you know, a 50 50 chance that you’re giving even gonna hit that thing. And then if we get to, you know, at the end of the quarter we do a review and you hit, I don’t know, 60 70% of that goal, that’s probably much better than you were doing before you did. OKRs, right? And to your point, you’re getting something that was moving you in the right direction. And what we’re, what we’ll learn when we do that review is, okay, what could we have done differently to get from 60 to 70% to a 100? Right? So it gives us a focus on, on learning about ourselves and learning about our strategies and how can we do better each time. It’s not always about hitting the goal or not hitting the goal. And you know, in, in my experience, if you have an objective and you have three key results sitting under it, if you hit two out of three, you did great. You know, like that, that is a really good thing. And it lets you look at that third key result and have some learnings around that or decide maybe that just wasn’t the right tactic. Right. Or maybe the objective was slightly off and on a quarterly basis we can adjust those things and get better and better at doing these.

Dan Neumann: [29:04]  It’s that whole, it’s about the journey, not the destination that kind of comes to mind with OKRs. It’s a journey towards that objective and the key result. Well cool. We are coming up at our time box. I know for me time flew today hopefully for folks listening it did as well. Is there anything, any last thing about Okr that you’ll be disappointed if we didn’t touch on before we end?

Chris Spagnuolo: [29:29] Oh, we can come back for part two because there are um, are interesting ideas on how to implement it. Right. Um, there are definitely failure patterns to, uh, people who abuse or misused OKRs, so maybe we can do that. Have another session.

Dan Neumann: [29:51]  I liked that I liked, I liked the failure patterns and I don’t know if just human evolution, I think we learn from things that don’t go well. You know, it’s like ooh, you know, it hurts when I do that. Maybe I should not do that. Are you reading anything interesting these days or what’s, what’s inspiring you? I think last time it was a little bit about music.

Chris Spagnuolo: [30:13] Yeah. So currently I’m reading How Music Works by David Byrne and it’s a really interesting take on the music industry in general. And he kind of, each chapter looks at how music is made from different perspectives and the different influences, and different components have on it. Um, some of it is about where music is made, right? So what the physical environment does to, to affect music. Uh, there’s a whole thing on how technology has affected music production, uh, but a really interesting, uh, chapter is on collaboration and I think a lot of people can really get a lot out of that. So it’s really interesting seeing how different musicians collaborate with each other. And there’s a, there’s this interesting thing that I was reading about and it’s a looking at, um, written scores in a graphic way instead of a written score of notes on a page that you have to play. Exactly. And it’s, uh, it’s a, it has a lot to do with what we’re talking about now, this aligned autonomy thing. Um, and it doesn’t seem as crazy as it seems, the scores don’t specify which notes to play. They just suggest higher, lower pitches as the lines wander up and down on this visual score. And they visually express how the players are supposed to relate to one another. So there’s this alignment about where the conductor wants this music piece to go, but the musicians have the autonomy to sort of figure out how it’s going to be expressed. So it’s really interesting and how that relates to the conversation we were just having. So super cool book if you have a chance to check it out,

Dan Neumann:[31:44]   That’s very cool. I might, uh, I think use my new audible credit and maybe see about picking that one up. Something to listen to on the airplanes. Outstanding. Yeah. Very cool. Look. Hey, thanks for, thanks for joining me today, Chris, and I guess we have a part two to get out sometime soon.

Chris Spagnuolo: [32:00] All right, sounds great. Thanks, Dan.

Outro: [32:04] This has been the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast brought to you by AgileThought, get the show notes and other helpful tips from this episode and other episodes at agilethought.com/podcast.

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