Rotate roles


There are so many roles that exist in this world, that keep the world functioning, politicians, doctors, lawyers, police, firefighters, engineers, janitors, cooks, waiters, teachers, etc. This is true in companies as well. All of the roles are essential, even if the markets might pay a certain role more than another because of supply and demand reasons. It is very hard to fathom how many things have to come together for everything to work. It is hard for anyone to understand how things work 2 levels above or below their level in the various systems they are part of. These systems can be the job you do, the food you eat, the school you go to or the restaurant you eat at, etc. It is fascinating to learn about it though. You can learn a lot by reading books, watching movies, talking to people, but there is something to actually doing the work and experiencing what doing the work feels like that really helps you understand things at another level. Spending time doing what others do helps you understand the importance of a role, how that fits in the bigger picture, empathize with the challenges of their work and experience the rewards and the satisfaction that role offers. On the flip side, watching someone play your role will also be englightening for you, how someone from a different background approaches your role and performs the duties differently to achieve the same results.

Some countires have mandatory army service. Some companies have rotations where you can work in different teams or work in different roles like product, support to see where you fit best. The typical process is to shadow someone a few times, learn, ask questions and when you feel comfortable, you do their job, while they reverse shadow you and give you feedback and take feedback from you on how the job can be done better. This is a great way to build relationships, there is something about walking in the shoes of others or someone walking in your shoes that helps folks really understand and connect with each other. Especially, if it is something that is important for their livelihood. It's getting access to a very deep and vulnerable part of someone's life that breaks down a lot of barriers and brings people close to each other. This is an important exercise that I wish more organizations realize the value of. This is time very well spent, it's an investment to build a fantastic culture and an organization where people have a lot of empathy and connection to each other and feel they are working together to achieve the mission of the company.