Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Quiet: Including Introverts in Your Culture

- Recognize that 1-on-1s are safer for introverts than large meetings. Use them to probe for thoughts and ideas.
- You have to be more direct that having an open door policy or asking for feedback in a large meeting.

Be Authentic
- Publicly apologize for your own mistakes taking accountability when things go wrong.
- Positively reinforce contributions by introverts, recognize that it may have been difficult for them to do.

Techniques for Getting Input from Introverts
- Give time to prepare for a meeting or conversations.  “Hey, this afternoon let’s talk about your ideas for improving the build process.”
- Ask for input about a topic in a 1-on-1 before a larger meeting on the topic. Maybe even offer to share their ideas anonymously in the larger meeting.

Techniques for Communicating with Introverts
- Establish trust through 1-on-1s
- Start a conversation stating your intentions. Say “we’d like to improve the reliability of the deployment process and your experience would be incredibly valuable. Why do you think the last deployment failed?” rather than just starting with “why do you think the last deployment failed?”

Security lean coffee

Performance lean coffee

UX lean coffee

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

API Architecture lean coffee

Culture Open Space Notes - Low Performers

I hosted one of the sessions...

Tom Renken

Embedded Software Team Lead

Viavi Solutions

My questions were: 

How do you handle low performers in an organization?

Is it worth your time to try to improve them?

I generally defined a low performer as someone who doesn't contribute a lot of checkins, code, design, passion for the job necessary to get a product to market successfully. It is basically the 3rd or lower choice for who you naturally go to when something important needs to happen...

My notes are paraphrasing what I heard these individuals say.. I don't want to suggest that I have a perfect quote or understanding of their suggestions/comments.

Here are the notes...

John Willis from Docker mentioned for me to research:

  1. Red Bean Experiment from the Deming Institute
  2. Watch Andrew Shafer's "There is no talent shortage" video on youtube.
  3. Look up for more suggestions.
Curtis Yanko from Sonatype recommended:
  1. Figure out what motivates each member of your team. 1 size will not fit all.
  2. Give developers space to flourish
  3. Look into Servant Leadership
  4. Read "Lean Enterprise - How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale"
  5. Experimentation is a good thing. If things aren't working, try something different.
Brian Dye questioned:
  1. what do you do about the "Brilliant Asshole"? The consensus was that they are team killers and should be removed from the team if necessary.
Camilla Tabis questioned:
  1. If you have ownership for something that can fail and it is important, how do you avoid demotivation when things break?
    1. She and others noted that developers are less likely to take on high risk or high profile items if there is no safety set in place for failure to occur.
I mentioned that I'm also always planning to experiment and measure to see if things improve. Others were generally in agreement. Some ideas I bounced on the group included:
  1. move the low performer to a different team that has a better culture/environment.
  2. pair the low performer with a high performer to see if high performance is contagious... The risk here is that it might be the opposite.
Then the bell rang.. Time up.

Feel free to follow up with me if you have additional comments/questions/suggestions.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How to become a master (at anything) faster?

This idea discussed here was how to become a master at anything in a very fast way.

In the Shu-Ha-Ri paradigm, how to get to Ri level quickly? By let your brain do what it does best: pattern matching, i.e. absorbing knowledge by the unconscious part of the brain (like a child learns a language) and make it instinctive so one doesn't have to think much, sparing our limited cognitive resources for what really matters.

Kathy Sierra - Making badass developers
Robert Greene - Mastery
Sandro Mancuso - The Software Craftman

Optimizing You: How do you get unstuck?

Java lean coffee