I can’t believe I’m wrapping up my 3rd full year of weekly posts (OrgHacking got started in May 2014) making this my 3rd annual “year in review” post!
OrgHacking has always been first and foremost a personal self-reflection tool. A way to bring some order and structure to my highly-associative way of thinking, cementing some foundations in place and making it easier to develop new ideas and ways of thinking on top of them. This year in particular, the fruits of that labor are starting to be more clearly visible, as evident by the number of self-referencing posts — building on top of old OrgHacking posts, expanding and evolving the ideas discussed in them.
While the process of picking which topics to cover has always been and continues to be rather emergent — based on experiences I had and content I’ve read close to the time of drafting — this year, I’ve also posted a small set of questions at the beginning of the year. These were meant to be more of snapshot-in-time of questions that were top of mind to me back then, with the intent of observing how they evolve throughout the year.
This year, I’ve decided to break my annual reflection into two separate posts: Part 1 (this post) will be the regular thematic summary of the 2017 OrgHacking posts. Part 2 will look at the content through the lens of the 7 questions and pose some new ones for the upcoming year.
It’s always an interesting exercise to get all of this year’s posts on a single Google Doc. This year it was a good reminder of how subjective my perception of time really is. Some posts felt like they’ve been written yesterday, and some posts I almost completely forgot that I wrote. While there’s some overlap between the themes and the categorization of posts is not mutually exclusive, the key themes this year were: Strategy & Operations, Book Reviews, Organizational Theory, Personal Growth, and Healthy Organizational Practices.
Strategy & Operations
- From Lean Startup to Domain Mastery Startup
- Strategy as Heuristics — Take II
- Sustainable Sources of Competitive Advantage [Housel]
- The “What?” Stack [Davies]
- On Metrics and KPIs
- The Theory of Constraints Series [Forte]
- Reinventing top-of-funnel recruiting
- “Breaking them in” or “Revealing their best” [Cable, Gino & Staats]
- The IEX Series on Organizational Transformation [IEX]
- Book Review: Hiring and Getting Hired
- The Coaching Habit (book review)
- Leadership without easy answers [book synthesis]
- Conscious Business [Kofman] — Part 1: Operational Conflict Resolution
- Conscious Business [Kofman] — Part 2: Interpersonal Commitments
- Bounded Specialization (and the limits of human collaboration)
- The Knowledge Creating Company [Nonaka]
- Rhizomatic Organizations [Rao]
- A Working Class Manifesto [Kilpi]
- Changing Mental Models [Pfeffer]
- Good Holacracy, Bad Holacracy [Nixon]
- The maddening insufficiency of being well informed [Kegan & Lahey]
- A Compensation Polarity
- Organizational Polarities [Quinn]
- Advise the Rider, Steer the Elephant and Shape the Path [Heath]
- Cooperation, Coordination, Collaboration [Keast]
- The Psychological Costs of Pay-for-Performance [Larkin, Pierce & Gino]
- Culture and Revolution [Horowitz]
- Enabling Engagement: A micro-meta-analysis
Personal Growth and the human condition
- Rethinking Uncertainty [Harbinger]
- Let’s talk about burnout
- East Meets West
- Personal Growth Work [Vijayashanker]
- Attachment at (not to) Work [Harms]
- The Real Reason People Won’t Change [Kegan & Lahey]
- The Neuroscience of Trust [Zak]
- When do you feel Ikigai?
- Unlocking human potential — proactive practices for individual elasticity [DCE]
- LCP + ITC = ♥
- Are you a Segmentor or an Integrator? [Huth]
Healthy Organizational Practices
- The Big List of Class Discussion Strategies [Gonzales]
- Deconstructive Communication [Kagan & Lahey]
- Managing Performance Friction
- Constructive Dissent [Suster]
- Just Like Me [ Delizonna]
- GROWing the Retention Tree [Re:Work + Canner]
- Team Rhythms
- Honoring your word [Jensen]
- Making working relationships work [Mind Gym]
- What makes teams of leaders leadable? [Wageman and Hackman]
- Organizational Leader as a Social Architect [Herrero/Vora]
A couple of final observations on this year’s posts and writing experience:
- I was positively surprised by the amount of original/deep synthesis posts I wrote this year. About a third of the posts went beyond the standard pattern of “summary and expansion” to offer a more thorough analysis or a multi-source synthesis. This is either a result of my thinking evolving and “developing my own voice” or a byproduct of my “posts backlog” becoming completely unwieldy (+100 rough ideas/links) to the point of uselessness, “forcing” me to create more original content. Either way, I’m happy with the outcome.
- This is the 2nd year of OrgHacking being a Medium-first publication with cross-posting on orghacking.com. The clean writing interface is certainly the killer feature, but it doesn’t make the inability to easily access ALL historical content or the limited search functionality less annoying :) Since starting to use Grammarly (yay, dogfooding!) the lack of Grammarly support made me reconsider switching back to Wordpress several times.