The four layers of communication in a functional team

My latest in Quartz… Functional teams have four layers of communication:– A mission (also known as a vision)– Strategy (made up of proximate objectives)– Tactics and process– ExecutionThis list might seem like it includes categories of action—it does. But it’s not just doing these things, but also communicating them that ties teams together. Communicating the items on this list plays […]

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Answer these 10 questions to understand if you’re a good manager

My latest in Quartz… Something I struggled with as a new manager was finding a sense of accomplishment, and as I’ve moved on to manage managers, I’ve seen this become a challenge for them, too. It’s hard to find the right success metrics upon which to judge our work because our output is to make […]

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Book: Love Sick

I read Love Sick on the recommendation of my friend Natasha. I found it an interesting and at times helpful read, but whether or not it’s interesting probably depends on the person. It’s about the way people experience love, mostly as told by literature, illustrated with comparison to mental illness. It’s heteronormative, and not exactly balanced […]

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The first two questions to ask when your team is struggling

My second article in Quartz… I’ve never stepped into a leadership role without it quickly becoming clear why a new leader was needed. I think it’s normal for companies to hire new leaders when there are problems that need to be addressed. So I suspect that as the congratulations die down, it’s also normal to […]

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Book: Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

I bought Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions (Amazon) by accident trying to buy We Should All Be Feminists, but I have no regrets because I loved it, found myself reading it going yes yes yes and so what follows is not a review so much as a strong endorsement that you should really read it, […]

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Understanding how process impacts outcome can help avoid useless meetings

My first article in Quartz! Earlier this year, when I was learning how to facilitate a specific type of workshop, a colleague revealed the secret to making it great: understanding the outcome and keeping it in mind throughout the entire process. If the team isn’t focused on the outcome, than they’re just performing a process. […]

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Book: So You Want to Talk About Race

I read So You Want to Talk About Race (Amazon) after seeing my friend Jill tweet about it. As a white European, whilst I care about intersectionality and try to educate myself, I know there’s a lot I don’t know, and going deeper on this topic seemed like a good next step after reading Whipping […]

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After the Toxicity the Toxicity Remains

Every so often, the conversation about leaving tech resurfaces, and things I wrote in ~2014 get referenced. I wrote a lot about leaving tech around then. I thought a lot about leaving in tech in 2014. And 2013. And in 2015, I thought a lot about what it had meant to be willing to leave, […]

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Book: Working Effectively with Legacy Code

Reading Working Effectively with Legacy Code (Amazon) made me really want to get into something and write some tests. It’s a really actionable book, and I liked how pragmatic it was – focusing on being able to create incremental progress, but balancing that with what you’re aiming towards. I think a sign of a foundational programming […]

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Estimations and Orders of Magnitude

Call me a cynic, but I don’t expect software estimations to be accurate. Because software is built by humans – and they take sick days, and vacations, time to help their colleagues (hopefully), have off days as well as good ones. But I still think estimations are worth doing. Firstly, because if we don’t have […]

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