Teracode: Flow vs. Machine

I’m going to give you a glimpse of understanding into the broader picture behind our flywheel.

And the first thing I really want to talk about is this idea of flow, because it becomes important in terms of the way that we’re running the business.

think of the business as a system rather than a machine. 

And if you think of a machine. Take a car, your engine, your piston, your brake pads – when you replace one thing, then another thing gets a bit faulty. 

And so you have to go and fix the next issue that pops up. 

But with a system, there’s a flow. There’s a correlation, a cause-effect principle in understanding what our flywheel actually is. 

This way, I’m able to look at what the metrics are that define our performance today. I can then proactively manage the risk in the business and see the impact through the correlation, cause and effect that runs through the flow of the business. 

I’m able to look at the long-term strategy of the business. 

I’m able to track the different components and the long-term, or medium-term, efforts that we are making to understand this flow process.

It’s this combination between what are typically objectives & key results (OKRs) and what I call leverage metrics. We involve the leverage metrics, because it helps drive us forward and exponentially scale the business as a whole.

But what I’ve changed around the OKR model is really taking away this centralised command-control framework. Where I, as CEO, have my objectives rolling down the business and I’ve looked at the different areas of the business and asked, how do we grow these different areas and what is their impact on the rest of the business?

As such, I’ve got this framework where I can look at the flywheel on a daily basis, I can understand the impact of all of our efforts on that flywheel today and how we need to drive that business or different components of that flywheel.

And by leveraging certain elements of the system that we’re looking at, I’m able to scale the business far faster and far quicker.

It allows me to understand the inherent risks and the negative and positive effects that are coming through in terms of how we’re driving the business forward. 

A Well-Working System = Healthy, Sustainable Business

When we think of our flywheel, we think of Teraflow as a system rather than a machine and this gives us a lot of flexibility and freedom on how we manage and drive the business forward.

Because if I get my system working well, I have a healthy, sustainable business as opposed to hitting these targets and I’m no longer driving people to hit targets.

But I’m driving the optimisation of the flow because the more I put in one area, the bigger the impact is. If I want to increase sales, we just have to put more effort into the sales, but I know that I can balance the recruitment of the A-Players, the Squads, the HR process, etc.

And as we break down the actual flywheel, you start to understand how this flow actually connects and works in a unified whole. 

So I really see myself as the chief conductor of the business, really managing this flow, looking for risks, driving this flywheel strategy forward.

But most importantly, looking at our culture, because really we believe that people drive that forward. Our system is processes, but our people are what impact those processes to drive it forward. 

That’s where cause and effect comes into play. 

So it’s a very interesting dynamic for me so that’s just really how we think about our business as a system, as opposed to a machine and how we’re able to build this decentralised business. 

But more importantly, how we are able to create this sustainable business that allows itself to work without me having to overmanage it.

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