What’s the right amount of friction for interactions with a part of your business? By friction I mean the amount of effort that must be put in to get your desired result. There will always be some friction due to the need to communicate ideas but in my mind the ideal friction is as low as possible. In this ideal world everyone would share a vision and passion for that vision and push things forward together.

This isn’t what happens in the real world from what I’ve seen. What I’ve seen is groups within a company that slow everything down – 95% friction. Usually they do it with good intentions, citing stability or rules that must be followed. For example, take a bank compliance officer who sees her job as preventing the bank from risk by saying “no” to everything even slightly risky and who adds paperwork to every process to increase compliance. She doesn’t understand her job well enough because what she needs to do is say “yes, but” and put her energies towards streamlining processes while using her expertise to stay compliant.

The right way to avoid risk is not by saying no. The right way is to be knowledgable and work towards clever solutions.