7 min read

🌶 Product Councils, WIP, M&A, Messy Problems, Feminine Leadership, Culture Viruses, SPACE, Adaptability: TMW #321

Hi there, welcome to the week!

Tickets for CTO Craft Con London are still flying out of the door, and we're half-way to filling the venue already. The place itself is looking amazing, and Rachel has been busy scouting additional venues for drinks, meetups and other stuff. Watch this space for more information.

There's still time to submit a 15-minute talk for the Community Showcase section of the conference - for more info, have a look here.

You might notice a change in the link categories below - CTO Craft has now nailed down the four pillars (and 12 sub-pillars) which we'll be using for all content and event topic decisions, as well as something new and exciting that you'll hear about in the coming months... From here on, we'll be grouping links into:

  • Leadership, Strategy & Business
  • Culture, People & Teams
  • Technology, Operations & Delivery
  • Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

Until next week - on with the links!

Andy @ CTO Craft

It’s Coming, CTO Craft Con: The Strategic CTO | CTO Craft
Our next CTO Craft Conference is on 23-24 May 2023. It’s in-person in London and we have an agenda packed with amazing speakers.
CTO Craft Con: The Strategic CTO | London 23-24 May
CTO Craft Con will bring together over 200 Chief Technology Officers and other senior technology leaders from the most exciting start-ups, scale-ups, unicorns, and big tech companies to elevate their tech strategy in London, 23-24 May 2023.

Reads of the Week

Jade Rubick - Experience report - a Product Council to solve cross-team priorities
Jade shares an experience report on the use of a Product Council to solve executive alignment on product direction, and cross-team execution challenges.
WIP, Multi-Tasking, Context Switching (Video)
Saying “we need to lower work in progress” is like saying “we should do less” (to people who aren’t versed in the underlying theory). It doesn’t go over well! Instead, it is better to talk about multi-tasking, context switching, plans going stale, and delaying delivering valuable things.

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Thanks as always to all the amazing sponsors helping CTO Craft bring you resources like this newsletter, our events, community and more:

AWS, Albany Partners, Code Climate, Google Cloud, iTechArt, Jellyfish, LinearB, Lohika, 101 Ways, O’Reilly, PGS Software, Pentalog, Skiller Whale, Swarmia, Uplevel, YLD

Leadership, Strategy & Business

Engineering’s role in Mergers & Acquisitions.
I managed the engineering team at Digg as we ran out of money, and were eventually acquired. It was an eye opening experience, and I learned a great deal about the reality and the optics of selling a company, particularly one with no money and a shrinking user base. Humbling was just the beginning.…
Learn How To Effectively Share Essential Needs With Management
A do-it-yourself workshop to have Scrum teams clearly express what they need from management, stakeholders, and the supporting organization…
TBM 203: Fixing Messy Problems
Over the years, I have observed many instances of this situation: There is a general agreement about what great looks like. There is disagreement about the “root cause” or “problem definition.” The team gets bogged down in analysis paralysis and political maneuvering or has a string of failed effort…
Feminine Leadership Explained: The ‘Masculine’ and ‘Feminine’ Sides of Leadership) | Management 3.0
What is Feminine Leadership? Is it referring to Female Leaders, or is it leadership only directed towards women? This article dives into the ‘Masculine’ and ‘Feminine’ Sides of Leadership.

Culture, People & Teams

Culture Viruses
A Culture Virus is a contagious idea that hooks into your culture like a pathogen, passing from person to person, and very often preying on the weak and struggling - the people who are susceptible to convenient excuses…
Organizational Design
You don’t have to choose just one organizational strategy for your entire company. A mature product org may be organized by goal, while a new product org has no structure, and a shared platform organization is structured by technology.
How to Rebuild Tech Culture for Those Who Survived the Layoffs
A wave of layoffs hit the software industry and changed the definition of tech culture. This article explores the situation across multiple tech companies, and the diverse choices made to support employees who survived, and those they had to say good-bye to. It provides suggestions for those of us w…
Recognize the Problems That Prevent Effective Meetings (Collocated, Remote, Hybrid) - Johanna Rothman, Management Consultant
Meetings. We all have them. Most of us hate them. When I ask why, here are some of the responses I hear: They take too much time away from our “real work.” It’s too hard to find time to meet. Our calendars are too full. We can’t find a place to meet. If we’re back … Recognize the Problems That Preve…

Technology, Operations & Delivery

Skiller Whale - SPACE whitepaper
You can’t fix what you can’t measure: how to diagnose your tech team’s skill gaps
Move past incident response to reliability
Remember when optimism and crossed fingers were our first line of incident response? @lethain outlines a better way:
Using lines of hope and despair for prioritisation - Neil Vass dot com
I’ve used this technique for several years since learning about it from Dr Sal Freudenberg – thank you Sal! The illustration above is from a “Taming Unicorns with Technology” workshop I ran with Katie Roberts, where we described how using this rather than MoSCoW or other techniques helped hugely wit…

Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

How to Become More Adaptable in Challenging Situations
In unfamiliar, high-stakes situations, we’re hard-wired to default to the mechanisms that we’ve relied on the past. However, new situations often can’t be met with old solutions. This is the adaptability paradox: When we most need to learn, change, and adapt, we are most likely to react with old app…
Which extra-curricular activities are best for CTO growth? | CTO Craft
‘Experience is the teacher of all things’ — so said a once mighty Julius Caesar, who knew a thing or two about leadership. While we don’t recommend adopting a dictatorial approach to reforming tax systems (albeit for the better) or engaging in warfare, we do advocate trying new things simply because…
The Stress of Remote Working
In software engineering, remote working makes a lot of sense since, most of the time, you only need a computer and an internet connection…
Dr Richard Safeer of Employee Health & Well-Being for Johns Hopkins Medicine: Five Things Business…
Leadership engagement — It’s not enough to say well-being is important. To be the best boss, leaders need to actively support well-being…

That’s it!

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Have an amazing week!