Core belief: We’re in it together

Core belief in effective product development culture.

“We’re in it together” is a belief in belonging and shared purpose.

What is the belief that “we’re in it together”?

You believe that you are important to others and they are important to you. You believe that they have your back, and you have theirs. You all believe that you are “on the same boat”.

“We’re in it together” is a belief in belonging and shared purpose.

Responsibility-focus reflects the belief that “we’re in it together”.

One way I like to think about this is how John Shook describes the difference between authority-focus and responsibility-focus:

  • Authority-focus: “Not my job, not my problem.”

Responsibility-focus reflects the belief that “we’re in it together”.

Authority-focus: “Not my job, not my problem.” Responsibility-focus: “What is the right thing to do? How can I help?”
Authority-focus vs Responsibility-focus

When we all believe “we’re in it together”, the work generally works better.

When we all believe “we’re in it together”, we’re more likely to be effectively collaborating rather than competing against each other at the expense of broader goals.

It generally feels better to believe that “we’re in it together”. We’re more likely to be engaged and motivated in that environment.

When we all believe “we’re in it together”, the work generally works better.

“We’re in it together” comes from mutual purpose and mutual respect.

“We’re in it together” is essentially an expression of trust. Borrowing from Crucial Conversations, this trust comes from mutual purpose and mutual respect.

Mutual purpose in an organisational setting typically comes from transparency, clear, repeated communication of shared goals, and alignment of incentive systems.

Mutual respect in an organisational setting is typically established by the interaction habits of influential role models, the design of systems to encourage respectful behaviour and discourage disrespectful behaviour, and the stories that are told of what is considered good or bad.

Alternatively, Team of Teams calls this combination of mutual purpose and mutual respect, “shared consciousness”.

Individualism and single-teamism undermines “we’re in it together”.

If you want to undermine the belief that “we’re in it together”, there are several things that can be done:

  • Emphasise individual over shared goals, accomplishments, rewards, and recognition;

References