On my flight back home last week I was sitting next to a woman who had her laptop out most of the flight. She was a Microsoftie no doubt, and I knew this as she was working on her yearly commitments. Commitment setting at Microsoft is a ridiculously long and tedious process that involves multiple pages of countless sections and sub-sections of big words talking about what you are going to do in the upcoming year. I never really found it very useful to my job in any capacity, but it was a necessary evil. I felt an immediate sense of relief that I no longer had to go through this process any longer. It also made me realize what I love about working at Strategies 360; we specialize in getting shit done.
It seems silly to imply that producing results requires some sort of “art”, but I can tell you first hand, that there are plenty of large organizations that get in their own way when it comes to doing so. It was one of the most frustrating things that led me to move on from Microsoft. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of incredibly talented and smart people that work at Microsoft, and I enjoyed my time there thoroughly. But I just got tired of all the process, layers of bureaucracy, and all the roadblocks that got in the way of actually getting work done and making progress. Great ideas on the front lines would never see the light of day. (Side note, I exclude Xbox from this opinion as I feel they’ve killed it from day one.)
Of course some people thrive on that sort of environment, but I didn’t. I hunger for the satisfaction of getting things done on a daily basis, an environment that encourages taking good ideas and acting on them instead of waiting for 17 different managers to review and approve. We certainly have to have some process and systems of checks and balances, but for the most part, we are laser focused on producing results for our clients and finding creative ways to do so, many times on the fly.
I suppose it’s pretty systemic for companies as they grew incredibly large to fall prey to more process, layers of management and slower innovation. However I feel like there are larger companies that continue to innovate and thrive as they grow. Some of my favorite brands such as Google & Apple continue to do so. I’d be interested to know how their internal workings have allowed them to continuously push out innovative products and services despite hyper growth.
I suppose the moral to the story is don’t get so caught up in spending countless hours on how you are going to do something, and just get in there and do it. Don’t let over planning and analyzing get in the way of progress. I believe the best results often net from learning through a bit of trial and error anyway.
It’s working for us, and I’d love to hear from you and what you might be experiencing.