Being Incentivized For Impact
Working on what’s really matter. This sentence can be so powerful for teams who are eager to scale up their business and grow. But how teams can learn what’s really matter? Don’t expect to get instructions manual for the things that matter, only by trial and error teams can learn what’s make an impact. This is why culture should incentivize teams that create an actual impact on the company, a real one. This is the feedback tool for all teams to learn and align accordingly. Sometimes one team failure will make a good impact due to the valuable learning inputs, so it is actually a success since it pushes the business forward. On the other way, a local success can be meaningless if it doesn’t matter.
When you are part of a big team, sometimes it’s hard to know what impact you make. When I worked as a full-time developer, I was passionate to put analytics everywhere to see how users react to the feature I felt ownership on. I really wished that the feature will make an impact, even if I’m not the one who defined it. I wanted it to be presented as a meaningful feature. I felt bad when I worked hard on a feature that eventually was meaningless due to bad UI or because it is getting hidden behind menus and tabs, what pushed me to learn what’s need to be done to make an impact. Looking back, this personal learning experience gave me so much value on learning to focus on the right things. Making something great that no one sees will not make an impact. Even as a developer, I made presentations and videos to convince people why what I am working on is meaningful.
As the team scale, while it may sound contradicting, everyone has even more ownership to strive for making an impact. If a developer thinks that it’s role is ending on commit (and doesn’t care if his code is in production) “fire and forget” or a designer is working on UI “for” his manager but knows that it’s useless - the product will not be able to scale with the size of the team. In the team culture, if you just ship a product and it’s bad, then it should not be good for your career in the company. It doesn’t matter if you are the developer or the product manager, everyone should be incentivized only when they make an impact together. It doesn’t matter if you are in the team that maintains the log server or in the core team - if they exist they are important, if not, adjust and pivot.
So go and learn how to create an impact. As for how to incentivize people that make an impact? That’s the easy and enjoyable part of work.