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”?

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:

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

“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.

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 teams or areas over the overall organisation — better yet, encourage cross-team/area competition;
  • Make it difficult to share information, interact, and move across boundaries.

References

Senior Agile Coach at Spotify, ex-ThoughtWorks, ex-CruiseControl