Finding Alignment

I’ve got a lot of things on my plate right now, but let me be clear: I’m not going to stand in the way of what the business wants to do.” I’ve been told this many times before. In the early days of trying to create alignment for initiatives that are important to our strategy, … Read More

Disruption is Uncomfortable

The other day we were doing an urgent Chef policy update in our production environment. It quickly became clear to all that this was uncomfortable. I had written extensive documentation to explain, as I saw it, how interact with Chef within our system. The person who was assigned the task, however, wasn’t able to make … Read More

Premature Optimization

I was talking to a colleague the other day who is working on a centralized initiative that has the potential to do a lot for our organization. He’s excited. He’s going to meetings, getting alignment, getting funding. In it all, leaders are asking him for a grand vision that will bring all the disparate parts together into a coherent whole. … Read More

The Power of Precendence

The other day I a friend and colleague was working on a central initiative and asking me for help. He couldn’t get any traction on this initiative because all of the people who would need to approve of this initiative kept bringing up more and more issues. The groups were caught in a common trap of any … Read More

The Missing Compiler/Unit Test for Feelings

As technical people we become fascinated early on by the numerous tools out there that make our jobs easier. A compiler or syntax checker is almost an afterthought these days: of course you would want some guidance on whether your code was in compliance with the language before running it. Unit tests are the same way; if I can … Read More

Feelings > Compliance

On the surface, leadership looks like an exercise in getting as many people compliant with one’s vision and direction. A naive leader will find themselves forcing others to comply to their policies, their direction, their demands. A while back I was in a meeting with a colleague going over the particulars of how I was going to implement a particular … Read More

All or Nothing Changes

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has taught me the danger in all or nothing thinking. If I enjoy my job, perhaps it isn’t a good idea to work 80 hours at it. If I fail at work, then all is not lost. If I want to lose weight, perhaps the best thing to do is stop eating cookies. Maybe … Read More

The Power of Culture in Cross-Discipline Change Initiatives

When I started my career, I was rewarded for being creative, stretching the boundaries, getting changes through the system to bring more revenue to my company. I was a developer. When my SecOps colleague started his career, he was rewarded for keeping people like me from destroying the business with poorly planned implementations that make us vulnerable … Read More

Proof of Concept

It’s a classic scenario: a group of people want to use a tool but before they can, they do a proof of concept (or POC) with the technology as a means of showing that it will do what it says it will do. In the past the proof of concept was purely a technical issue: how does … Read More

Building Alliances

The other day I met with a friend and colleague about why a particular meeting went badly. The meeting was a few weeks back with a team that isn’t exactly thrilled about an initiative I’m championing. I knew this and basically did a demonstration of the proposed change, during which I was peppered with question … Read More