Being Incentivized For Impact
Working on what’s really matter. This approach is the only way for teams who are eager to scale up their business and grow. So how do you figure out what’s matters?
Don’t expect to get any instructions about the things that matters. Only by trial and error teams can learn what will probably can make an impact and how. This is why company culture should incentivize teams to strive to make an actual impact, a real one. This mechanism is the best (and maybe the only) feedback tool for all teams to learn and align accordingly. Sometimes one team failure will make a good impact due to valuable learning inputs, and sometimes one team perceived success is meaningless to the product if it doesn’t matter to the company.
When you are part of a big team, sometimes it’s hard to know what impact you make. When I started as a full-stack developer, I was passionate to set analytics everywhere in my code to see how users react to the features I felt ownership on. I really wished that a feature will make an impact, even if I’m not the one who defined it. I wanted it to be meaningful feature. I felt bad when I worked hard on a feature that eventually was meaningless due to bad UI or because it is getting hidden behind menus and tabs. This approach led me to learn what’s need to be done to make an impact. Looking back, this learning experience gave me so much personal value on learning how to focus on the right things.
Making something great that no one sees will not make an impact. As a developer, I created presentations and videos to convince that features the team worked on are meaningful and important. Because sometimes even if you work on what’s matter, and you solve a real problem, the way you’re packaging your efforts are wrong. You will need to have sponsors inside the company that will support your idea and you must learn how packaging your efforts is important as the product itself. I saw many good initiatives that made the opposite effect just because they were packaged wrong.
Everyone in the team is going to have even more ownership to strive for making an impact when it’s get bigger. If a developer thinks that it’s role is ending on commit (and doesn’t care if his code is in production) or a designer creating design “for” his manager but knows that it’s soon will get dumped — the product will not be able to scale with the size of the team. Eventually, if you just ship a product and it’s bad, then it should not be good for your career in the company. It doesn’t matter if you are a developer, a designer or the product manager, everyone should be incentivized only when they make an impact. It doesn’t matter if you are in the team that maintains the log servers or in the core team — if they exist they are important, if not, adjust and pivot.
As for how to incentivize people and teams that make an impact? That’s the easy and enjoyable part of work.