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Modern Leadership & Team Science: Creating Space to Be Awesome

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Our role as technology leaders is changing. And somehow also staying the same. Though we work in new ways – for instance using Agile & Lean – we are still trying to achieve the same thing. Our mission is to create high performing teams to deliver high quality products that help our users and organizations to succeed.

So how do we go about it? First of all, we steal the best lessons we can from psychology, management science, and other fields including sports. Then we focus on how to create an environment in which a diverse range of people can be themselves and be successful.

In this keynote we’ll take a whistle-stop tour of the relevant science, then focus on how to use it in our day-to-day – to create inclusive and effective work environments in which everyone can be awesome.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Modern Leadership & Team Science: Creating Space to Be Awesome

  1. 1. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager MODERN LEADERSHIP AND TEAM SCIENCE: CREATING SPACE TO BE AWESOME QCon São Paulo April 2017
  2. 2. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager http://www.flickr.com/photos/kodomut/3667608102/
  3. 3. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  4. 4. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE ALL HATE BAD BOSSES WE DESCRIBE THEM AS • Clueless • Empty suits • Pointless • Seagulls
  5. 5. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  6. 6. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager https://twitter.com/Caterina/status/6715084157
  7. 7. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Traditional management beliefs are a pile of crap http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elephant_Dung.JPG
  8. 8. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager PUT DOWN YOUR SWORD. YOU ARE NOT A ROMAN GENERAL.
  9. 9. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WHAT DOES WORK? Sooo….
  10. 10. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Across industries, across countries, the best performing teams answer certain questions positively
  11. 11. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Predictors of High Performance 1. Do I know what is expected of me at work? 2. Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right? 3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? 4. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? 5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? 6. Is there someone at work who cares about my development? 7. At work, do my opinions seem to count? 8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? 9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? 10. Do I have a best friend at work? 11. In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development? 12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  12. 12. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  13. 13. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager UNDERSTAND MOTIVATION • Purpose • Autonomy • Mastery
  14. 14. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager MOTIVATION = + PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?) + AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?) + MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?) - ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
  15. 15. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Predictors of High Performance (remix) PURPOSE • Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? AUTONOMY • Do I know what is expected of me at work? • At work, do my opinions seem to count? MASTERY • Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right? • At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? • Is there someone at work who cares about my development? • Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? • In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development? • At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  16. 16. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager And What Else? OTHER FACTORS: • In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? • Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? • Do I have a best friend at work? ESSENTIALLY, AM I RESPECTED & REWARDED HERE? CAN I BE MYSELF AND SUCCEED HERE? I CALL THIS INCLUSION.
  17. 17. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager “DO I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO WHAT I DO BEST EVERY DAY?”
  18. 18. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE NEED TO STOP LEVELLING PEOPLE OUT TO EQUAL CONSISTENT MEDIOCRITY AND INSTEAD FOCUS ON GETTING THE MOST OUT OF DIFFERENCE
  19. 19. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE RESOURCE UNITS BTW … IF YOU CALL PEOPLE RESOURCES THEY GET TO CALL YOU OVERHEAD ;-P
  20. 20. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE ARE COLOURS … OR FLAVOURS WE ARE BETTER IN COMPLEMENT, IN CONCERT WITH EACH OTHER
  21. 21. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  22. 22. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WHAT IF WE THINK OF PEOPLE AND ROLES AS A MATTER OF CASTING?
  23. 23. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager HOW DO WE ASSEMBLE A GREAT TEAM WITH COMPLEMENTARY ABILITIES?
  24. 24. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  25. 25. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager FIRST, WE CREATE SPACE FOR THEM TO BE AWESOME
  26. 26. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager EVERY PERSON IS CAPABLE OF VIRTUOSITY
  27. 27. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager SPACE TO BE AWESOME = + PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?) + AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?) + MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?) + INCLUSION (Do I BELONG HERE?) - ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
  28. 28. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager CREATE SPACE FOR EVERYONE TO BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE Our mission whether manager or leader or individual contributor…
  29. 29. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Ask Yourself • Do my people know WHY we are doing this? • Do my people get a say in the WHAT? In doing the right thing? • Do my people get opportunities to do the thing right? And to get better at the HOW? • Do we do a good job of making all our different people feel included & like they BELONG HERE? (PURPOSE) (AUTONOMY) (MASTERY) (INCLUSION)
