Hello, and Happy Holidays! Hope everything is peaceful and happy for you and yours over the festive break (assuming you're getting one!)
We're just in the process of planning 2020 at CTO Craft and would love to speak to you about 1:1 Coaching, an Online Mentoring Circle similar to the ones we run in London, and Online Workshops. If you'd like to know more about any of these, drop me a reply to this email.
Very best wishes to you and yours!
Reads of the Week
Most of us are wired to believe that if we say something, those who hear us will just naturally execute it exactly as we had envisioned it in the first place. If only managing people were that easy. In reality, just because you said, doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen.
Andy says: "OK, this is an amazing resource that can apply for CTOs and tech leaders just as easily as CEOs, with some adjustment. If leading through context rather than control is something you're building toward, take a look"
Full talk title: Using software engineering practices to improve engineering management As a new manager, your changed responsibility is not to build features, but to build systems to support the people building the features.
Culture & People
This summer, our team added four new engineers, growing our existing engineering team by 36% to a total of 16! As their start dates approached this summer, we knew we needed to clarify our onboarding process to ensure each engineer had an effective start to their career at Affinity.
Most aspiring product managers and new product managers understand the fundamental importance of engineering. However, I find that they typically bring the wrong lens to the conversation.
With December upon us (already!), many managers have been asking me if I have a one-on-one meeting template for their end-of-the year review with a direct report.
As a leader who primarily values team health, I place great value on the weekly 1:1 because it’s where I assess health. It’s my highest bandwidth meeting, and historically the slight to significant lag omnipresent in video conferencing impeded that bandwidth. It stilted the conversation.
This is an article where, with the support of Senior People Science Analyst Vivian Woo, I have looked at trends in workplace culture and analyzed them against nearly one million Culture Amp data points across over one thousand companies.
Leadership & Self-management
I’ve always loved the tweet, but I only recently noticed the paper he cites in the thread. It’s called “ The Art of Problem Discovery: Adaptive Thinking for Innovation and Growth “, by Brian Mathews.
“Everything is late. No one's synchronized. I can't tell where the projects are.” This client might need more people. He definitely needs to manage the organizational WIP (Work in Progress) with many fewer projects.
“The best leaders master multiple leadership styles”, blithely comments some post on leadership. OK, including one written by me. But how? Many leaders are overly reliant on a style and this can hold them back.
Leaders, you commonly read about what builds valuable leadership trust. In today’s world it includes courage, competence, vision, integrity, emotional intelligence, and treating others with respect and dignity. However, you read less about how you spend the valuable leadership trust you earn.
Agile, Engineering & Product
The notion of technical debt is not well understood, so let’s start there. Agile is all about fast feedback loops—hours or, at most, a couple days. Deliberately lengthening your feedback loop in pursuit of the chimera of perfection destroys your agility. The cost of that delay is a real cost.
So, you’re leading an engineering team and want to have some tips about how to do mob programming effectively. Or, you’re already mobbing, but have run into some trouble spots. Or for whatever reason you just want to compare notes.
What event could better embody Scrum’s principle of empiricism than the Sprint Retrospective? I assume all peers agree that even the simplest retrospective—if only held regularly—is far more useful than having a fancy one once in a while, not to mention having none at all.
Here are the slides from my talk about Spotify Rhythm at Agila Sverige. The talk is about Spotify’s current approach to getting aligned as a company.
Our research shows that almost two-thirds of introverts believing that they have ideas that would benefit the wider organisation. At the same time, however, over half of introverts also believe their organisation doesn’t care about their opinions
If you’d like to be considered for the CTO Craft Community, fill in your details here, and we’ll be in touch!
Can you help spread the word? And remember to reply to this email if you're interested in 1:1 Coaching
Please do remember to share this link if you know of anyone who’d like to receive TMW:
Have an amazing week!