Mood: 🥵. Less proactive, more reactive as of late. Seems like something’s a bit off with my game.
🌹 What am I grateful for this week?
Turns out people were pretty understanding when I needed to shuffle my plans around. I usually try to avoid doing this as I hate inconveniencing others (yet I can see it’s done to me all the time) but perhaps I don’t need to be so uptight about schedules.
I’m also enjoying forging a lot of new connections, both through work-related chats and rekindling old ones from my network. If I compare the five people I spend the most time interacting with now, compared to a year or two ago, it feels like it’s shifting in the right direction.*
🌵 What do I wish could have gone differently?
It’s been a while since I’ve been repeatedly chased for my work**, or at least how I’m going about it. And I get it — I probably don’t appear to be as ‘on it’ (even though I believe I can get to the same outcome) in part because of my aversion to picking up the phone. Plus there are business pressures to be mindful of. But what’s surprising to me is the difference in feeling it leaves when you feel your autonomy is slipping away. Maybe I’ve been lucky to not feel that pressure for long enough, that I now need to recondition myself to it?
💡 What do I need to remember?
Slept on a few of my learnings from Anil Gaba’s lecture at the INSEAD reunion weekend. He made the business argument for diversity in a similar way to Matt Syed, but added a few interesting layers:
- What makes for meaningful diversity depends on the context — it should be the leader’s role to identify and shape this context
- Whereas diversity speaks to the composition of the group, inclusivity can be framed as a good process for combining group judgments to minimize bias
- Don’t fall for the trap of cutting the individual underperformer from a team. Instead consider the strongest composition of the remaining members, again from a D&I lens
A version of that last one comes up in the product delivery team context when you’re looking at rotations or rolling off teammates after a given milestone. I can imagine a future where our business considers and recommends moves from a D&I lens as well as the existing factors we look at today.
📚 What did I discover?
Loving this visual essay — a hands-on walkthrough about how to combat exploitative product models (aka attention monsters) from the inside.
The world needs a tech diet; here is how designers can help
It's time we bridge the gap between feel-good Design & Ethics panels and the work we do everyday as digital product…
Here’s a spicy take on “the customer is always right” — does it follow that “employees are generally wrong” in an innovation context? Perhaps, when they offer solutions to their own problems rather than those of the customer.***
Future Foundry LIVE: How to identify your biggest innovation opportunities
Welcome to our deep dive on how to hunt down game-changing opportunities for your business. If you're wondering what…
Fascinating article that Lisa spotted on tech salaries in and around the Netherlands. I wonder if this trend is manifesting itself in London as well?
The Trimodal Nature of Software Engineering Salaries in the Netherlands and Europe
Update: dozens of hiring managers confirmed this trimodal model applies to all global markets: from the US, through…
And this last one is just plain funny. Humbled to have found it!
Truly Humbled to Be the Author of This Article
"I was humbled to be awarded an honorary degree by the London School of Economics earlier this week. Thank you so much…
Was due back into London last week, but extended my stay in Geneva to look after Lisa while she wasn’t feeling her best. As a result we were able to enjoy more home-cooked meals together, finish the latest Stranger Things, and I even got to soak in some lake vibes on a sunny Saturday. A great decision!
Although I couldn’t join in person, I still quite enjoyed dialing into this week’s ‘secret society’ meet 🤭. We watched parts of a great Diary of a CEO interview around happiness — then had a lively discussion about managing expectations, embracing the downs alongside the ups for perspective it gives, and seeking contentment in the long run.
I harped on the word “deserve” during our discussion (in my view, a source of toxicity) because it sets incorrect expectations about how the world works. Should you buy into the thesis that happiness equals reality minus expectations, there’s little good that a belief in deserving does for your long term happiness. Your expectations are only met in the best case, but most of the time you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Why embrace downside without potential upside? Better I think to try to remove it from your vocabulary.
*I used to be shier about reaching out, and got in my head a lot about whether the other person even wanted to hear from me or had time to respond. Turns out, when they don’t, it’s fine, nothing bad actually happens. So I’m glad to see myself reaching out with more intention, and trying to maintain contact with folks who are happy to go beyond surface-level chats. I wonder if I’ll eventually get a Twitter friend into the top five — maybe after I finish taking Kevon’s course for a spin.
**I’m usually in the chaser’s seat, and even that much I try to go about differently, so that the other party doesn’t feel that I’m breathing down their neck. What’s the virtual/remote version of breathing down one’s neck — is it breathing down your DMs?
***Cue the common UX refrain: you are not the user.