Mar 032016

Agile Everywhere

I’ve written a bunch on this blog and in Startup CEO, about Agile Development and the Lean Canvas and Lean Startups in general (see a really old post on Agile Development from 10 years ago when we first adopted it here, and one on Agile Marketing here).  The basic premise of all of this is that there is an old way to build software products and businesses, and a new lighter way loosely based on Toyota’s lean manufacturing principles.  The old way is HEAVY — you spec out a product and build it and hope you got it right; you write a big business plan and start raising money and executing on it and hope your assumptions are correct.  The new way is LIGHTER — you co-create product with customers and develop a Minimum Viable Product so that by the time it’s ready to sell, some customers are already buying it; you create a business plan that is all about systematically testing the underlying assumptions first, then raising money and charging forward after you know what you’re dealing with.

As readers of this blog know, Return Path is a software/services company that cares about building a robust business, and we also have a lot of passion around building our organization and culture.  We’ve always been fairly progressive with our People practices and programs, and we’re also always trying to innovate to make those things more impactful, easier, and more fun.  And that brings us to the subject of this post.

Over the last 2 years, we have been working to make teams more effective (creatively, we called this work “Effective Teams”); we loosely used Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team as the framing for the work we do with teams.  We ensure they develop strong, trusting relationships, have the skills and courage to have healthy conflict, which means they can commit to the decisions they make; they then hold each other accountable and ultimately get better results.   In addition to regular team development activities, our teams now give each other regular feedback including team-based peer-to-peer feedback through a facilitated quarterly session.   We saw improvements in team development which were verified by an increase of 13% of positive results in team effectiveness surveys.

We are now working to ensure that teams are working in a more agile way, and that their stakeholders are involved in the creation and evaluation of team goals.   Through our “Agile Everywhere” initiative, our Effective Teams work is expanding to help teams develop more agile operating systems.  By June 30, teams will be using some of the agile methodologies to:

break work down into smaller pieces

check in frequently on progress

share feedback among team members and stakeholders

tune practices based on feedback

report results publicly and

establish a predictable operating system.

As with most of our People practices, we modeled this on the Executive Committee, and we’ve instituted  things like Daily Stand-ups and Trello Boards for a pretty disparate set of teams.  We’ve found some practices useful, and we’ve adapted some practices to meet our needs.  We are now in process of piloting these practices with 15 teams throughout the company.  Stay tuned!

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Jan 072016

The Illusion and (Mis)uses of Certainty

September’s Harvard Business Review had a really thought-provoking article for me called How Certainty Transforms Persuasion.  Seth Godin wrote a blog post around the same time called The Illusion of Control.  The two together make for an interesting think about using information to shape behavior as leaders.  I’ve often been accused of delivering too many mixed messages to the company at all-hands meetings, so I enjoyed the think, though not in the way I expected to.

Let’s start with Seth’s thesis, which is easier to get through.  Essentially he says that nothing is certain, at best we can influence events, we’re never actually in control of situations…but that we think we are:

When the illusion of control collides with the reality of influence, it highlights the fable the entire illusion is based on…You’re responsible for what you do, but you don’t have authority and control over the outcome. We can hide from that, or we can embrace it.

Moving onto the much longer HBR article, the key thesis there is that certainty shapes our behavior, as the more certain we are of a belief (whether it’s correct or incorrect), the more it influences us:

In short, certainty is the catalyst that turns attitudes into action, bringing beliefs to life and imbuing them with meaning and consequence.

At first, it seems like these two positions might be at odds with each other, but there are other interesting nuggets in the HBR article as well that tie the two positions together.  First, that the packaging of information influences the certainty of the consumers of that information (for example, when a generally positive product reviews takes pains to admit the product’s deficiencies).  Second, that your own position in a given situation may influence your level of certainty (for example, when you are the most senior person in the room, as opposed to when you are the most junior person in the room).

