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Grumpy CIO - JFDWI and teamwork

Talk to your team.

Sometimes you might feel that the company needs to "get this done" and "JFDWI"

But ask the team first.

They will surprise you, always, because they are collectively (and individually!) smarter than you are on your own.

We had this on a big (for us) migration in January.

We asked the team, and they thought about the pros and cons.

And said, "you know what, let's just do this. And if something happens we'll JFDWI"

But they made the call, and if they'd gone the other way then we'd have done that instead.

It's not weak leadership, it's strong management.

Watch my video about this below.


Hi, I'm Alistair, the grumpy CIO. What am I grumpy about this week, bloody startups who don't engage and get the best value out of their team, ask them how you should run your business, you employ them. They're brilliant. You have a team, not just like some human staff that work for you, engage them and ask their opinions. We had the situation earlier this year, we normally run by the methodology, slower, steady, steady as fast. It's a cultural thing where you're trying to just move as quickly as you possibly can by moving very steadily. The interweb says it comes from the Navy SEALs. I've heard other attributions, but it's something we live by what happens when you actually just need a big bag implementation? And you're in a startup? What do you do? The traditional Big Bang implementation would take a long time planning vast numbers, resources, business implementations, plans, gap analysis, as is to be stated to be states, etc, etc. You're in a startup, what do you do? Well, we asked our team, we had this situation where we were we had built things in a non relational database MongoDB. But the further we actually explored them into our product, we realised that looks like a duck smells like a duck, it's a duck. Actually, this is relational data. And we need to move a lot of that into a sequel solution. We chose Postgres. We also had a lot of stuff we've been experimenting with as a business. And we've actually started the product is actually sort of make early revenue from it. This was all driven off spreadsheet at the time, that doesn't scale needs to put that on to an automated solution as well. There were some things that we kept on Mongo, non relational databases are very good for certain things. And we kept the information there. And there was some things that at the time, we kept on spreadsheets since January 2023, they have also been automated. But for this, even understanding that was a big deal. All of this is a big deal for us. So what did we do? We asked the team. So we said, there's a couple of ways of doing this one, the big bank approach, as I said, lots of documentation, but very safe. The other is to just deal with it, which is what that acronym stands for. And we went and asked the team, what their choices were, how they should think they should work through the business, how they should, how they think that they'll deal with the situations that come up, one thing that has to happen is customers could never be impacted that that couldn't happen. But there's a lot of stuff where if we take the just deal with it approach, we may end up scrambling, you know, in the evening in the nights to do things that otherwise should have been automated, we may end up scrambling around them taking hours to do things that should just happen automatically. In seconds, we may find that the data errors, we're having to fix swans paddling under the surface, so our customers don't see it. And the team thought about it. And they went with option one, and we just dealt with it. So trust your team, share where you are all the time, they'll really feel like they're there with you, you're in a startup, they're not going to walk out and say I don't care, I'm just sharing, they feel part of it. They are a team, not just a human resources, human staff, asked for collective input, be prepared, be willing to be overridden. And that happens to myself and Daniel my business partner a lot that we come up and the team just says, kinda right but different flavour. And it goes, thanks, but not quite. Use executive override, very rarely. I was blessed early in my career to work directly for Alan Moss, who at the time was the CEO of Macquarie group in Australia. And there were a couple of times in the year where he took every selective inputs. They wanted to go on path A and he just very calmly went well, I think we'd all agree we're going on path B then and there was a chuckle going around the room. The reason there was a chuckle. There was a recognition that he was the CEO and he could do this, but he only did very, very, very rarely. He engaged and trusted all the people on that team, which is why they were super empowered and produce the spectacular business results than they did for a very long time. Thanks for watching. I'm Alistair, the CIO of We are the searching for venture capital come to us to optimise your adventure outreach and trust your team. Thank you


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