STP Network Organizing

Dashboard for STP's network organizing efforts

Jodie Jeopardy

May 1, 2017 — May 5, 2017

How might we...

How might we build our strategic muscles?

Hypothesis

If Jodie practices asking and answering strategic questions every day, then she will feel more confident about what she already understands (i.e. a lot) and where she needs to focus her attention.

Design

Jodie will be both Alex Trebek and the contestant!

30-minutes every day for five days, Jodie will go through the following exercise with Eugene:

  1. Brainstorm questions for five minutes
  2. Score each question a 1 (70+% certain of the answer), 2 (40-70% certain of the answer), or 3 (less than 40% certain of the answer)
  3. Sort them according to the certainty to which she has the answers
  4. Answer each question to the best of her ability, as Eugene takes notes

Eugene will experiment with synthesizing Jodie’s questions as a possible model for what we might do with the Wye leaders.

Metrics

Total “certainty differential”:

  • Eugene will create his own certainty scores to Jodie’s questions based on her answers, and he’ll measure the difference between his and Jodie’s scores. In other words, if Jodie scores a question a 3 (highly uncertain), but her answer reflects a score of 1, her differential will be 2.

Success is if Total Certainty Differential (TCD) trends to zero by the end of the week.

Another thing to track, although not sure yet how to interpret: How often roughly the same question is repeated, and how the answers to that question evolve over time.

Learnings

The process definitely helped Jodie maintain clarity and focus, and she found it valuable.

The process served as a useful way to force Jodie to iterate on more complex questions instead of being trapped by having the “right” answer up-front, which is helping her make progress on proposals, etc.

This process had the ancillary effect of helping Eugene understand what’s on Jodie’s mind, which is helping him with his own work. This could have a similar impact on the rest of the team.

Jodie needs more practice on staying grounded in the face of the more complex, bigger picture questions.

The process of making sense of the questions Jodie’s asking is serving as a model for how to do the same with the Wye strategic questions.

Decisions

Jodie and Eugene will repeat Jodie Jeopardy from Wednesday through Friday. She’ll brainstorm, score, and sort questions on her own, Eugene will join for answering. This time, Eugene may push back or prod on answers.

Eugene will let Miles River know that this experiment is happening in the meetings log, ground rules. Encourage people to track and probe.

Eugene will reach out to Ide about doing a version of this with him.

Questions

Hashtag #jodiejeopardy
Accountable Eugene
Team Jodie, Eugene
Documents Design + LogExperiment Folder
Modified May 8, 2017

Tags

Updates

We’re closing Free Your Mind and Try Again #trytry. This experiment was not completed, the first iteration draft was shared and everyone on the team gave feedback, although not everyone rated it for how compelling the first draft was.

Overall,l, Jodie will keep working on this piece of writing, connecting the dots between her other writing from the Jodie Jeopardy Experiments, #jodiejeopardy.

I pulled together a quick Google Spreadsheet to track and score the questions coming out of #jodiejeopardy. Here’s an overview of the dashboard:

I can imagine us doing something similar for Wye River as well.

Feedback from Alison on Slack:

I understand your metrics, but what will success be for this experiment versus failure? is the goal not to have repeat questions or is it that if there are repeaters that means it has more strategic importance? Also is the idea that the score differential would decrease over the week? Finally, I’d love to see the lists of questions, will those be kept in the data section?

I feel like our #Pulse call could look at one of these questions this week or in the future.

My response:

Yes, the idea is that the score differential would decrease over the week. I’ll update the experiment to clarify this. Jodie Jepoardy will definitely help us understand how to better assess strategic muscles.

Re: Repeaters. I’m not sure yet how to interpret repeat questions yet, so I’ll track, but no implied success metrics yet. One scenario is that repeated questions _and_ answers is a sign that this exercise is working, because the question is clearly occupying (and perhaps confusing or stressing out) @jodie’s mind, but she keeps coming back to the same answer. Another scenario is that the question keeps coming up, but Jodie keeps coming up with different, possibly diverging answers, which might be an indication that she’s working through possibilities or that she’s flip-flopping. Too soon to tell, so just want to observe and see.

We’ll track this exercise in our usual meeting log, so you’ll be able to follow Jodie’s questions and answers there. As I synthesize, I’ll make that available somewhere as well.

#jodiejeopardy

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