This week, we've been working with Mindweaver, a diversity consultancy - together, we're going to try and enumerate the state of leadership in terms of diversity. We'd love to hear your experiences with this topic - if you can spare 5 minutes, please take a look at our survey here:
We have another CTO Craft Bytes event in the calendar for the end of the month on the subject of Agile Leadership. There are some incredible people on the panel - Emily Webber, Jenny Martin and Giles Lindsay are all well-known experts on the subject, and the session will be packed with vital insights and discussions. Miss it at your peril!
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Andy @ CTO Craft
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Reads of the Week
A common question you may hear from founders is. “How do I make the developers go faster?“ In itself, it’s a reasonable one. We need to keep up with our competitors — thus need our team to move quickly. But it’s only the right question to ask if you actually DO want them to move faster.
It is very common for people who are competent at a job to end up promoted into a leadership role – but once they start the firm discovers they’re actually a poor manager. Organisations lose a top performer and gain a bad leader in one step.
Culture & People
A new study from North Carolina State University and Microsoft finds that the technical interviews currently used in hiring for many software engineering positions test whether a job candidate has performance anxiety rather than whether the candidate is competent at coding.
Getting Philosophical Given that I’ve just changed jobs, it isn’t entirely surprising that I’ve had a lot of conversations recently about why I decided to do so. Generally when someone leaves a job, coworkers, managers, HR personnel, friends, and family are all interested in knowing why.
The life of a senior leader is filled with challenges. And one of the most important things you can do to manage those challenges is to keep a pulse on your growing organization. People leave managers, not companies, so it’s important that you coach your managers, so they take good care of their teams.
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. At a discussion on the characteristics of modern agile organisations, a chief people officer asked how psychological safety could be created in the workplace. In the moment an answer eluded me.
Over the past five years, I've given dozens of guest lectures at many of the coding bootcamps in Chicago. I've been thinking about this a lot lately.
Leadership & Self-management
Consider these five elements of organizational decision-making: information gathering; strategy; combining long-term thinking with short-term actions; clear communication internally and externally; and a review of policies and processes to ensure the organization’s preparedness for future crises.
Every change will be met with an equal, opposite, unpredictable change of its own. —Inspired by Isaac Newton In “Today’s CIO—Orchestrator in Chief,” we covered how changes can be introduced into organisations, but only eluded to matching different approaches with different audiences.
Feedback is a gift. We've been told this over and over, as if it were gospel. I've even preached it myself. But as I noted some years ago, I stopped using this phrase because it fails to acknowledge how difficult the experience of receiving feedback can be.
For CEOs navigating a wrenching global economy running at web speed, the really hard calls—what markets to attack, which deals to chase, when to raise capital—might be harder than ever. Luckily we talked to battle-tested executives willing to relive their toughest calls.
Everyone, at some point in their career, has had a boss from hell. The person that crushes your spirit on a daily basis and makes, going to work, one of the things you hate most. The exceptional ones will inspire and encourage you.
Agile, Engineering & Product
This post was adapted from Episode 120 of the Troubleshooting Agile Podcast. In the Taylorist mindset, management is there to debug the machine of the company. The workers are interchangeable parts.
This is a real-world, cross-functional team. They did real work. In the real world. They kept track of how they worked, and shared that information. I translated it into this simple graphic:
An incident response plan should consider the “first time” reader, who may not have ever expected to be responding to an incident. To keep the main incident response plan simple, some teams augment their plan with playbooks (or runbooks) that act as helpful manuals for more specific situations.
We are in an era of Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); tools companies use to track and measure their progress and ensure they are on track to reach strategic goals.
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Have an amazing week!