tl;dr To drive alignment within your organization: stack-rank your priorities, pick the ones you must accomplish, and write them down for all to see. For this, a POR is a useful tool.

What is a POR?

On its face, a Plan of Record (POR) is a deceptively simple document that states intended deliverables over a period of time. (For this reason, PORs are sometimes called “Plan of Intent”.)

An (abbreviated) example POR for a Mobile Product Director

A simple document, yet powerful. PORs are easy to consume and exceedingly clear in setting expectations. …

Note: optimized for the Apple Universe. Translations to alternative emoji forms are left as an exercise for the reader.

A ⛺️

B 🐝

C 🌊

D 🍆

E 🤗

F 🖕

G 🤔

H 🚧

I 👁

J 🏑

K 💃

L 🌮

M ✊

N 🙅‍

O 😱

P 💩

Q 🦑

R 🦎

S 🧞️

T 🤸‍️

U 🚽

V 🖖

W 🔱

X ☠️

Y 🤾‍

Z 💤

Methodology: While on conference call, and went with what made most sense to me in that moment.

⛺️🐝🌊🍆🤗🖕🤔🚧👁🏑💃🌮✊🙅‍♀️😱💩🦑🦎🧞‍♀️🤸‍♂️🚽🖖🔱 ☠️ 🤾‍💤

Engineering Culture has outsized impact on team performance.

It is also, generally speaking, not well understood nor well documented — especially for rapidly-growing companies. In the past 2 years, WorkMarket’s Engineering team grew 500%, representing a significant investment in our team and capabilities. It is equally important that we have a culture deserving of that investment.

Recently, we came across Lynne Tye’s Key:Values project and thought to use it as a measuring stick for our culture rather than rely on our own zeitgeist. While we had a sense of our values, it lacked precision. …

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore

And you’ll notice it’s a two-minute read, so you’ll continue on because there’s a banner image and the copy looks tight.

And you’ll know it won’t change your mind, but additional perspectives help reinforce your convictions and tend to comfort you.

And yet you’ll feel a bit of angst snowballing in the pit of your stomach as maybe—just maybe—this is the argument that shatters your deeply held beliefs as only artful single-sentence paragraph-statements can do.

And you’ll conclude: no, you’ve settled that matter, so you’ll begin to wonder what the author is prattling on about.

And suddenly—yet subtly—you’ll be asked…


After ten years in the workforce I’ve concluded that:

  • a surprising number of adults can’t write,
  • the problem is getting worse, and
  • I should do something about it.

Like folding laundry or shooting whiskey, writing is something adults ought to be able to do without too much trouble.

Nevertheless, writing is hard. While the mechanics are straightforward, the process usually isn’t.

Mercifully, most writing is transactional and conversational: relaying ideas, managing logistics, and other short-form communication. The longer, harder, stand-alone expositions are often now reserved for special occasions (like hate mail) or are the responsibility of professional writers. …

On Earth Day 2004, some friends and I went to a neighboring college campus to watch Ann Coulter give a talk. Well, rant. She’s more of a ranter, really. The stuff of hyperbole.

It was her usual schtick: liberals are assaulting America, climate change is a hoax, etc. etc.

(Side anecdote: during the talk, some khaki-wearing, blue-blazered undergraduates sporting conservative haircuts forcibly removed another gentleman for not yielding the floor. Melodrama at its finest.)

Afterwards, there was a book signing. Though there were hundreds of people at the talk, few stuck around. I thought it a fine opportunity to see…

Over the past year or so I’ve adopted a few habits that I thought would enhance this little experiment called life.

I didn’t start them all at once—I kneaded them in over time, giving each new habit three months to stick. Then, on the next.

I thought to share them in the hope they’d help you, too. In order of appearance:

Skip breakfast

The habit returned 30 minutes to my morning and reduced my caloric intake by about 300 kilocalories a day. Each week, 3 hours and 2,100 kilocalories back in my favor.

The first few days were rough, but after a…

Michael E. Gruen

laconic. incorrigible. ploce (diacope) ploce.

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