Issue #56, 13th December 2013

This Week's Favorite


My Irrelevance Strategy
5 minutes read.

Wow, what an amazing story by Carl Smith on how he slowly began to transition out of his own company. I think that as leaders, it's important for us to imagine the day we will say goodbye as it can lead to some interesting self-discovery. It can clarify our explicit responsibilities, while also starting to mentor other employees with a better understanding of the desired outcome. The sooner we start, the faster we could share some of the mental overload we have as leaders, by distributing it to other teammates. It's key to reduce burnout, I believe.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Culture


Slides: Engineering Culture (What Is It? What Makes It Great?)
8 minutes read.

Pamela Fox (of Khan Academy) shares inspiring and highly pragmatic advices on how to build engineering culture. Share it with your engineers, technical leads and team leads to start a discussion: What's your engineering culture?

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Share it via Twitter or email.


Crowdsource Your Company’s Bonuses
5 minutes read.

I simply love to see companies experiments and hack their process. This time, the team at Shopify decided to change the way they use Performance Reviews (by killing it altogether) to determine employees' bonuses. I'm not sure that this is the optimal solution for your company, but it's a great inspiration for what you can do in order to find your own unique way to produce better outcomes by changing your process. How do you decide about bonuses and more importantly - can you reach this decision without following a process everyone hate?

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Employee Retention
5 minutes read.

What can you do to retain your best talent? Sam Altman (you should follow his blog!) shares 4 ways you can use to build a desirable company, one that will create an emotional connection with your employees. I believe that sense of mission will always be the strongest motivation, and then work-environment. People are seeking for a purpose in their everyday work and sadly, it's too common to see companies and leaders who barely spend time on defining and communication their vision internally. The hardest challenge for any leader is to translate our company's vision into our team's vision and its role in achieving it.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Peopleware


How to Run a Post-Mortem With Humans, Not Robots (Video)
40 minutes read.

I've attended Dan Milstein's talk at Velocity 2013, and I thought this is one of the best talks I've heard in the entire conference. Dan is a great story teller and his practical advices on conducting effective post-mortems will make you much better at it. One caveat: You'll need to sign-up (free) to see it, yet I highly recommend it as the video is pure gold.

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Share it via Twitter or email.


Mentoring Product Interns
5 minutes read.

While Khan Acemdy's tips are concise, they're serve as a great explicit expectations for mentors in the company. Use their format to create your own expectations from mentors and leaders in the company. I would add to it a short "why" section, explaining the motivation behind each expectation, so people could relate to the expected behavior rather than the required implementation.

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My Airbnb Story: How to Ignore Your Degree and Not Know Any Better
6 minutes read.

What would you do to land a dream job or get someone else to notice you? Harrison Shoff from Airbnb secret - Build stuff and produce value. We are all great at saying what we want to achieve, but many times we're lacking the motivation to make an impact by producing value. From my experience, It's a great way to sell your idea at work, to get accepted to give a talk in some prestigious conference or to get hired for a job. Great read!

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Inspiring Tweets


@kgale: Those Who Made Their Careers Managing Complexity Will Need to Switch to Designing Simplicity Into Orgs to Be Successful in the Future.

@micah: If We Are Supposed to Inspire by Doing, Why Do We Talk About It So Much?

- 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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