One of my best "get things done" tricks: is that I focus on the "last mile" of whatever I'm doing.
Here's a picture to illustrate what I mean:
Most of the work went into building I-40. But for the three houses in the circle above that live off of Lomaki Road, most of the value came from the last mile of service roads that were built to make the interstate accessible.
I see people spending a bulk of their time on the big parts of a project -- the equivalent of building I-40. But then they leave the service roads -- the details -- un-built, which means they never actually unlock that value.
A good signal this might be happening to you is when you hear yourself (or others) talk about ways you could accomplish something without actually doing it. And especially often, I hear people waiting for a trigger before they take an action.
So if I ever mention to you "how can you 'last mile' this?" what I'm asking is, "what's that one additional thing you can do, right now, to unlock the value of the project, that's not dependent on an external variable?" There are almost always small things you can do immediately that will unlock that value. Some specific examples include things like:
Hope that helps you unlock more value in the things you spend your time on!
Being embedded squarely in the middle of the fast-growing mobile revolution, our company has a unique perch which I've wanted to codify into a vision document for some time. I finally found time to do it, and the resulting video is below, along with the slides below that. I'd love your thoughts & comments on what points you agree or disagree with, and why.
Here's the video:
If you want to play the video faster, say at 1.5x speed, you can download it from the vimeo site (here's where you download it from).
Here's the transcript:
My post before this was a kind of therapy / Buddhism / personal growth kind of deal, but I also spend a lot of time thinking about how to run effective teams and to be a responsible, thoughtful manager of people. It is my work: I am a lead engineer at Bungie, an independent video game developer of about 300 employees (though not for long, we're growing.) There are some unique aspects to making videogames, and I'll use game development terminology here as I refer to, say, texture artists or sound designers or programmers, but when I talk to friends in different creative industries - film, industrial design, other software development - I find these themes are pretty universal.
If you're going to manage people, you're going to have a lot of conversations about employee performance. It's just bound to happen. Sometimes, like during reviews, it might seem excessive. You might wonder if's worth all the time it takes. It is. It's OK that you spend a bunch of time on this. As a manager, that is your job. It's your job to have well-formed opinions about how you evaluate people and how you work with them to help them grow. If you aren't spending time on that, then you may be succeeding as a leader, but probably not as a manager. Apples and oranges.
It is, however, important to spend this time well. During conversations about performance, everything you talk about should boil down to one thing: the value they contribute to the team. What is their value, and how can they become more valuable?
I find a lot of review conversations tend to focus on strengths, weaknesses, and specific work results. These seem like reasonable topics, and there's value there, but I also find this often leads to a review that looks like this: