Sorry for the silence

Jason Rosewell

My apologies for not writing more often over the course of the past few months.  My mind was not in a good place.  I was … angry for lack of a better word.  Now I know what you’re thinking “But Don, you write your best posts when you’re angry.”

Not like this.  I have different levels of anger and this was getting close to the top of the scale. Continue reading “Sorry for the silence”

We’re doing it wrong?


Sabri Tuzcu
The process in business, for as long as I can remember (and I’m old so I can remember a lot, just not your name), is the following:

  • Create a strategy, a target that you want the organization to acheive
  • Restructure the organization so that it is more likely to achieve that target
  • Get the people onside, change the culture so that the strategy is achievable with the structure you created

Seems reasonable doesn’t it?

But what if it’s wrong? Continue reading “We’re doing it wrong?”

Self-contained teams


rawpixel.com

One of the items that came out of the Spotify video yesterday was their concept of a squad: a small (5-8) person self-contained group of people.  Now this idea isn’t new.  Jeff Bezos called it the “two-pizza” team.  The team should be no larger than what two pizzas could feed.  (This has also been extended to the two-pizza meeting where you shouldn’t have more than two-pizza’s worth of participants.  So, what was so important about the idea of a small team?

Glad you asked. Continue reading “Self-contained teams”

Spotify is cool

Spotify has an interesting “engineering culture”.  A video describing their culture on YouTube doesn’t have nearly the number of hits that it should have.  Granted, it is just a single company and they are in a niche market, but the nuggets of wisdom inherent in the video make watching the video worthwhile to anyone that wants to improve their organization.

Like you. Continue reading “Spotify is cool”

Under Control

Fear, risk, they’re all sides of the same coin. When Mario Andretti was racing he realized that.  You needed that extra bit of risk, that fear to motivate you, to make you better than you were.  Step out of your comfort zone, accept the risk and experience the fear.

What fear?  In the business world, both private and public sector, that fear is failure.  Fear of failure stops us from accepting risk.  The fear of being out of control makes us move slowly, carefully, with all of the “i”‘s dotted and the “t”‘s crossed.  Fear makes us move slowly  Continue reading “Under Control”

Adrift at the Office


Mubariz Mehdizadeh

Have you ever felt that you and the organization that you work for just aren’t the same page?  That your values and their values just aren’t the same anymore?  Have you started dreading going to work instead of looking forward to work?  Do you feel lost in a sea of cubicles with nowhere to turn?

We all feel like that sometimes and there are always reasons for the feeling.  But what impact are those feelings having in your life, both personal and professional? Continue reading “Adrift at the Office”

Start at the beginning: DevOps


I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I came to the conclusion that I needed to start at the beginning.  I know, it’s a cliche, but it’s true.  Everyone seems to feel that they know what DevOps is, how it works and why they are the only shining example of DevOps in their organization.

Let’s talk to our friend at Wikipedia and see what they say about DevOps:

DevOps (a clipped compound of “development” and “operations”) is a software engineering culture and practice that aims at unifying software development (Dev) and software operation (Ops). The main characteristic of the DevOps movement is to strongly advocate automation and monitoring at all steps of software construction, from integration, testing, releasing to deployment and infrastructure management. DevOps aims at shorter development cycles, increased deployment frequency, more dependable releases, in close alignment with business objectives.

Say what? Continue reading “Start at the beginning: DevOps”

Truth and Possibility

Oscar Keys

What do you get when you put a Neuroscientist and a Composer together to talk about ideas?  You get some really interesting discussions.  You also get some insight into how our brains work:

Truth is not the metric that the brain cares about. It cares about possibility. And then it figures out ways to say, “Well, could I make this true?”

Continue reading “Truth and Possibility”

What Price Respect?

Respect is an intangible good.  It can be given.  It can be received.  It can, in some ways, be measured.  But it is always something that you have control over.  You determine who you are going to respect.  But if there is a need for a choice, a choice between respecting someone, giving them their due, or not respecting them, where do you cross the line?

What price do you put on respect? Continue reading “What Price Respect?”

Smartphones: Harbingers of Doom

Photo by Marjan Grabowski on Unsplash

You’re working on something on your computer, writing an email or composing a blog post, and you glance towards your phone.  You keep working away, but you start glancing more frequently at your phone until pretty soon it’s in your hand and your other work is paused.  Is it FoMo (Fear of Missing Out)?  Is it a bad habit you need to kick?

How does your smartphone/tablet influence your productivity? Continue reading “Smartphones: Harbingers of Doom”