Skill-Will Matrix : Codess.Cafe Twitter Spaces Story

We come across a lot of theories and frameworks to perform better. They’re amusing to read, but the real fun lies in the examples. A real-life case study where the thesis worked and helped improve the outcome. These stories breathe life into the theory and make it fascinating. But do you know what’s even better? Applying a theory yourself and observing the outcome!

Above you’ll find the skill-will matrix. I heard about it from a mentor during a discussion about start-ups. He mentioned the following for each category based on his experience hiring engineers and freelancers.

  1. Capable — They’re amazing for one-off jobs. But you can’t rely on them to adapt and perform well with the changing needs of the business.

Sounded fancy and intriguing, but I didn’t think about it seriously till I was in a similar situation.

To share Codess.Cafe community knowledge and updates with a diverse audience, we started a Twitter account in February 2022. We tweeted about community success stories, blogs, study resources, and new cohorts. Later we found many students wanted to interact with the achievers and mentors directly. The students said it was difficult to connect with achievers on LinkedIn for 1:1 sessions. So we decided to start a weekly podcast on Twitter to address the issue. But who would be the host?

I had three options in mind, let’s call them Capable, Aspiring and Excelling.

Capable

I knew I had to ping her as soon as we decided to start the podcast. She has a great personality, huge following on Twitter and had had a lot of experience with Twitter Spaces. So I pinged her for the project. She said, “yup, let’s do it !”. So we started discussing the poster, structure, guests, etc. for the launch. We started with a lot of enthusiasm but soon I noticed some problems.

It used to take an entire week to schedule a single meeting. I would always ping her for updates and meetings rather than hearing from her. I knew things were not right but I wanted to believe it would work out 🥲 Finally, I got a ping stating that she was busy and could not continue. I was disappointed but wished her well and moved on.

Why didn’t it work? What went wrong? I started thinking about the skill-will matrix theory.

Excelling

She was already an influencer on Twitter and LinkedIn. She used to do regular podcasts on Twitter with a huge audience. I was sure she would love to collaborate with Codess.Cafe for this initiative. She would bring a lot of positive attention to the community as well. But I had certain reservations.

Since I had wasted two months earlier with “Capable” I wanted to think more about the partnership and how it would work in the long term. I wondered, what would happen in case of disagreements? In case of disagreements it would be hard to take a strong stand since the balance of power would be against us. And it would be a critical setback if she left after a few sessions. Our audience will suddenly lose interest since the strong face they relate with will be gone.

It was necessary to avoid an unhealthy and unfair relationship for an important long-term initiative. So the dream collaboration ended before it could start. Interestingly, the skill-will matrix suggested a similar decision. I was more confident with the theory now. Hence, I decided to use it for the perfect hire.

Aspiring

She had recently joined Twitter and got a lot of love and support from the tech community. She had also attended a few Twitter Spaces where she played all the roles: audience, speaker, host. I decided to ping her to host the sessions for Codess.Cafe. She gladly accepted.

Not only did she show a lot of excitement for the opportunity, but I heard from her frequently regarding updates, queries, and suggestions. Within a week, we conducted the first Codess.Cafe Twitter Space and got an astounding 240+ audience. Codess.Cafe Twitter followers had increased 2.5 folds before the session got over. We also got a lot of appreciation tweets and retweets from the community.

I finally had the ideal host. And I knew that collaboration will continue strongly for a long duration now. The skill-will matrix theory really works!

I narrated the incidence to my brother a few months back. He decided to experiment with the thesis and made a few changes in his organization. He was taken aback as he observed a sharp rise in productivity within a few weeks. He thanked me for sharing the hack with him. I have been narrating this story to everyone ever since. Like I did with you just now 😋

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Aarnav Jindal

Avid programmer chasing developments in the dynamic and invigorating world of technology 🤓