  30. 30. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Predictors of High Performance (remix) PURPOSE • Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? AUTONOMY • Do I know what is expected of me at work? • At work, do my opinions seem to count? INCLUSION: • In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? • Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? • Do I have a best friend at work? MASTERY • Do I have the materials & equipment I need to do my work right? • At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? • Is there someone at work who cares about my development? • Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? • In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my development? • At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  31. 31. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WHAT DOES THIS MEAN DAY- TO-DAY, WEEK-TO-WEEK?
  32. 32. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  33. 33. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager PROTECT PURPOSE BE A TRANSLATOR – MAKE PURPOSE, STRATEGY & DIRECTION MAKE SENSE CONNECT WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING (AND CAN DO!) TO OVERALL IMPORTANT PURPOSE
  34. 34. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager ENABLE AUTONOMY & MASTERY
  35. 35. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager CLUE / SKILLS MATRIX
  36. 36. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager What’s Needed
  37. 37. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  38. 38. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  39. 39. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  40. 40. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WE’RE GOOD AT WHAT WE PRACTICE, PROVIDING WE CAN LEARN FROM IT
  41. 41. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager DELIBERATE PRACTICE • You must be motivated to attend to the task and exert effort to improve your performance. • The design of the task should take into account your pre- existing knowledge so that the task can be correctly understood after a brief period of instruction. • You should receive immediate informative feedback and knowledge of results of your performance. • You should repeatedly perform the same or similar tasks.
  42. 42. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager MODELS OF DELIBERATE PRACTICE • Sports Model – analogous to conditioning • Chess Model – what did the grand master do? • Music Model – chunking & mental rehearsal
  43. 43. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager IS THE WORK DESIGNED IN A WAY THAT MAKES IT EFFECTIVE DELIBERATE PRACTICE? CHALLENGING? FEEDBACK? LEARNING?
  44. 44. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager CULTIVATE INCLUSION Help people to succeed as themselves. Best predictor of recruitment AND retention? Someone’s ability to agree with: “Someone like me can be successful here”
  45. 45. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  46. 46. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  47. 47. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager I’m A Bit of a Diversity Statistic  Woman… (working in tech)  Gay…  Foreign…  Employed (this is a bad thing if you’re foreign in UK…)  Disabled…  Atheist…  BUT grew up hugely aware of (unasked & undeserved) privilege I had growing up white in Apartheid South Africa.
  48. 48. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager My childhood was FULL of signs like these Horrible & horrific but impossible to escape
  49. 49. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager I CANNOT DENY THAT PRIVILEGE In fact, the most useful thing I can do is assess, understanding & acknowledge that privilege … and then do something with it
  50. 50. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager NOT DISCRIMINATING IS IMPORTANT Legally, if nothing else
  51. 51. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager BUT TOLERANCE IS A TERRIBLE WORD Would YOU want to be tolerated?
  52. 52. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager WOULDN’T A FULLY INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT BE BETTER? PROTIP: Helps Everyone!
  53. 53. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Diversity is a Spectrum Active hatred & discrimination (*isms) Micro aggressions Indifference Active inclusion Tolerance
  54. 54. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager “A micro-aggression is telling young boys that they are very smart, and telling young girls that they are very pretty. ” - Faruk Ates @kurafire
  55. 55. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Craft Inclusive Environments 1. Am I EXPECTED here? 2. Am I RESPECTED here? 3. Can I BE MYSELF and BE SUCCESSFUL here?
  56. 56. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Am I EXPECTED? • Does it look like a wide range of people are expected here? • Do the pictures reflect me? • Do the policies and benefits include me? • Does it seem like anyone has ever thought about someone like me joining? • Can I see indicators of inclusion? Or exclusion?
  57. 57. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Am I RESPECTED? • Are my superpowers valuable here? • Will I get to focus on the things I am brilliant at? Or will people stereotype me? • Do people understand and respect difference? • Does this place value diversity, rather than just tolerate it? • Am I experiencing any harassment or micro- aggressions when interacting with people?
  58. 58. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager Can I BE MYSELF and BE SUCCESSFUL? • Does this culture reward people like me? • Are there any role models for me here? • Do I have to change who I am to succeed here? Is there someone like me at the top? • How much energy do I have to spend pretending / adjusting? • Are there multiple visible routes to success?
  59. 59. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager SPACE TO BE AWESOME = + PURPOSE (Do I believe in WHY?) + AUTONOMY (Do I get a say in WHAT?) + MASTERY (Am I proud of HOW?) + INCLUSION (Do I BELONG HERE?) - ANY NEGATIVE FACTORS THAT DETRACT
  60. 60. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager EVERY ROLE IS CAPABLE OF VIRTUOSITY
  61. 61. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager GO! SHAPE/MAKE SPACE BE AWESOME BE INCLUSIVE And thank you for listening  Got questions? meri@chromerose.co.uk
  62. 62. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager
  63. 63. Meri Williams, ChromeRose @Geek_Manager

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