We talk about teams being the core unit of work in the post-industrial era, but a “team” is a somewhat abstract concept. What is a team really?
In terms of gestalt principles, we often use the law of proximity (frontend, backend, product, design). But those categorizations rarely reflect how we actually work day to day. More often than not, the true team is better defined by a closure. It’s a product of the interactions and goals of the actors.
In modern organizations it seems increasingly likely that the real team is not represented by the org chart. …
I was recently asked to share the code review policy I maintained when working with Medium Engineering. I thought it could be useful to others, so sharing here publicly.
Nearly everyone has been enduring chronic stress of unimaginable levels. And like many, last year I started to feel the pressure physically.
The stress of a newborn, stress of figuring out school for a kindergartner, stress of running a startup, stress of political unrest and being gaslit by the government, stress of wildfire smoke streaming into our apartment, stress of living 5,000 miles from my family during a global pandemic… And while I didn’t have to worry about where we’d get food or whether we’d have a roof over our heads, my blood pressure rose to unhealthy levels.
When we pitched Range in 2017 we didn’t even talk about remote work. It was part of the thesis, but we quickly found that investors were skeptical about the efficacy of remote teams, and didn’t see the market potential. Instead, we focused on other changes affecting the workplace: the need for more decentralization and more humanity in our tools.
Fast-forward to 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of people to experience remote work first hand. It hasn’t been “normal” remote work for sure, but after a year, companies have had to figure out how to make it work…
But as I sit down to summarize 2020 I have a sense of cognitive dissonance. Trying to reflect on the positive moments during this hardest of years risks trivializing the pain and suffering so many have experienced. Explaining my own challenges and struggles isn’t aligned with the purpose of these posts, and risks invoking the trap of comparative suffering.
This year I feel like I should be reflecting on the decade — or on having recently turned 40 — but life has been so hectic I haven’t had the time or space to properly process it all.
Saying work was busy this year would be an understatement. Progress is never a straight line, but things at Range are going well and the work has been…
The team here at Range are notorious book worms and we regularly get asked for recommendations.
Below I’ve shared some of our favorites, intended for people interested in becoming a better leader, improving team effectiveness, and learning how to make work more humane.
Leadership is its own craft, not simply an extension of other crafts. While every situation will provide a unique combination of challenges, there are commonalities that every leader will struggle through. These books provide a great starting point.
This article originally appeared on the Range Blog.
Our brains are energy hungry and responsible for processing huge amounts of data. As such, they are constantly looking for shortcuts. They seek heuristics and abstractions to speed up decision making and reduce the amount of energy spent thinking.
Most of the time these heuristics are useful and the reason we’re able to get on with our daily lives. But when they break down, they lead to irrationality, a distorted perspective on reality, and inaccurate judgement.
Even the smartest people are susceptible to faulty thinking.
There are dozens of well-known mental shortcuts…
A few years ago, as I was managing a growing team, I set out to try and understand why traditional forms of management didn’t feel appropriate. I went deep on group dynamics, psychology, and human development theory, and started to piece together different parts of what felt like a very big puzzle.
Throughout my reading, the concept of complexity kept coming up. On the surface, it made sense: everything pertaining to the evolution of the human experience is tangled up in a web of cause-and-effect; resulting from — and leading to — increases in complexity.
Hunter-gatherer tribes became early civilizations…
Writing a good objective is hard. It requires capturing a huge amount of knowledge and context into a short phrase. Getting it wrong causes confusion, at best. At worst it can lead to projects going off track, unnecessary work, and important things being dropped.
Whether you are using OKRs, Headlining, or Agile Epics, a well-written objective communicates what your team is doing and why, builds alignment within and across teams, empowers autonomy, and builds accountability.
Here are some tips on writing objectives.
A good objective communicates at a high-level what you are doing and why. It makes it clear to…