Continuity of Leadership

There's a Kafkaesque situation that develops in companies that cannot retain senior employees. A team feels a sense of urgency about shipping software, but no one can tell them what to build.

Engineers are responsible for making the products that sustain the company, but there's no one around who can say what the products should do exactly.

It's like a movie where the protagonist wakes up every morning with no knowledge of what happened the day before, and tries to piece together his identity from artifacts scattered about.

Big organizational initiatives fail repeatedly because there's no one around from the beginning to the end of the initiative. People working on the initiative find that they can't even remember why the initiative was necessary. The leader who championed the initiative isn't around to take credit for its completion, so there's no one working on the initiative at any given time who cares about its completion.

Cross-team relationships barely exist because whoever is leading one team at the moment doesn't know the leaders of the other teams and has no history with them.

Leaders are continually "backfilling" for other leaders that left, being asked questions that they can't answer.

Morale stays at a low simmer. People show up to work each Monday morning knowing they won’t be productive. Another week where they won’t know if they did good work or not, because no one can define the goal.

An organization without continuity of leadership is an organization with amnesia.