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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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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On Boiling Frogs and Drowning Rats

Today's management lesson: "You have to boil people like frogs, not drown them like rats" — @catehstn — Beau (@beaulebens) June 25, 2018 Beau recently tweeted an observation I made to him, which people reacted to… Something to do with “plague animals” all “ending up dead”. And well… maybe it isn’t my best management metaphor. […]

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Towards Productive Technical Discussions

Note: I wrote this post for an internal team blog, but thought it was worth sharing more widely. Part of getting to good code reviews is some up front discussion about trade-offs and implications for bigger architectural changes. I think of code review as when “my” code becomes “our” code – for architecture, those conversations […]

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Creating Success, Together

This is the final part of a 6-part series of blog posts based on a talk I prepared called Successfully Derailed Product. It’s about the ways in which we define and talk about “success” influence what – and how – we build. See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5. We want to […]

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How Do Teams Define Success?

This is part 3 of a series of blog posts based on a talk I prepared called Successfully Derailed Product. It’s about the ways in which we define and talk about “success” influence what – and how – we build. See part 1, part 2. Taking a step back from individual success, I wanted to understand […]

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How do Developers Define Success?

This is part 2 of a series of blog posts based on a talk I prepared called Successfully Derailed Product. It’s about the ways in which we define and talk about “success” influence what – and how – we build. See part 1.  With the caveat that how we define success comes from various places, […]

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Try This One Weird Tip To Increase Leadership in Your Organization

As leaders, most of us have been in a place where we’re maxed out. It can be tempting to just do it ourselves and hope things improve. Another thing that often happens is that it gets shoved on someone else, and they’re left to deal with it. As a rule, I try not to hand […]

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Process Design

(or: be careful what you incentivise) When we design processes, we are heavily biased to design processes that we would be successful in. We see this with hiring processes, and we see this with promotion processes. You might think having multiple people would help with this but this seems just as likely to create the […]

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Book: How F*cked Up is Your Management?

How F*cked Up is Your Management? is a collection of essays, many of which I’d already read on Medium. I did like it though – there’s a value to reading a curated collection the builds upon each other. Also, I want to support people writing things that I appreciate. Some of it’s really good and actionable […]

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