The Importance of Community in Innovation:
From the Royal Society to Meetup Groups

A previous post about Innovation during COVID-19 cited Washington Post Staff Writer, Gillian Brockell’s blog post about Isaac Newton’s innovation during the 1665 Black Plague when he socially distanced at his family’s estate 60 miles northwest of Cambridge. Newton’s quiet time at home gave him the space to think and, among other things, develop early calculus and get started with optics. Despite his preternatural abilities, Newton was gifted with some… Read More »The Importance of Community in Innovation:
From the Royal Society to Meetup Groups

Retooling Our Behavior for Effective Zoom Calls

Those of us who have spent years working on remote teams are veterans of Zoom for video conferencing. We elders react with amusement as this new wave of Coronavirus Zoom converts feels a giddy empowerment, believing that the tool will adequately substitute for person to person contact during this pandemic. There’s no question that Zoom provides an outstanding video conferencing experience, provided users have sufficient internet connections, adequate computer hardware,… Read More »Retooling Our Behavior for Effective Zoom Calls

Management Lessons from Honest Abe

Our forefathers have plenty of sound advice that’s easily applied to business. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2005 historical tome, “Team of Rivals” is about Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. She centers her narrative around Lincoln’s decision to bring his three vanquished presidential competitors (William Henry Seward, Salmon Chase, and Edward Bates) and others who opposed him into his Cabinet. History is rife with lessons applicable to all walks of life but, sadly, it’s… Read More »Management Lessons from Honest Abe

Innovate Like Hell During Coronavirus Downtime

Travel is curtailed. Conferences are cancelled. Employees are working from home. The sales process has stalled. What will happen when the Coronavirus pandemic’s grip on the world eases? Companies that aggressively move forward during a slowdown will eclipse competitors and emerge with newfound vigor. In her excellent March 13, 2020 Washington Post Retropolis history blog post, Staff Writer Gillian Brockell recounts how college student Isaac Newton used his “Social Distancing”… Read More »Innovate Like Hell During Coronavirus Downtime

Six Sensible Ways for Employers to Support Working From Home During Coronavirus and Beyond

Coronavirus panic is sweeping the country. Companies that already have a remote working culture opine that, eventually, all companies will be working remotely. Meanwhile, companies that frown upon teleworking scramble to prepare for the time, which may arrive sooner than later, when employees are ordered to work from home. How can a company that doesn’t have a remote culture pivot to protect employees against a highly contagious virus for which… Read More »Six Sensible Ways for Employers to Support Working From Home During Coronavirus and Beyond

Living in a Frank Lloyd Wright House

Sorry Frank Lloyd Wright fanboys and fangirls, but this post isn’t about Prairie style architecture. It’s actually about opinionated versus unopinionated software systems. The mercurial Frank Lloyd Wright serves as a convenient metaphor to illustrate the opinionated side. Not only did he design and build houses, but Frank Lloyd Wright also designed the furniture, light fixtures, built-ins, fabrics, and colors within the house – the whole enchilada. For the most… Read More »Living in a Frank Lloyd Wright House

The Dirtiest Secret of Agile

Ask just about any technical team nowadays and they’ll claim they’re using some flavor of Agile practices in lieu of the debunked Waterfall method. For all the corniness of poker playing and daily standups where people actually stand up, it’s hard to argue against the eminently sensible Agile Manifesto. Still, the technical landscape is dotted with software releases that don’t cut the mustard, from quality problems to software that fails… Read More »The Dirtiest Secret of Agile

Part 3: 10xPrinciples on Nurturing the Nature: An Employer’s Guide to Evincing 10x Performance

The first post of this three part series, Defining the Principles of 10x, establishes that 10x performers are awesome problem solvers. Those with 10x potential already possess significant natural gifts and an employer can help these employees to realize their potentials – by nurturing their natures. The second post in this series explores how to find latent 10x potential in employees. This final post in the trilogy addresses the question,… Read More »Part 3: 10xPrinciples on Nurturing the Nature: An Employer’s Guide to Evincing 10x Performance

Part 2: 10xPrinciples on Identifying Latent 10x Talent

The first part of this series, Defining the Principles of 10x, establishes that 10x performers are awesome problem solvers. Typically, these uncommonly productive employees are senior-level because this performance requires a degree of judiciousness and skill that comes from experience. Although one may be tempted to build a team composed entirely of senior-level 10x performers, they’re hard to hire and they’re expensive. Furthermore, it’s healthier for an organization to have… Read More »Part 2: 10xPrinciples on Identifying Latent 10x Talent

Part 1: 10xPrinciples on the Principles of 10x

When a position description requests a “rock star developer,” one might wonder two things: 1) When will this tired, last century phrase go away, and 2) Who really wants Eddie Van Halen coding a website? Along the same lines, those in engineering circles have long sought “10x programmers,” who are ten times as productive as their ordinary counterparts. Do such unicorns exist or is this some engineering mythology that needs… Read More »Part 1: 10xPrinciples on the Principles of 10x