s01e03 weeknotes

Timing is everything

I was listening to a podcast episode early this week. It was with the founder of instacart Apoorva Metha, and something he said about timing went along the lines of:

there’s a small window of time where a startup idea is just right — not too early, not too late

This made me think of Pacino’s inches speech from any given Sunday (classic!). One half second too late and you don’t quite make it.

It feels like this thing about timing is the same in trying to work on some sort of digital change/transformation agenda. Too early and the market isn’t there, the org isn’t quite ready. Too late and the existing structures prohibit innovation, or the appetite has passed. But how do you know where you’re at? Are there patterns or signs that should be obvious? It’s hard when you’re in it to see the wider landscape and forces at play.

Spent quite a bit of time writing this week. It’s been nice, quite reflective too. I’d like to make more time in the day to get thoughts down on paper.

Work-work wise, almost out of nowhere we seem to be in a really clutch spot. A make it or break it moment. For me, it’s borne out of the tension between delivering day to day, and looking at the bigger picture. At the minute we’re a small team with little in the way of capacity. So how do you scale to deliver more outcomes within the bounds of these limitations?

Keep getting the sense that my views might be too opposing. I just feel like you should say what you mean. Where’s the Andon lever when you need it. Getting a bit meta here.

Towards the back end of the short week, we’ve been trying to get under the skin of a couple of processes. Anything involving a legacy line of business system tends to throw up a few curveballs along the way. The compromise we’ve had to make is to control what we can and improve the outcome for the end user, ignoring the more systemic issues that underpin the process. Hard pill to swallow, though sometimes in delivery it’s best to optimise for the outcome, not the process — knowing when to get it right versus getting it out the door.

Note to self: more constructive notes next week.

Links of the week

  1. Dan Hon on stages of transformation
  2. Foursquare has found its purpose
  3. Martha Lane Fox dropping more pearls of wisdom