Issue #339, 24th May 2019

This Week's Favorite


Conscious Leadership
7 minutes read.

Alex Maccaw with a post and mindset that I all heartedly relate to. I strongly recommend reading the sections about "Living a life of play and rest," "Exploring the opposite" and "Eliminating gossip" as I believe it creates sustainable and healthy relationships.

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Culture


Organizations Modern Security Strategy Be Like ...
1 minutes read.

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

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How to Invest in Technical Infrastructure
8 minutes read.

Will Larson with excellent suggestions on how to invest in your technical infrastructure. I've already shared it with a few teams in my group, as a reference to discuss later on our current balance (applicative infra, data infra, security, etc.), and as a method to plan future roadmaps.

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Does Anyone Have Examples of Quantitative Measurements for Evaluating the Productivity of a Software Engineering Team That They Have Liked and Trusted? What Have You Seen Work Well? I Know This Is a Very Deep Question (Thread)
4 minutes read.

Simon Willison triggered a good conversation with helpful posts and ideas you can check out. This suggestion is not bad, as often emotions won't be directly related to actual change or progress (e.g. the person who interferes our flow, and our relationship with them, matters a lot): "I don’t think you should measure productivity, at least not as a measure of comparing teams. Instead, regularly look at perceived improved productivity by making a survey."

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Organizations Don’t Run Out of Good Ideas - they Overlook Them
5 minutes read.

"Innovation requires allocation and deployment of organizational resources, often significant amounts, without definitive proof of future returns. This ambiguity allows politics to enter into the choice process." -- I think that one more element in innovation is hiring (enough) people who enjoy Day 0 (i.e. Maker vs. Mender), where chaos is everywhere and they thrive in these situations. When that happens, look out for "Mender" managers who will block ideas without looking into their merit.

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Peopleware


How to Defeat Blogger's Block
4 minutes read.

"You’ve probably already accepted into your heart the truism that yes, you (and your team) should be blogging." -- this statement for all teams, as part of our role is to build a brand that will attract future talent to work with us. Michael Bernstein is one of the best in the field, so I highly recommend sharing his post with people in your team, and then share Seth Godin's "Talker's block" (Google it up). Did it help?

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Successful Habits Through Smoothly Ratcheting Targets
5 minutes read.

I'm a huge fan of Andy Matuschak's writing. The depth he gets to in his thinking is remarkable (and inspiring!), and this post is no exception. "I’ve found that to reliably adopt a habit, I need a strategy that bends, not breaks, while still holding me accountable over time. It should supply pressure smoothly and flexibly." -- Andy shares his framework (the moving window idea is excellent!), and it's easy to follow if you want to try something new. At some point, I'd love to write or talk about my methods: Sustainable Habit Filters, Accountability via person or audience, Journey overview, "Incremental & Binary" and a few other mental tricks.

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Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management.
6 minutes read.

If you change the question from "How much time do I invest in X?" to "Which activities or people motivate (higher energy levels for longer periods) me?" you could start optimizing for outcome instead of output (or input of hours). As Adam Grant wrote: "So instead of focusing on how quickly I wanted to finish this article, I asked why I agreed to write it in the first place" -- going back to the why, you can shift your mind (and heart) to how people will use or benefit from your work, looking at the tasks in it as a tool to get to that outcome.

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Inspiring Tweets


@danielgross: Founders Often Like to Think They're Making a Platform. Feels Neat. Re-Usable. Scalable. Like the Big Guys. This Thinking Is Toxic. Focus on Doing One Thing. Really Well. As Specific as Possible. Don't Over-Intellectualize It. Just Make Something People Want.

@DellAnnaLuca: Willpower Is Useless, Unless Used for Tweaking Your Environment or Your Incentives.

- 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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