Contribution

A tale of 2 designers

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
– Babe Ruth

Designer A spends an hour of their time making 5 screens because they know they need to design 5 screens. They’re not trying to change the world, they achieve what they set out to do.

Designer B takes an entire day to make one screen because they are obsessed with moving pixels, but they are stuck. They can’t let go.

They end up doing less because of their own insecurities about their contribution.

They create the same thing over and over, they end up with unfinished design(s) or they go right back to the beginning.

Designer A understands that there’s no ‘perfect’.

Designer B believes ‘perfection’ exists, their belief of perfect is jaded by their own ability to understand the solution to the problem.

In some cases, they are making a solution for a non existent problem.

Designer A thinks (differently).

Designer B overthinks.

Designer A’s contribution is greater because they think about the necessary.

Designer B’s contribution is lower because they think about the unnecessary.

Designer B is a blocker.

To themselves (and the rest of their team).

Designer B relies on what they know.

Designer A relies on what they don’t know.

Designer A releases early to learn.

Then goes back to improve.

Designer B releases late.

They learn less because they believe they have perfected something, without testing.

Designer A works with context.

Designer B has no context.

Designer A learns.

Designer B thinks they don’t have to learn.

Both A and B are designers.

However, there is a HUGE difference between the two of them.

Do you understand your contribution?

Contribution to an organisation shouldn’t rely on a value.

By value, I mean the amount of work.

Contribution shouldn’t be measured by output.

Contribution should be based around the value that one brings to an organisation.

Contribution should be based upon the collective value a team brings.

Contribution can be measured by what is delivered.

Contribution can be measured to be big or small.

Small wins still make a contribution.

Celebrate the small wins. (Along with the big ones).

Why did I write this?

This is a story I made from a SMS conversation with my friend, Adam Silver.

Contribution and realisation of an one’s contribution to a day, a project and a team and a company is important. Culture can be built around valuable contributions — and so this tale was born.

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