Issue #311, 9th November 2018

This Week's Favorite


We Need to Shift Our Focus From Competencies to Agency
4 minutes read.

"We have so far followed a very crude pyramid-like classification of competences... The name of the problem is not low-skilled people, but the low-skilled occupations we have created. It is a design fault!" -- I found myself highlighting almost every sentence in this post by Esko Kilpi. I read this post several times this week and every time it made me stop and think about how I do my work, and the type of discussion I'd like to have with my teammates about it.

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Culture


Unnecessary Automation #Devops #Sysadmin
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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On Leadership and Management While “Waiting for the Right Leader to Be Hired”
5 minutes read.

"There are actions and decisions I feel are right, but should I pursue them now? We’ll be hiring someone to lead the project soon, and they may see things differently. What would you advise?" -- This dilemma shared by Roee Adler is a common one, and his advice on how to break it into company view and employee view is extremely effective. Being impatient with actions (while being patient with results) is often the right thing when the end game is unclear. Providing the employee with tools to align around business needs and utilize current constraints (time, pains) can encourage your employees to promote thoughtful decision making.

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Why Geeks Should Speak (Public Speaking)
5 minutes read.

Getting your teammates to go and talk at conferences is also one of the best ways to create a brand to help you attract relevant talent. Justin Jackson is a remarkable speaker, always working publicly to share his learning over the years. Share this post with your teammates and ask them if they'd like to help to build a brand that can bring more great people to the team and on the way to create better visibility for themselves.

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Stripe’s Will Larson on Designing a Performance Management System From Scratch
7 minutes read.

The idea behind Career Ladders and Performance Reviews is to align expectations and let people understand where they should focus on next. It should get them excited and motivated. "Take the way you approach product or design problems — the thought process and skillsets that have already made you successful in your role — and apply them to these systems, as well." -- consider having a short form sent inside your organization after a Performance Review cycle asking: "Do you understand how your manager and how the company evaluate your current skills?", "Do you think it's a fair assessment?", "Do you know where you should focus your time in the next 6 months?" and "Are you excited for stretching yourself?". Apply your product thinking here, analyze the satisfaction and value employees see in it.

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Peopleware


Don’t Work for Managers Who Don’t Want You to Know What the Hell Is Going on Around You. (Thread)
4 minutes read.

Marco Rogers with a thread that spawned a lot of interesting conversations around the concept of protecting your teammates from the noise around them (e.g. political noise). More than anything, reading this thread and the original one will get you to reconsider your stand, and think of ways to open your mind into different perspectives. My thinking is always treat your teammates as adults. They're not cogs, and most of them will appreciate the wide context and your careful analysis of the situation. Just keep it constructive and separate between data (facts) and intuition or guessing.

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Software Premortem — how to Save the Patient After They Died?
6 minutes read.

Premortem can be a difficult concept to introduce to the team, as people need to pretend something happened and analyze it from there (Inversion). Gal Zellermayer offers some nice tactics to make it more playful, which I think can really help your team embrace that practice.

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Takeaways From High Output Management Book
6 minutes read.

For those of you who didn’t read the book, here are a few takeaways that should convince you it’s worth your time. This should be a great giveaway to new managers in your organization. Reading this book and talking about it within the company can help them understand how to make the most impact in their new role.

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Inspiring Tweets


@rschoening: My 9yo Told Me He Solved a Minecraft Problem by Pasting the Stack Trace in Google. I Told Him: Your Resourcefulness Just Surpassed 25% of Developers in the World.

@ptr: Make Time for Your Team, or You Won't Have One.

- 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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