Gil Shklarski walks through the matrix he adapted to enable his increasingly autonomous and fragmented team to keep moving fast and smart through tough choices.
Xanax for Decision Making
- As you scale, one team becomes many, and each team needs to make decisions independently.
- Leadership capacity is diminished if teams can’t commit.
- On successful teams, members feel psychologically safe.
- Shklarski saw the framework from his coach as a tool for his team leads to…
- quickly and efficiently create alignment around decision-making
- foster a level of psychological safety that would take fear, self-consciousness and anxiety out of the process.
- Two types of decisions: irreversible and reversible
- Shklarski’s goal was to optimize for reversible decisions
- It starts with a basic chart
- 2+ options you’re deciding between at the top.
- Benefits, costs, and uniquely mitigations down the left-hand column.
- Leaders should encourage everyone to ideate and include the social considerations/ramifications of each option.
- Contributes to psychological safety
The Matrix in Practice
- Shklarski applied this framework to help Flatiron’s engineering team make a contentious decision.
- Should they have more descriptive job titles signifying seniority or not?
- Using the framework, Flatiron decided to refactor and improve the software in place.
Making the Matrix a Cultural Touchstone
- Since adapting this matrix to help teams make decisions together, Flatiron has used it in making other decisions.
- There were several keys to making its implementation at Flatiron effective:
- Senior sponsorship
- In-person training with managers
- Expand its scope outside of tech
- Understand the limitations