Here at Forward Partners we are going through a process of rethinking our values. We have historically had seven, but found that was too many to consistently remember and action, so we recently consolidated it down to four:
- We execute with skill and pace
- We get better every time
- We play the game differently
- We enjoy the journey
The next step in our process is to flesh out what these mean in a bit more detail. I’ve been thinking about our ‘skill and pace’ value in particular. This is one that was part of the seven, so we’ve had it for a while. We adopted the value originally because we were having problems balancing speed and quality. We were getting conflict between team members who wanted to move fast and those who were concerned that we were compromising too much on quality. Most often this was when we were deciding whether to release products or launch services when bug testing had been done, but not done to death, and before the full suite of unit tests had been written. We realised that we didn’t have a language to discuss the trade-off between speed and quality and so introduced the ‘skill and pace’ value so we could repeatedly ask ourselves if we had the balance right.
As I’ve been mulling over it some more it’s becoming clear to me that another aspect of executing with skill and pace is being comfortable with both the big picture and the detail. The big picture gives you ambition, the need to move quickly and ensures you are on a worthwhile path. The detail is key to hitting your short-term goals and is what enables you to move at speed.
Conversely, people who prefer to live only in the big picture can be insufficiently practical and people who are only comfortable in the detail can find it hard to see past short-term obstacles.