You might know of Chris Hadfield for his series of fascinating and frankly, just cool videos he posted from the International Space Station. He’s a real life Major Tom and speaks compellingly here on managing fear and the NASA maxim that “there is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse”.
We see him as finished product, a three time astronaut and legend in his field. What you may not know is that Hadfield spent literally decades doing everything he could to secure his chances of becoming an astronaut. Most importantly, he adopted and then consistently applied a mindset focused on How he would acquire the knowledge and capabilities likely to be valued by NASA. Continue reading →
When you’re interested in a subject professionally as well as personally, it’s pretty easy to forget that you’re also probably sporting a comfy pair of rose tinted glasses and enjoying a warm fuzzy glow of obviousness that, of course leaders care about culture and managers understand their role is to make the work, work and having engaged employees with clarity of purpose is a useful thing.
If you’re reading this, chances are, you already get that it’s possible to have both people and profit driving your performance. More than that, you’d probably go toe-to-toe with an old school Command & Control manager and say it’s not only possible, it’s necessary.
The sad news is, there are still far too many workplaces out there where these things are not self-evident and practiced with passion.
I’ve been spending some time off the reservation over the last year working on a few contracts and seeing the inside of a bunch of different organisations. Continue reading →
On the Lean Thinker blog I came across this thought provoking lean culture deck by Mike Rother, author of (Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results) on a proposed definition of Lean:
“The permanent struggle to flow value to one customer”
Mike’s definition hinges around a key concept in great culture, that of mindset. Mindset enables people to apply a consistent cultural standard whatever the situation. Mindset becomes their foundation and starting point rather than which tool to apply.
Mike makes the case that many definitions of Lean treat it as a discrete toolset, something that Company B can pick up and apply in the same way as Company A to get the same results. For example, if Company A uses pink index cards and coloured markers to map their work out and achieved 45% reduction in overheads, Company B thinks all we have to do is get ourselves down to Staples, stock up on index cards and markers and we’ll magically achieve the same performance. Continue reading →
I’ll use this post to collate interesting slide decks on culture I come across, including the legendary Netflix culture presentation.
Great 2 parter on Agile at scale and how Spotify approach their engineering culture
Spotify Engineering Culture – part 1 from Spotify Training & Development on Vimeo.
Spotify Engineering Culture – part 2 from Spotify Training & Development on Vimeo.