Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 39, 2022

The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.
The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.

So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 – Tipping Point Leadership
#2 – When Waterfall Principles Sneak Back Into Agile Workflows
#3 – Process Improvement, The Agile Way
#4 – Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
#5 – Your Strategy Has to Be Flexible

Tipping Point Leadership

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Summary: In any organization, once the beliefs and energies of a critical mass of people are engaged, conversion to a new idea will spread like an epidemic. Most managers only dream of pulling off this kind of performance. Tipping point leadership is learnable.

3 Highlights:

“… The great challenges in applying this kind of motivational device, of course, are ensuring that people feel it is based on fair processes and seeing to it that they can draw lessons from both good and bad results…

“… In many turnarounds, the hardest battle is simply getting people to agree on the causes of current problems and the need for change. Most CEOs try to make the case for change simply by pointing to the numbers and insisting that the company achieve better ones…

“… But if a new strategy is to become a movement, employees must not only recognize what needs to be done, but they must also want to do it…” 

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When Waterfall Principles Sneak Back Into Agile Workflows

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Steve Blank

Summary: AgileFall describes a situation in which project managers attempt to shift to Agile methodology, but are forced to continue operating under many of the rules and practices of traditional Waterfall development. This piece describes a client where this is happening–and how the company worked to reduce the paperwork and slow review timing that was hobbling progress. 

3 Highlights:

“… It is the individuals who were creating the value (finding solution/mission fit), not the processes and reports…“ 

“… Allowing teams to pivot to what they learned in customer discovery rather than blindly following a plan they sold you on day one is essential…“ 

“… In both managing down and up we needed a very different project management mindset…” 

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Process Improvement, The Agile Way

Source: Methods and Tools
Author: Ben Linders

Summary: The agile way of working, used more and more in software development, contains several mechanisms that support these business needs. So the question is: Could a process improvement project be performed in an agile way and what would be the benefits?

3 Highlights:

“… The agile approach has shortened the lead time in our project, given us a better understanding of what our customers needed, and increased the commitment to the changes that were needed in the organization.“ 

“… Team members supported each other, and collaborated where possible. It was ok for a team member to contribute just a little bit to a product, and release it for others to work on…“ 

“… The feedback mainly helped us to clarify our requirements and get a better understanding of what our customer needed, what he needed first, and what he didn’t need at all. It also helped us to improve the quality of the software...” 

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Revenge Bedtime Procrastination

Source: Culture Study by Anne Hellen
Author: Anne Helen Petersen

Summary: There’s an argument that revenge bedtime procrastination is a quiet means of rebellion against your employer: they make you work too many hours, and you claw back a few hours to yourself, which in turn affects your ability to function at full capacity on the job. At least that’s my theory: we self-sabotage as a shitty substitute for labor awareness and/or collective action. I don’t blame any of us for succumbing to this strategy, because it’s how the system is designed to function. If we feel like shit under capitalism, the fault is not capital, but our own lack of self-control.

3 Highlights:

“… One person revenge sleep procrastinating? That’s a personal problem. Whole swaths of a working population? That’s deep dissatisfaction with the status quo…“ 

“… You can see how that logic falls apart for the millions of workers whose primary employer is, well, themselves. Alternately, the employer (or students, or editors, or readers) still gets the best of us. Everyone else? The people we actually care about? Including our actual damn selves? They get the dregs because so many of us have internalized the need to prioritize the work we do for pay above all else…“ 

“… But at that point in the day, I don’t have the energy, the willpower, the wherewithal, or whatever you want to call it to do the thing it’s been begging me to do. So I give my exhausted self the worst, least appeasing version of what it’s asking for, and the dastardly parts of apps engineered to keep us in them do their work. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and dating apps, of course, but also Netflix and Hulu and HBOMax and 2048 and the billion Candy Crush iterations…” 

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Your Strategy Has to Be Flexible

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Martin Reeves and Rodolphe Charme Di Carlo

Summary: Strategy execution should be as varied, as thoughtful, as subtle, as diverse, and intertwined with the strategy itself as necessary to get the job done. We should not let the simplistic but comforting dualism of strategy and execution deceive us. But under the changing conditions of a nascent or recently disrupted industry, a rigid plan can become a straitjacket for the flexibility and adaptation which may be required to succeed. Different strategic environments require different approaches to strategy and execution.

3 Highlights:

“… Execution should be as varied, as thoughtful, as subtle, as diverse, and intertwined with strategy as necessary to get the job done, and that will vary according to the specific challenge at hand. In short, your execution needs a strategy…“ 

“… A nascent technology business might require an adaptive approach and a stable commodity business might require a classical, planning-based approach. In short, your execution needs a thoughtful strategy…“ 

“… The value of execution can, in the simplest cases, be boiled down to the successful accomplishment of specific tasks. But where a high degree of uncertainty and change is involved, the value can instead reside in the learning which accompanies execution, whether or not the immediate outcome is successful. A famous example is YouTube, which began as a video dating site back in 2005. The site failed to gain traction so the founders, leveraging what they learned while building the original platform, launched another version of the website focusing on sharing videos online, with significantly more success.…” 

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