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Home » 5 Steps to Fix Any Problem at Work: Anne Morriss (Transcript)

5 Steps to Fix Any Problem at Work: Anne Morriss (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Anne Morriss’ talk titled “5 Steps to Fix Any Problem at Work” at TED conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


You’ve heard the phrase “move fast and break things.” Facebook made it famous. But really, Mark just made the mistake of saying it out loud and putting it on company posters. By the way, Mark and I are not on a first-name basis. But sometimes using the first names of our leaders reminds us that leadership is a practice of imperfect humans leading imperfect humans. That’s why it’s so hard. How’s it going, Elon?

“Move fast and break things” is still a widely held belief that we can either make progress or take care of each other, one or the other. That a certain amount of wreckage is the price we have to pay for inventing the future. My wife and I have spent the last decade helping companies clean up this wreckage. And one of the main lessons from our work is that the trade-off at the heart of this worldview is false.

Leadership and Responsibility

The most effective leaders we know solve problems at an accelerated pace while also taking responsibility for the success and the well-being of their customers and employees and shareholders. They move fast and fix things.

Now, what’s come out of our work is something of a playbook for fixing problems quickly, whether it’s a broken company culture or a struggling friendship. And so what I want to do with you today is invite you to try on this playbook over the course of an imaginary week.

So how this is going to work is I’m going to give you an agenda for each day of the week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. You see where this is going. And then I want you to go home and try it and see how much progress you can make. Does that sound reasonable? OK. I’m seeing some signs of consent, thank you. Start by thinking of a problem that you’re having right now that involves at least one other person, your kids, your co-founders, your customers, etc.

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