On Tools, Processes and Guitar Pedals 🎸
How to choose tools for your team, and use them with profit
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I have been playing guitar for almost 20 years, studying in a music school since I was 13 until my last years of university.
During my high-school years, once I attended a seminar by Scott Henderson. He was (and is) one of my favourite players, an absolute legend. He spent a couple of hours with us and shared several insights about his playing.
At some point he was asked about his guitar pedals. He started listing and describing them, but soon added:
You know, in my life I have spent way too much time turning knobs. Had I spent half of that time improving my playing instead, I would be crazy good now.
If you ask most guitar players, they will say pedals are crucial: they change and improve your sound, and your sound inspires the way you play.
However, as Scott implied, they don't actually make you a better player. Your playing comes from you, from your skills and taste. Pedals only make it more effective.
👟 Pedals for your processes
If you are a manager, processes are your playing, and tools are your pedals.
Processes include how work is planned, reviewed, how you deal with stakeholders, which meetings you run, and how. These all contribute to your playbook as a manager.
Then, such processes should be supported by tools. Tools make your work easier and better, by creating structure and automation in support of your playbook.