The HBR article then goes on to talk about four ways companies can boost certainty in their employee population, since certainty is a driver of behavior:

  1. Consensus – showing your view is widely shared (or shaping your view to perceptions)
  2. Repetition – having people express their own opinions repeatedly (encourage customers, employees, etc. to express positive opinions or opinions aligned with corporate goals)
  3. Ease – how easily an idea comes to mind (making good, regular visual use of key concepts)
  4. Defense – people are more certain after defending a position (being a devil’s advocate in an argument to get employees to defend their position)

My initial reaction to reading both Seth’s post and the HBR article was that if Certainty is nothing but an illusion, and yet it’s a key driver of behavior, then using Certainty by definition a manipulative management technique.  Say something’s true enough, get people to believe it, hope it’s right.  Or worse, get people to say it themselves enough so they believe their own inner monologues, not just yours.  But then I thought about the feedback that I get — that I deliver too many mixed messages — and changed my view. Coming across as certain, even when certainty may or may not be real, isn’t any more manipulative than any other management or even sales technique.  Our job as leaders is to generate inspiration and activity in our teams, isn’t it?  Using certainty isn’t by definition disingenuous, even if it’s an illusion at times.  It’s one thing to be All In, Until You’re Not, for example, and another thing entirely to publicly support a position that you know is false.  All we can do as leaders is to do our best.

Having said that, I think using certainty as a management tool is something leaders need to do judiciously given how powerful it is, and also given its fragility.  If business results are mixed, you can’t stand up in front of a room full of people and say things are great (or terrible), even if your people are seeking a black and white answer.  However, you can (and should) communicate your certainty that the direction you choose to take your team or your company is the right one.  And you can use transparency to further bolster your position.  Share the details of HOW you reached your decision with the people on your team.  After all, if you’re not certain, or if the logic that drove your certainty is flawed, why would anyone follow you?

Aug 272015

The Joy of Coaching

I was the head coach of my two older kids’ little league team this past spring.  The whole thing was a little bit of an accident – I vaguely volunteered for something and ended up in charge.  The commitment was a little daunting, but I was ok with it since the season was only a couple months long, it was both Casey and Wilson, and both kids, especially Wilson, are really into baseball.  Other than helping out a bit here and there, I’d never coached a sports team before.

What started off as an unclear assignment ended up as one of the most fun and fulfilling things I’ve done in years.  I loved every minute of it, looked forward to our practices and games, was hugely bummed out when we got rained out, and never had a moment where I couldn’t make the time for it (though clearly the hours had to come from somewhere!).  Given some of the overlap between leading a sports team and leading a company, I thought I’d reflect on the experience a bit here.  There are some common themes between this post and something I wrote years ago, Parenting and Corporate Leadership, with the same caveat that no, I don’t think employees are children or children are employees.  But here are some things I take away from the experience and apply or compare to work.

We established a clear philosophy and stuck to it.  That’s a step that lots of coaches – and managers in the workplace – miss.  The other coaches and I discussed this before the first practice, agreed on it, and shared it directly with the kids.  For this age group in particular, we felt that we were there first and foremost to have fun; second to learn the game; and third, to play hard and fair.  Note there was nothing in this about winning, and that we were really specific about the order of the three objectives.  Even 7 and 8 year olds know the difference between “win at all costs” and “have fun and play ball.”  We reinforced this at every practice and at every game.  Being intentional about a philosophy and communicating it (and of course sticking to it) are key for any leadership situation.

We got lucky.  As I repeatedly said to the parents on the team, we had a group of awesome kids – happy and generally paying attention, and not one troublemaker in the bunch; and we had a group of awesome parents – responsive, supportive, and not a single complaint about what position a kid was playing or where someone was in the batting order.  I’d heard horror stories about both kids and parents from other coaches ahead of time.  It’s possible that the other coaches and I did such a good job that both kids and parents were great all the time…but I think you have to chalk most of that up to the luck of the draw.  Work isn’t all that different.  Having stakeholders who are consistently positive forces is something that sometimes you can shape (you can fire problematic employees) but often you can’t, in the case of customers or even Board members.  Luck matters.

Stakeholder alignment was a critical success factor.  Having said that, I do think the coaches and I did a good job of keeping our stakeholders aligned and focusing on their needs, not ours.  We put extra effort into a regular cadence of communication with the parents in the form of weekly emails and a current web site.  We used those emails to highlight kids’ performance and also let parents know what we’d be working on in practice that week.  We made sure that we rotated kids in the batting order so that everyone got to bad leadoff once and cleanup once.  We rotated kids so that almost every kid played half of each game in the infield and half in the outfield.  We took any and all requests from kids who wanted to play a specific position for a few innings.  Many of these basic principles – communicating well, a clear operating system, listening to stakeholders, a People First approach – are lessons learned from work as a CEO.

