Principles and values

What to do when things don’t seem right…

When you’re working for the pointy-haired boss

When something is operating in a way that makes you uncomfortable, it’s because it’s in opposition to your principles and values. Knowing your principles will help when asking yourself what should I do?

Things operate in different ways for different reasons. Be open to the possibility this is the correct modus operandi. Then re-read Hanlon’s razor and trust your instinct.

Turn your research and design skills inward. Understand your organisation. Develop a definition of the problem as you see it. Use it to explain the change you want to make.

Learn to communicate your thoughts with others. Create a plan to introduce change. Radiate intent. Remember there are no rules, only convention. Challenge convention with justification. Radiate intent.

Your team or organisation will change. Or it won’t; some people are just shitheads. You’ll learn a lot. If you smell burning, start looking for a organisation that shares your values; they’ll appreciate your story and value your principles.

When you ARE the pointy-haired boss

Everyone in the team should know your principles and your values. They need to know to operate, and why. No lies. You make this deal with them up front and in the open. No bullshit.

Clear principles provide your team with guidance when you’re not around. The team can – and should – make decisions on your behalf, even when those decisions challenge convention.

What happens when it’s your convention? See above.

Thank you to all the people who unknowingly contributed to me writing this piece; Allison Marshall, Elizabeth Ayer, Chris Smith, Marty Cagan and Lamp - who asked the question in the first place. I ❤️ Lamp.

© Jonathan Roberts 2019
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