the problem with spoilers isn’t that the content has become somehow worsened by the spoiler. in fact, research in the area has shown folks enjoy media more when the content has been ‘spoiled’. how often have you, personally, re-read the same book? or watched the same movie over and over?
we spoil things for ourselves all the time. we watch movie trailers. we read the book jacket and check out how many stars a book has received before cracking the spine. we’re fans of arsenal football club.
the actual problem with spoilers has nothing to do with the story itself: it’s about agency.
when someone tells you what happens in the latest season of silicon valley, we’re upset that our agency was taken away. you didn’t allow me to consume that media on my own terms. you took away my autonomy and made a decision for me.
in a business context, we must mind spoilers. we need to allow our team members to learn in their own time, to schedule their own tasks, and to work in their own way. being a good manager is easy: you ensure that work gets completed, milestones are hit, and projects progress on target [note: people can be projects, too]. being a great manager is much more complicated than that. a great manager accomplishes it all, however, without compromising the team’s autonomy.