Proper expectations and a large dose of patience helped.  After the first couple games, we were 0-2, and I was very frustrated.  But I reminded myself that 7 and 8 year olds are just kids, and my frustration wasn’t going to help us achieve our objectives of having fun and learning the game.  So I recalibrated my expectations and took much more of a laid-back attitude.  For example, any time I saw one kid goofing off a little bit in practice, I gently got him or her back in line.  But when I saw multiple kids’ attention fading, I took it as a sign that whatever I was doing as a coach wasn’t working, called a break, and did something else.  This kind of “look in the mirror” approach is always helpful at work, too.

Reward and recognition were key.  We definitely adopted a Whale Done! approach with the kids.  We got the kids in the dugout fired up to cheer on batters.  First base coaches did big high fives, smiles, and literal pats on the back for every hit.  Post-game huddles and emails to parents focused on highlights and what went right for the kids.  One of my favorite moments of the season was when one player, who only had one hit all year and struck out almost every time at bat, had two hits, an RBI, and a run scored in our final game.  Not just the coaches, but the other kids and all the parents went absolutely BANANAS cheering for this player, and it brought huge smiles to all our faces.  I am 100% certain that the focus on the positive encouraged the kids to try their hardest all season, much as I believe that same philosophy encourages people to take risks and work hard at the office.

The biggest thing I take back to the workplace with me from the experience.  I was reminded about how powerful achieving a state of “flow,” or “relaxed concentration” is.  I recounted these principles in this blog post from a couple different books I’ve read over the years – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow and Tim Gallway’s Inner Game books – Golf, Tennis, and Work.  The gist of achieving a state of flow is to set clear goals that are stretch but achievable, become immersed in the activity, pay attention to what’s happening, and learn to enjoy immediate experience.  All leaders – in sports, business, or any walk of life – can benefit from this way of living and leading.

I loved every minute of coaching.  It helped that we ended up with a really strong record.  But more than that, building relationships with a bunch of great kids and great parents was fun and fulfilling and incredibly thankful and rewarding.  The “thank you ball” that all the kids autographed for me is now a cherished possession.  Working and getting extra time with my own two kids was the icing on the cake.  All I want to know is…is it time for next season yet?  I am ready!

This post is really for Coaches Mike, Paul, and Oliver; and players Emily, Casey, Lauryn, Mike, Josh, Holden, Hudson, Wilson, Drew, Kevin, Matthew, and Christian.

Jun 252015

The Difference Between Culture and Values

The Difference Between Culture and Values

This topic has been bugging me for a while, so I am going to use the writing of this post as a means of working through it. We have a great set of core values here at Return Path. And we also have a great corporate culture, as evidenced by our winning multiple employer of choice awards, including being Fortune Magazine’s #2 best medium-sized workplace in America.

But the two things are different, and they’re often confused. I hear statements all the time, both here and at other companies, like “you can’t do that — it’s not part of our culture,” “I like working there, because the culture is so great,” and “I hope our culture never changes.”  And those statements reveal the disconnect.

Here’s my stab at a definition.  Values guide decision-making and a sense of what’s important and what’s right.  Culture is the collection of business practices, processes, and interactions that make up the work environment.

A company’s values should never really change. They are the bedrock underneath the surface that will be there 10 or 100 years from now.  They are the uncompromising core principles that the company is willing to live and die by, the rules of the game. To pick one value, if you believe in Transparency one day, there’s no way the next day you decide that being Transparent is unimportant. Can a value be changed?  I guess, either a very little bit at a time, slowly like tectonic plates move, or in a sharp blow as if you deliberately took a jackhammer to stone and destroyed something permanently.  One example that comes to mind is that we added a value a couple years back called Think Global, Act Local, when we opened our first couple of international offices.  Or a startup that quickly becomes a huge company might need to modify a value around Scrappiness to make it about Efficiency.  Value changes are few and far between.

If a company’s values are its bedrock, then a company’s culture is the shifting landscape on top of it. Culture is the current embodiment of the values as the needs of the business dictate. Landscapes change over time — sometimes temporarily due to a change in seasons, sometimes permanently due to a storm or a landslide, sometimes even due to human events like commercial development or at the hand of a good gardener.

