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What's in a name?
Never thought I'd quote Shakespeare in this newsletter...
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At every growing company that has ever existed, leadership has at some point tried to boil the ocean with varying job titles to appease internal politics. Beyond being wildly confusing when it comes to hiring or looking for your next opportunity, this also creates undue internal tension when teams change, responsibilities increase, or inevitably, our org structures shift.
It’s not a ridiculous scenario, nor does it have an obvious answer. Claire Hughes Johnson (former COO of Stripe) just released a book covering this very topic, and if you want a preview, you can listen to her chat with Lenny Rachitsky on last week’s episode, but suffice it to say: we’ve really made a mess of job titles.
As Claire tells it, Stripe’s approach in the early days was incredibly simple: just identify the core functions your business needs (product, marketing, sales, operations, etc) and decide on one title for each (product manager, marketing lead, etc). And that’s what everyone gets called, regardless of seniority. Confusing? Maybe, but it seems like a great hedge if you
think your company will one day introduce a more formal org structure and you want to make that shift less taxing on your team, or
want your team to spend less time worrying about hierarchy and more time shipping
How do you name roles in your organization?
Raman at Rhetoric
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