Health and Emotions Should Not Come with Targets and Goals

Joe Chang

ex-CTO at Uber Freight



As you deal with human emotions in the age of data and OKRs, people try to quantify and put numbers against happiness amongst other intangible things by trying to survey everybody. I believe that people get overly data-based in the wrong places.

Actions taken

We were growing so fast, we decided to do a cultural identity exercise to gather understanding about how people were feeling. As we sat down together, three basic questions were raised in the group chat:

  • What are we doing?
  • What is our identity in the group?
  • What positive and negative cultural values have you noticed?

Lessons learned

  • "I think if you approach this cultural identity exercise with a fair amount of self awareness and deprecation, what comes back is the answer to people's thoughts and how to change situations to make them better."
  • "It is kind of like building a persona for the company. That part has no measurement and more impact on a team, their effectiveness, and their feel than raw skills do. You can't ignore that. I do not have an answer on how to find that exactly, but I do listen to a lot of podcasts on the subject from Lazlo Bock, former Google SVP of People Operations."
  • "I feel like a lot of the interviewing we do today is very quantified and direct. Therefore, we miss out on the impact of the people who ask each other out for lunch or those that bring excitement to the conversation everyday. That can't be ignored when you are creating a team, especially a smaller one."

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Joe Chang

ex-CTO at Uber Freight

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