So what does it mean that culture is the current embodiment of the values as the needs of the business dictate?  Let’s go back to the value of Transparency. When you are 10 people in a room, Transparency means you as CEO may feel compelled to share that you’re thinking about pivoting the product, collect everyone’s point of view on the subject, and make a decision together. When you are 100 people, you probably wouldn’t want to share that thinking with ALL until it’s more baked, you have more of a concrete direction in mind, and you’ve stress tested it with a smaller group, or you risk sending people off in a bunch of different directions without intending to do so. When you are 1,000 employees and public, you might not make that announcement to ALL until it’s orchestrated with your earnings call, but there may be hundreds of employees who know by then. A commitment to Transparency doesn’t mean always sharing everything in your head with everyone the minute it appears as a protean thought.  At 10 people, you can tell everyone why you had to fire Pat – they probably all know, anyway.  At 100 people, that’s unkind to Pat.  At 1,000, it invites a lawsuit.

Or here’s another example.  Take Collaboration as a value.  I think most people would agree that collaboration managed well means that the right people in the organization are involved in producing a piece of work or making a decision, but that collaboration managed poorly means you’re constantly trying to seek consensus.  The culture needs to shift over time in order to make sure the proper safeguards are in place to prevent collaboration from turning into a big pot of consensus goo – and the safeguards required change as organizations scale.  In a small, founder-driven company, it often doesn’t matter as much if the boss makes the decisions.  The value of collaboration can feel like consensus, as they get to air their views and feel like they’re shaping a decision, even though in reality they might not be.  In a larger organization with a wider range of functional specialists managing their own pieces of the organization, the boss doesn’t usually make every major decision, though guys like Ellison, Benioff, Jobs, etc. would disagree with that.  But in order for collaboration to be effective, decisions need to be delegated and appropriate working groups need to be established to be clear on WHO is best equipped to collaborate, and to what extent.  Making these pronouncements could come as feeling very counter-cultural to someone used to having input, when in fact they’re just a new expression of the same value.

I believe that a business whose culture never evolves slowly dies.  Many companies are very dynamic by virtue of growth or scaling, or by being in very dynamic markets even if the company itself is stable in people or product. Even a stable company — think the local hardware store or barber shop — will die if it doesn’t adapt its way of doing business to match the changing norms and consumption patterns in society.

This doesn’t mean that a company’s culture can’t evolve to a point where some employees won’t feel comfortable there any longer. We lost our first employee on the grounds that we had “become too corporate” when we reached the robust size of 25 employees. I think we were the same company in principles that day as we had been when we were 10 people (and today when we are approaching 500), but I understood what that person meant.

My advice to leaders: Don’t cling to every aspect of the way your business works as you scale up. Stick to your core values, but recognize that you need to lead (or at least be ok with) the evolution of your culture, just as you would lead (or be ok with) the evolution of your product. But be sure you’re sticking to your values, and not compromising them just because the organization scales and work patterns need to change.  A leader’s job is to embody the values.  That impacts/produces/guides culture.  But only the foolhardy leaders think they can control culture.

My advice to employees: Distinguish between values and culture if you don’t like something you see going on at work. If it’s a breach of values, you should feel very free to wave your arms and cry foul. But if it’s a shifting of the way work gets done within the company’s values system, give a second thought to how you complain about it before you do so, though note that people can always interpret the same value in different ways.  If you believe in your company’s values, that may be a harder fit to find and therefore more important than getting comfortable with the way those values show up.

Note:  I started writing this by talking about the foundation of a house vs. the house itself, or the house itself vs. the furniture inside it.  That may be a more useful analogy for you.  But hopefully you get the idea.

Filed under: Business, Culture, Uncategorized

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Dec 182014

Typing as Core Competency

Typing as Core Competency

We just had our annual typing tournament in the Return Path New York office, and it got me thinking on this topic.  Fits, hats off to my colleague Rosemary Girouard for her smashing victory this year, even with an injury, and to fellow finalists Caroline Pearl and Nicole Niemiec for excellent showings.

So this is going to sound silly, but I’m increasingly thinking that typing speed is a core competency for many jobs.  With special thanks to my 8th grade typing teacher, Mrs. Van Vranken, my typing training on an old-school typewriter has paid off.  I type 100 wpm+ on a full keyboard, about 75 wpm on a tablet, and 50 wpm on a phone.  That enables me to rip through my inbox as well as any long-form writing pretty quickly.

