Collaborations and incentives

As organizations grow in size, collaborating with other teams can either be high leverage or a productivity killer. A simple way to understand which outcome is more likely is to take a moment to understand and clarify everyone’s incentives.

If incentives are all aligned – i.e., if everyone is aligned on the metrics that matter, it’ll come down to our ability to collaborate and build strong relationships.

But, if they’re not, it is best to stop the conversation right there. The worst possible move is to spend hours attempting to convince people of our point-of-view. Even if they are convinced, it won’t matter if that’s not what they’re paid to do.

The only way out at this point is to discuss/escalate so someone with decision making power over both teams can clarify incentives.

Investing in aligning on the incentives at the start saves a ton of wasted time later.