The firm with 900 staff and no office

I did an interview with the BBC on remote working, and how we operate without an office [full article]. Cate Huston believes fully remote working can actually be good for communication. “Remote work makes the problems of work more explicit and then we can set out deliberately to address them. “If you work in the […]

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The best thing you can do for your career is learn to be more coachable

My latest in Quartz… I really hate the “Peter principle“—the idea that people get promoted up to their level of incompetence. The very concept suggests there is a limit to people’s growth. It assumes a fixed mindset on the part of the person stuck in a role they’re not immediately equipped to handle, and a […]

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Why a good boss likes it when people complain

My latest in Quartz… I know some managers say “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions,” but personally I don’t subscribe to it. I love when people complain to me. Of course, complaining is a national past time for the British, and we don’t just limit ourselves to complaining about the weather, or the poor […]

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As a leader, your job should change every six months even if you stay put

My latest in Quartz… Leadership roles evolve, especially through periods of transition. As a leader, I have found my own role changing as challenges on the team change—around every four months I realize everything is fundamentally different, and the way I need to spend my time changes, too. Recently the number of my direct reports more […]

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Does your team need to rebrand?

My latest in Quartz… Some leaders are fantastic at “team branding”—communicating about their group in ways that give the rest of the organization a good understanding of what the team is all about. Others are squarely focused on “team public relations”—telling a great story about a team that, if we looked more closely, we might […]

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Addressing Hiring Gaps Through User Research

The hiring hot take is a regular feature of every tech conversation. Newsletters. Conferences. Blogs. Twitter. We talk about hiring a lot, because the market is competitive, and hiring well makes a big difference. Hiring effectively goes well beyond the “quality” of people you hire – it sets them up for an experience inline with […]

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Where do you start when a team is broken?

My latest in Quartz… One of my friends just took over a new team and found… far more of a situation than she was expecting. She faced a choice: commit to the turnaround, or switch to something that seems like a better bet. Of course, I advocated for the turnaround. Struggling teams are places of  opportunity, both […]

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The five types of communication problems that destroy company morale

My latest in Quartz… There’s a saying in software that all bugs are eventually user interface bugs, because someone has to see them to report them. In organizations, it often seems like all problems are eventually communication problems, because communication is the way we interface with each other—and the way most problems surface. There are […]

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Book: Managing Transitions

I’ve been thinking a lot about change management, lately – what makes it work, what makes it not. As a result, I was looking for reading that would help me formalize some of the concepts, to allow me to go one level deeper than recognizing what won’t work to more thoughtfully critique why certain things […]

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Creating the Productive Tension

When I joined the mobile team at Automattic, we had one designer – Matt Miklic, who wrote about the explerience of leading that team. However one thing I was reminded of following some of the current discussions around product development is how we thought about and approached design at the centre of the team, and […]

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