For the last 10+ years, I've designed organizations and coached leaders.
Both as an employee and external coach
We rarely lack options and ideas on how to improve.
The challenge is picking where to focus.
This thinking Model, Flight Levels, has helped me better understand which opportunities have the most leverage.
Common questions Flight Levels helps with:
- Where to focus? Out of the many options we see
- Who to involve? Since everyone is really busy, and local context is essential.
- How to connect to the broader org? To avoid negative local optimization
Let's look at each one.
1. Where to focus?
Strategic leaders often work on Strategy and see the Team level as the problem in delivery.
Team Coaches often work on improving the delivery speed and see Strategic Leaders as the problem in prioritization and culture.
The middle Flight Level, Coordination is often the key to integrating these two.
Instead, We can focus on collaboration between teams and speed up the overall flow of work.
2. Who to involve?
It's hard to understand a situation from the outside.
Since People who work in a given context know the most about that context, it makes sense we involve them in understanding and improvement efforts.
Klaus says, "We don't build systems FOR people. We build them WITH people".
The point is to engage those affected by the change.
3. How to connect to the Broader Org?
When we think of an org as nested layers of abstraction, it's easy to see how interactions between the layers are needed.
- We could connect Strategy and Delivery together so they're more aligned
- We could connect two departments or product areas.
I like to "start where we are" and move upstream or downstream as our influence and understanding grow.