Issue #105, 28th November 2014

This Week's Favorite


Reinventing Organizations
102 minutes read.

"Yes, you need structure but no, you don't need a boss." Warning, this is a long one, but extremely thought provoking on how organizations and leadership can (and should?) look like in the near future. For some companies, this future is already there. There are a few very interesting ideas you can barrow from Frederic Laloux's research. For example: Having a small HQ which is responsible to train smaller, completely autonomous unit of execution. Let people reach their own decision, by having a simple process which "force" them only to consult with experts and people who'll be affected by the decision (no need for consensus or authority to agree). Click on "Show more" to see exactly when different topics are discussed, so you could navigate between them.

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Culture


So Much of What We Call Management Consists in Making It Difficult for People to Work.
1 minutes read.

Probably a sad photo instead of a funny one, just make sure you're not part of this org chart.

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How We Transformed HubSpot Into a Product Driven Company
4 minutes read.

"Every company in the world will tell you they are customer-driven... I wanted to see if we could get beyond slogans and mantras to structure it in a way that intrinsically placed the customer ahead of everything else." - David Cancel explains the changes the team at HubSpot took to make it a reality. This sentence struck a chord with me: "There is no end-goal. The end-goal is evolution."

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We Hire the Best
7 minutes read.

Do we really hire the best? What even best means in every context or company? I believe we stick to this false statement as defining how we want to work together as a team is a hard problem. So we stick to what's easy, saying we only hire the best and throwing some values to the air no one in the organization can repeat without feeling like a fraud. We can do better, but it has to start by staying honest and putting the effort to deal with those little things that are so hard to define.

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Metrics Are NOT the Only Thing That Matters in a Startup
6 minutes read.

The danger of judging your team's success only via goals, is the possibility of quick burnout. Goals, like work, tend to generate more of the same. You reached 1M users, now get to 5M. You made $100K, now aim for $500K. We need to find a way to inject factors such as happiness, friendship, meaning and life balance (read: quality time with your family and hobbies, not just work) to the equation.

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Peopleware


How to Reward Skilled Coders With Something Other Than People Management
5 minutes read.

Liz Howard shares some of her experience on mentoring and rewarding technical leaders. Two things that resonated most with me is "The way to empower your technical leaders is to set expectations early and often" and "develop a strategy around handoffs." This is true for any kind of mentorship. Taking the time to clearly state your expectations and figuring out a path for people to shift knowledge and responsibility are important skills to practice. These two aspects are important components in building great teams.

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Climbing Off the CTO Ladder
5 minutes read.

What if career path wasn't a simple ladder to higher rank management position or technical position? Interesting view by Chris Angove from Spotify, on their journey to figure out how you can compensate and give recognition to technical employees without forcing a ladder to climb or fall off from. With over 600 engineers, this is certainly a huge effort worth our attention. "While the ladder-based approach handles Compensation and Recognition rather well, I think concentrating on Mastery and Autonomy will yield better results, and these are not being well-served in the traditional model."

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The #1 Reason Good Habits Don’t Last
6 minutes read.

This post should be handy when you try to introduce a new process to your team. It has to be helpful, worth the time investment, and potentially worth the mental burden. Above all, it has to be connected to the emotions your team is having and the way they see, or aspire to see, their team working together. It has to be simple. It has to bring happiness.

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Stop Trying to Incentivize Your Employees to Be More Like You
3 minutes read.

"I want to keep people in my ecosystem forever and so what I’ve learned is that the best way to deliver on that notion is to give them what they actually want." - Gary Vaynerchuk with a wonderful post. Worth every minute of your time.

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Inspiring Tweets


@roidrage: Mari This Morning on the Power Rangers: "I Like Them Because They're a Diverse Team." ❤️

@ldavidmarquet: The Role We Play in a Company Does Not Make Us a Leader. the Role We Play to Serve Others Makes Us a Leader.

- Oren

P.S. Can you share this email? I'd love for more people to experiment and improve their company's culture.

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