8 min read

🐫 Great Strategy, Scorecards, Low Trust, Culture Killers, Engineering Driven Development, Tech Specs, Therapists: TMW #345

Hello, hello!

Super Early Bird tickets for CTO Craft Con in November have officially sold out - as in the spring, the response has been absolutely incredible, and feedback on the topics we've selected for this edition has been brilliant. We'll be hearing some of the best technology leaders in the world share their insights on topics like psychological safety, DEI, accountability, conflict, collaboration and teamwork, resilience and a whole load of other themes related to Engineering Culture.

You can still grab a ticket - don't forget Slack members have an additional discount, so check there for a code if you're a member.

Alongside all the conference work, we're also edging closer to the launch of Campus, which is only weeks away! You can read all about what Campus is and how it'll help you in your tech leadership career on the website, but imagine a single place to assess your confidence levels and be given a curriculum of guides, videos, courses and workshops tailored to your needs, all within a private community of other leaders all moving towards the same goal. Pre-register on the website, and we'll let you know all about it when Campus is launched.

That's it! See you next week - on with the links

Andy @ CTO Craft

What to expect at the November CTO Craft Con: Culture and the CTO | CTO Craft
Over 250 tech leaders attended our first in-person CTO Craft Con in May. Here’s an overview of what to expect at our November conference.
CTO Craft Con: Culture and the CTO | London 7-8 November
CTO Craft Con will bring together over 250 Chief Technology Officers and other senior technology leaders from the most exciting start-ups, scale-ups, unicorns, and big tech companies to elevate their engineering culture in London, 7-8 November 2023.

CTO Craft Bytes

CTO Craft Bytes: The 11 herbs and spices of digital transformation at KFC
At this CTO Craft Bytes, we’re going to be joined by Vihang Shah, Head of Digital Technology at KFC and Philippe Guenet.

CTO Craft Bytes - ICYMI

CTO Craft Bytes: Using Big Picture Measures to Effect Positive Change
Register now for CTO Craft Bytes: Using Big Picture Measures to Effect Positive Change on crowdcast, scheduled to go live on June 23, 2023, 12:30 PM GMT+1.

Reads of the Week

What makes a strategy great
Most so-called “strategies” are vague, wishful thinking, written once and never seen again. Don’t do that. These are the characteristics of great strategy.
Stephen Bungay and the Art of Leadership - Crisp’s Blog
Leadership and direction setting are essential components of any successful business strategy. One of the very best thought leaders on business strategy that is well familiar to Crisp is one of last…

From our Sponsors

[From Jellyfish] How software engineering leaders must prepare for a future shaped by generative AI

Andrew Lau discusses how Generative AI will change how we lead software teams

Read the post

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, Vention, Jellyfish, LinearB, 101 Ways, O’Reilly, Pentalog, Skiller Whale, Swarmia, Uplevel, YLD

Leadership, Strategy & Business

The farther you go up the ladder, the less it’s about your technical skills
It’s not that technical skills aren’t important, but that soft skills are a lot more important
Simple scorecards beat scales
Simple scorecards are explicit and force real decisions, making them more effective
Barriers to Change: Limiting Beliefs - NOBL Academy
Individuals sometimes need a reminder that they’re capable of changing before they are willing to make the effort
How to Communicate When Trust Is Low (Without Digging Yourself Into A Deeper Hole)
This is based on an internal quip doc I wrote up about careful communication in the context of rebuilding trust. I got a couple requests to turn it into a blog post for sharing purposes; here you g…

Culture, People & Teams

TBM 235: Forms & Shadows
Prepare for some post-break philosophizing… Consider twelve related frames we might use to think about a team or company: Work People Organizational Structure Money Value Products Goals and strategies Technology Competitive ecosystem Partner network
How To Spot The 6 Greatest Culture-Killers Your Team Can Face – Scott Cochrane
Forming, Storming, Dreaming, Performing — Gosei
Explaining the group dynamics and leadership in Tuckman’s team development model Forming Storming Norming Performing.
Hire for Floors, not Ceilings - Jacob Kaplan-Moss
When you’re hiring, try not to get caught in the trap of evaluating candidates based on their best possible performance. Look instead for consistency: reliable results in variable conditions, the ability to deliver predictably with consistent quality, and so forth.

Technology, Operations & Delivery

The Rise of Engineering-Driven Development (EDD)
Before the specs, the Jira tickets, the sprints, and the briefs, there are agile tech companies. These are the startups built by people hacking away at problems their customers talk about online. Engineers aren’t in a corner with noise canceling headphones, they’re listening in on customer calls wit…
FeatureFlag 101 - DZone
In the dynamic landscape of modern software applications, catering to millions of users is a norm, and multiple teams work on various components concurrently. With the Agile development approach, new features are continuously onboarded to enhance application capabilities. However, releasing these fe…
TBM 234: Maintenance, KTLO, and BAU
I’ve always been bothered by how teams use words and phrases like maintenance, keeping the lights on (KTLO), and business as usual. I get what they mean, but there always seems to be a stigma around this work. This is problematic because work in this category is often the highest leverage/value work…
How to create great technical specifications
🎁 FREE Notion Template: Technical Specification included!

Stress, Wellbeing & Growth

How To Find A Therapist
In 2020, due to the “fun” combination of COVID-19 and two young children at home, I wanted to see an (individual) therapist. At the time I was employed by GitHub, which had a program where I could get up to six sessions paid for by them. After five of these, I’d found some benefits but wanted to try…
Becoming More Assertive: How to Express Yourself, Give Feedback, and Set Boundaries
Do you know that feeling, when you are brave enough to say ‘NO’ and then you don’t feel comfortable about it? This article provides a proper understanding of what an assertiveness skill is. You will learn how to identify the communication skills we need to work on to become more assertive, and get…
Read widely, apply selectively, share regardless - The Engineering Manager
Don’t feel discouraged about sharing what you know. We need more perspectives and ideas because it is how we raise the entire floor of our industry.
Drinking in the C-Suite
How top-level executive positions can facilitate or hide major addiction.

That’s it!

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Have an amazing week!