Publishing versus orchestrating

You can focus on short term delivery, or long term delivery. Do you follow the Twitter drama day-to-day, or just wait every week or two to see what happened? Do you write an article in a day or two, or write a 40 page PDF in a month, 120+ page book in a year.

My brain is wired to find the pay-off in every moment, and to be present and remembering. Long term projects seem like I’m not doing work - all that time just…working, not publishing. It was blogging that did this to me, not Twitter.

(Here, when I say “publish,” I mean deliver something.)

I think about managers a lot: they are rarely publishing/delivery frequently. Instead the orchestrate other people dong it: build the systems that everyone works in (the organization and “culture”), make sure there’s capable people in the system (hiring, retaining, career management), give editorial direction (strategy, goals), and check on the status of things (verify that things are happening, fix problems).

When I think about that work it seems like it’d be so unsatisfying: you’re never directly publishing anything! I know people who manage take great satisfaction in…making things happen, helping people, all that. And, of course, you make a lot more money, which is always nice.

Individual contributors (as they call people like me) often run around saying “we should do this and that…” or the unkind among us “why aren’t we doing such and such - what do all these people do?” That, perhaps, is a portal into orchestrating other people delivering: when you have that thought, rather than take that work on your own (which leads to you doing less overall because you have too much), why not orchestrate someone else doing it?,, @cote