How can we convert communication into aligned action?

From our last meeting, we have the following notes to answer the following question: How do we convert communication into aligned action? How do we build tools that help people feel accountable while feeling supported? How do we create incentives?

We need your help to answer this question. We would really appreciate your feedback and ideas!

Subcontext: How might we build tools or processes that create visibility and incentives for accountability and learning from activities and their contribution to the goals/objective/strategy?

  • The basic question here is “how can we keep people accountable?” and “How should reporting work?” which are partly answered as proposal below
  • The other question is “How can we share learnings?”
    • We have reports and metrics, but we need to make it easier to filter them for learnings
    • We could have this in a structure that enables it to be shared on in an easy way
  • How can we create incentives for people to share those learnings?
    • If those learnings are shared for all this might be an incentive enough . Further this could also be part of a public profile, showing others that this person has learned (and therefore improved their skills) in terms of reference for a CV or similar.
    • We can fit in the recognition proposal that we already have as well

Feel free to reach out here if anything from these notes is not clear enough to give feedback or ideas on!


I think that we have to reward people for the sharing but the rest for me it is in the recognition proposal.

maybe @george as some input here? :slight_smile:

There are a few things here that I think are the tail wagging the dog. Allow me to explain:

  1. You don’t build tools or processes for success. You define your process (which can be ad hoc, chaos is a process that’s just less proscriptive) and then you choose and shape the tools that help people get things done the way you want things done.

  2. Conflating reporting, accountability and sharing, and making them the goals. These things aren’t the goals, they are how you achieve goals. Keep people accountable for what? Report what? Share what? Do we need to make the reports and metrics easier to filter or are they actually collecting a bunch of useless (or at least unused) data?

  3. Creating incentives external to the process. The process should have the incentives built in. If you have to create external incentives then you have created a process that gets in people’s way, rather than serves their goals.

Also, I think that reports and accountability are pretty tangential to turning communication into aligned action. I think that we have trouble producing aligned action because we spend so much time focusing on reports and accountability first rather than enabling people to just do things. I think as well the program isn’t designed for people to work together, the system is very much designed for a Rep to accomplish something.

The answer to both problems though is to start at the beginning - what do we want people to accomplish (filling out a report doesn’t count) and what processes and tools serve them.


I agree with Kensie to some degree at least, and I want to even go a step further: We talk about “aligned action” which is fine, if it means “aligned to the overall Mozilla Mission” - but for one thing, we all see different aspects of the mission as important and we also need to foster Reps being innovative in how to push that mission, and being innovative may mean not having too many tight rules as that usually stops people from innovating on their own.
So the question is how can we use the freedom to innovate and still make sure things push along lines aligned with the Mission and the Reps program?

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It wasn’t the intention to have those as goals. These were meant to be solutions for the overall question of this thread which would boil down to the goal “Have impactful actions being done by Reps based on our communication of current goals” (shaken out of my hand just now, not perfectly phrased due to that…).

Thinking about this, I have a few more replies.

I definitely agree with you there. Fully aligned action might have the “support Mozilla’s mission” and “doing good for the open web” incentives below it. But how could you use those incentives to push a certain initiative?

Let’s take a step back for that case. Let’s not think about specific solutions, but about the “why” behind it. Let’s say we publish specific goals for the Reps program / Participation team that we think are most valuable to Mozilla right now. How could we build incentives to support those? Of course we shouldn’t stop anything else that people are doing to bring mozilla’s mission out to the world.

I think for those things we need some kind of rewards for activities there, those can reach from honorable mentions and leaderboards via small prizes and swag to getting invited to all-hands weeks and such. By what metrics we measure should be dependent on what the metrics for the specific program-wide or Mozilla-wide goals are. But in general, rewards and gamification for specific initiatives are IMHO the best way to push in that area.

Incentives and gamification start a competition which many people can’t finish in the small group near the top because they can not spent the same amount of time like them or have higher quality standards. That can foster frustration (because they get nothing for their actions) and make them to quit. At least that’s my experience with these efforts at Mozilla.

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I don’t think we need incentives to encourage people to work towards common
goals. But there are two sides:

  1. The program should be for people who want to work with Mozilla on
    common goals (if that’s the point)
  2. Mozilla should take it very seriously when this group of super devoted
    contributors isn’t excited about working towards those goals. If they don’t
    resonate with us, how will they resonate with people who are less motivated
    and less aligned?

The point here is that we should also find balance between org goals and grass-root efforts and needs.