Does it matter?

On a spot check of my mailbox, it looks like I send about 200 emails per work day with an average of 75 words per email, or 15,000 words.  At 75 wpm (blend of devices), that means I’m spending 200 minutes typing emails, or about 3.5 hours, probably more time than that “doing email,” which includes reading and thinking.  That feels a little high, but it’s probably not too far off.  Let’s round down to 3 or even 2.5 hours.  Someone who types half as quickly, which by the way is still not bad in terms of wpm, is spending 2.5-3 hours more per day to process the same volume of email.  Someone who still does hunt-and-peck (and there are still plenty of those people out there in the business world) has to spend even more time.

That’s a pretty significant difference in terms of output capacity.  Whether it means slower typists have to clock more hours to get the same work done, they get the same work done at lower quality, or get less work done, it is an issue either for them or their companies.

Maybe someday dictation software will render the point moot, but then being a motor mouth will become a core competency!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Nov 262014

Autocorrect for life

Autocorrect for life

I used to joke that life should have an undo button, the ultimate Control-Z for when something goes wrong. But lately, I’ve been more of the mind that life should work like an Apple device with a good Autocorrect function. Why just undo things when they can be fixed in the blink of an eye, before anyone even knows they went wrong?

Press reply-all when you are bcc’d on an email because you forgot to look at the header closely enough?  No problem, Autocorrect for Life(AFL) will change it to a simple reply.

Fender bender while parallel parking?  AFL is there to save the day and fit your car perfectly into the spot and right up against the curb. It might even find you a space where there is time left on the meter for you.

Did the boss overhear you complaining about her to a colleague?  Here comes AFL, changing your words to something nice and friendly.

Of course, as I write this I am reminded that in older versions of Microsoft Office and the first version of iOS, the system kept trying to correct my wife Mariquita’s name to be Marijuana.  So, you’d probably want to make sure all the bugs are worked out of the AFL system before launch, unless you’re in Colorado or Washington.

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May 132013

Book Short: Getting to MVP

Book Short:  Getting to MVP

Usually, when we hear the term MVP, we think Most Valuable Player.  But in my line of work, that acronym has come to mean something entirely different:  Minimum Viable Product.  Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, by Ash Maurya, is an incredibly useful, practical how-to guide for any entrepreneur with an idea from concept through to MVP, or the smallest bit of functionality that you can get customers to pay for. This is one of the best books I’ve read that encapsulates most of the contemporary thinking and writing about product development in the early stages of a startup’s life from thought leaders like Steven Gary Blank and Eric Ries.

I read the book recently, as I was writing Startup CEO (original outline here), and I quoted liberally from it, including using his Lean Canvas graphic:

Lean Canvas

The basic principle behind the Lean Canvas is that the old way of doing a business plan was a ton of up front planning work, assuming you’re right, then building to spec.  The new way of doing a business plan is a really short series of hypotheses on a single page, then the time is spent de-risking the plan by systematically testing each element of it out.  The book includes several lists of checklists that walk you through how to test each box on the Lean Canvas.  As I’ve written about before, checklists are a really powerful management tool.

This is an essential read for entrepreneurs just starting a business.  But it’s also an excellent read for anyone running a growth company.  We have adopted more and more agile/lean methodologies over time at Return Path, and all of our product teams use the Lean Canvas with any major new features and projects.

(Side note – I’m writing this post on Friday, May 10, which is the 9th anniversary of my publishing this blog – 760 posts and one draft book later, it’s still an integral part of my business life!)

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Jan 312013

A Little Quieter Than Usual, For Now

A Little Quieter Than Usual, For Now

As many of you know, I’m writing a book called Startup CEO:  a Field Guide to Building and Running Your Company, which is due to the publisher in a few weeks.  I’d originally thought the book would be an easy project since the idea was to “turn my blog into a book.”  But then it turned out that for the book I wanted to write, I’d only written about 1/3 of the content on the blog already!

So the past few weeks I’ve been writing my brains out.  I now have a nearly 100,000 word draft, which needs to be edited down quite a bit, charts and tables inserted, outside contributors added in.

