People as Vectors [Fishkin]

Source: SparkToro

A neat post by Rand Fishkin, expanding on an analogy from a conversation between Dharmesh Shah and Elon Musk:

Why Elon Musk’s “People as Vectors” Analogy Resonates

The most useful insight from the post is explaining what we mean by the word “alignment” using this (overly-)simplistic analogy:

We can think of the people on any given team as vectors

People vectors have both direction and magnitude

When people all work in precisely the same direction, their magnitudes are added to each other

When people have any degree of deviation, the varying directions subtract (at least somewhat) from the maximum amount of productivity that could be achieved

The original talk covered alignment in three levels:

And Fishkin offers decomposing each further to assess the level of agreement on the following questions:

The last one seems a bit like the odd-man-out and ties better to the next section where Fishkin lists out the things that drive/hinder getting aligned:

Lastly, Fishkin covers the importance of emotional buy-in and why he believes “disagree & commit” hurts alignment. This is the piece on which Fishkin and I are not aligned :) This may be because I support a narrower definition of “disagree & commit” which may mitigate most of the down-side that troubles Fishkin.

I enjoy solving human puzzles