An Amazon review of Konk, a double album by The Kooks:
They shouldn’t have made the 2-disc edition. You don’t have to release every sh*t you ever recorded.
Sounds familiar? Less is more. Quality over quantity. Etc.
But it’s more complex than that. Sometimes quantity is better. The Mail Online has >100 journalists pumping out celebrity gossip stories, because those drive the pageviews which in turn bring the ad revenue. For the Mail, maybe adding quantity is smarter than adding quality.
I’m very interested in these grey areas. Blanket statements hide the nuances.
I just finished a book called Turn The Ship Around!. A US Navy commander writes about introducing a ‘leader-leader’ model (instead of the traditional ‘leader-follower’ model) on his submarine. It’s a good book, all very empowering and life-affirming – but there is not a lot of grey.
When should you hold back from empowering staff?
How do you manage accountability when responsibility is so thoroughly delegated?
In what circumstances are the staff, not the system, seen to be the problem?
We rate pretty highly in leader-leader coverage in the teams I have worked in. But I find it very hard to believe that I have all the solutions already latent inside of me, or that if something goes wrong, all that’s needed is a little more empowerment. It sounds like the supposed disaster emerging at Zappos under holacracy. And very little consideration of these grey areas appears in the book.
Next time you hear one of these truisms – less is more, quality over quantity – just stop for a minute. Is it really true?
For more untruisms, find me on Twitter.