I’ve been thinking about the mantra “Bias to action” a lot this week.
It sounds great, but without context it is meaningless (like most business mantras).

What is “action”?

Is “action” to ship something?
Does running an experiment count as action?
Does conducting research count as action?

And what is it that we want to achieve with this mantra?

Is it to encourage fast learning?
Is it to avoid debating?
Is it to discourage calling out flaws in a plan and just going through with it?

These short mantras are great to create a sense of unity, but they can also create the illusion of agreement as they can be interpreted in very different ways.

It all comes down to culture: that’s the context that gives those mantras specific meaning.

Mantras can neither replace nor create culture.

Culture is the sum or your decisions.