I’m a big believer in Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. As such, I pride myself in building strongly aligned, highly skilled and highly motivated teams.
My recent experiences around alignment have come from the implementation of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). Simple on the outside, OKRs have an incredibly large dependency on an organisation’s Mission, Vision and Values. I solicited collaboration from CEO to each individual contributor (IC) to set company, department, functional area and, often individual OKRs. These quarterly measured goals are not for performance management, but give Purpose to each IC and allow decisions and direction to tightly correlate with neighbouring teams, management and executive expectations.
Highly skilled teams develop, they don’t simply exist. It’s possible to recruit the top end engineers with a wealth of knowledge and experience, however, I aim to provide an environment that nurtures experimentation, failure and, individual growth. Building teams with a mix of mentors and less experienced ICs has and does pay dividends. Primarily, I look to recruit hungry ICs, ICs in the pursuit of Mastery.
Finally, an intrinsically motivated team is one that is content in their environment. They have no concerns about asking questions, challenging the status quo or taking on the responsibilities of ownership. This motivation - in my experience - comes in the form of Autonomy. This autonomy, under the guidance of highly skilled and strongly aligned teams enables incredible scale and delivery for software products.
On a micro level I find communication to be key in setting the above cultural traits. Using a combination of manager, peer, report and grand-report 1o1s an organisation can set a regular cadence about which a culture and direction can be nurtured ensuring highly efficient engineering divisions.