You Have the Answers, Yet We Need More Questions

We are rewarded for the answer. Not another question. It's beaten out of us from kids, and later in work it can be hazardous for your career. —Warren Berger Via the Farnam Street podcast I loved this cultural insight. An honest assertion that our business culture rewards quick-hit answers instead of rewarding the act of slowing down … Continue reading You Have the Answers, Yet We Need More Questions

Clean Room, Clean Mind

Why do I avoid the backlog and overflowing todo list? Why do I shove one more tool into a drawer already full of bits and bobs? Why do I squeeze yet another outfit into an overflowing closet? Because confronting this mess is hard work. It means making tough choices. Most of the time, I’d rather … Continue reading Clean Room, Clean Mind

Agile Thinkers Know When a Best Practice Isn’t Best

I have a hiring heuristic called ABCDEF, which stands for: agility, brains, communication, drive, empathy and fit. For gatekeepers, I’ve found agility is the most important attribute. To test it, I ask them: ‘Tell me a best practice from your way of working.’ Then I ask: ‘Tell me a situation where that best practice would … Continue reading Agile Thinkers Know When a Best Practice Isn’t Best

Your Judgement Differentiates You

Keep learning. You've only touched the edge of the issue. Develop your judgement, which is essentially decision making under uncertainty. Pattern matching: keep growing your pattern matching database, and be very conscious about it. Heard on the a16z podcast for March 26, 2018 with Andy Rachleff, Wealthfront founder and CEO.

Distractions Are Allowed

Via the Headspace app's "Productivity" lessons, I love this mindful approach to distractions. I've been learning that distractions can be good or bad. Like thoughts, they'll always come and go. It's not the nature of the distraction but acknowledging its existence. A skill I'd like to develop further is to be at ease with my current … Continue reading Distractions Are Allowed

Resilience Engineering and Strange Loops

My notes and takeaways from a long read on anomalies and system complexity called the STELLA Report from the SNAFUcatchers Workshop on Coping With Complexity, 2017. Via Matt. This paper is one of the best I’ve read in a while. Many lessons here match my experiences developing—and breaking—software for WordPress. I gained new insight into adaptive mental models, how best to … Continue reading Resilience Engineering and Strange Loops

Problem Number Two

Once you eliminate your number one problem, number two gets a promotion. Jerry Weinberg  

The Secret (Don’t Label the Technique)

When I come to a conversation without technique and provide the space to listen, I do so because I've failed at this a thousand times. I've planned and schemed and got lost in my own mind — missing the conversation, missing the moment, missing the person on the other side. This time I'm going to do … Continue reading The Secret (Don’t Label the Technique)

The People Business

My paraphrasing of Zeynep Tufekci's tweet from October 2017: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/918094636203298816 Via Sara Wachter-Boettcher.

Radical Renewal

If this is something that comes up for you — I highly recommend John Gardner's "Personal Renewal" essay (via John Maeda). Powerful and resonant piece; one of the best I've ever read. Though written in 1990, it resonates with me today as if the words were spoken in my ear this morning. Radical renewal is personal renewal … Continue reading Radical Renewal