For the next handful of weeks, I’m going to post a bit less frequently than usual – probably every other week – as a result.  But once I get through this period, I’ll come roaring back with TONS of new content written for the book!

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Jan 172013

How to Wow Your Employees

How to Wow Your Employees

Here at Return Path we like to promote a culture of WOW and a culture of hospitality.  Some of you may be asking, Why Wow your employees?   The answer is, there is nothing more inspirational than showing an employee that you care about him or her as an individual.  The impact a WOW has is tremendous.  Being a manger is like being in a fishbowl.  Everything you do is scrutinized by your team.  You lead by example whether you want to or not and showing your own vulnerability/humanity has an amazing bonding effect.

Why do you want to foster Wow moments with your team?  High performing teams have a lot of Wow going on.  If all members of a team see Wow regularly, they are all inspired to do more sooner and better.

Here are 15 ways to Wow your employees

  1. Take them or her to lunch/breakfast/drinks/dinner quarterly individually, one nice one per year
  2. Learn their hobbies and special interests; when you have a spiff to give, give one that is in line with these
  3. Remember the names of their spouse/significant other/kids/pets
  4. Share your development plan with them and ask for input against it at least quarterly
  5. Respond to every email from your staff by the end of the day; sooner if you are on the TO line
  6. Ask them what they think of a piece of work you’re doing
  7. Ask them what they think of the direction the company is going, or a specific project
  8. Periodically take something off each one’s plate, even if it’s clearly theirs to do
  9. Periodically tell them to take a day off to recharge, ideally around something important in their lives
  10. End every meaningful interaction by asking how they are doing and feeling about work
  11. End every interaction by asking what you can be doing to help them do a better job and advance their career
  12. Read all job openings and highlight ones that match their interests for future positions
  13. Read the weekly award list and call out those FROM and TO your team in staff meetings
  14. Send a handwritten note to their home when you have a moment of appreciation for them
  15. (If your employee has a team he/she manages) Ask for input before every skip-level interaction and summarize each one after the fact in an email or in person

I try to have Wow moments regularly with people at all levels in the organization.  Here’s one that sticks with me.  At the Colorado summer party several years ago, I went up to someone who was a few layers down in the organization and said hi to her husband and dog by name.  I had met them before, and I work at remembering these things.  The husband was blown away – I hadn’t talked to him in probably two years.  In front of the employee, he gushed – “this is exactly why my wife loves working here – we are totally committed to being part of the RP family.”

There are as many ways to be a great manager and WOW your employees as there are stars in the sky…hopefully these ideas give you a framework to make these your own!

Oct 042012

Scaling Horizontally

Scaling Horizontally

Other CEOs ask me from time to time how we develop people at Return Path, how we scale our organization, how we make sure that we aren’t just hiring in new senior people as we grow larger.  And there are good answers to those questions – some of which I’ve written about before, some of which I’ll do in the future.

But one thing that occurred to me in a conversation with another CEO recently was that, equally important to the task of helping people scale by promoting them whenever possible is the task of recognizing when that can’t work, and figuring out another solution to retain and grow those people.  A couple other things I’ve written on this specific topic recently include:

The Peter Principle Applied to Management, which focuses on keeping people as individual contributors when they’re not able to move vertically into a management role within their function or department, and

You Can’t Teach a Cat How to Bark, But you Might be able to Teach it How to Walk on its Hind Legs, which talks about understanding people’s limitations.

Another important point to make here, though, is thinking about how to help employees scale horizontally instead of vertically (e.g., to more senior/management roles within their existing function or department).  Horizontally scaling is allowing employees to continue to grow and develop, and overtime, become more senior and more valuable to the organization, by moving into different roles on different teams.

We’ve had instances over the years of engineering managers becoming product managers; account managers becoming product managers; product managers becoming sales leaders; client operations people moving into marketing; account managers moving into sales; I could go on and on. We’ve even had executives switch departments or add completely new functions to their portfolio.

Moves like this don’t always work. You do have to make sure people have the aptitude for their new role. But when moves like this do work, they’re fantastic. You give people new challenges, keep them fresh and energized, bring new perspective to teams, and retain talent and knowledge.  And when you let someone scale horizontally, make sure to celebrate the move publicly so others know that kind of thing can be available… and be sure to reward the person for their knowledge and performance to date, even if they’re moving laterally within your org chart.

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