In search of clarity

The aim is that every member of the team knows: What you’re working towards and why What each person’s role is (in general terms) What their specific job is and why it’s important How to actually do their job (technical skill) Where they can get help What qualities they’re expected to bring to their work (kindness, enthusiasm, creativity, generosity, rigour,…

First from the source, then from the sides: Seth Godin on how change happens

Your wishes are pure, the change is important, and it’s going to make things better. And you probably believe that things would be better if everyone got on board. But everyone won’t. Everyone won’t hear you. They won’t understand you. And most of all, they won’t act. … Sooner or later, the culture changes. But not because you brought everyone…

Seth Godin: Generous doesn’t mean free

Too often the market pushes creators to give away their work, and too often we come to believe that giving it away – removing money from the interaction – is the most generous thing we can do. But that’s not the case. Money supports our commitment to the practice. Money permits us to turn professional, to focus our energy and…

Seth Godin: “This might not work.”

“This might not work,” is at the heart of all of our most important work, but often we let the possibility of failure put us off, or we make the equal-and-opposite error of not making a proper go of something so that we have an excuse if it falls flat. Risk is part of the game. Interesting and important problems…

Henri Nouwen on fear and scarcity

Fear is a pervasive quality of our lives. Fear makes us think in terms of scarcity. It makes us think “This is a dangerous world. How am I going to survive? There is not enough for everyone. There is not enough food for everyone. There is not enough knowledge for everyone. There is not enough affection and I want to…

Watch the meeting

It’s easy to get totally absorbed in a meeting,* but it really helps if you can reserve a piece of your attention for watching what’s going on as well as participating: What’s the temperature of the team as a whole? Who’s engaged? Who isn’t? Why? Who might have something to say that they’re holding back? How does each person feel?…

Aristotle on virtue as a mean (4) – leaning out (or “Whose fool are you?”)

On pushing out the boat [Start here] This is quite dense, but interesting. After summarising his argument so far, Aristotle suggests that the best way to aim for the virtuous mean is to lean away (or “hold the ship out”) from the excesses or deficiencies we most naturally tend towards. This leaves us likely to err in the opposite direction,…

The competition

However well things are going, from time to time you might get worried about the competition – people who do what you do, who look like they might be doing it better or cheaper. It’s important to know what’s going on, to think about what you can learn and why. And it’s even more important to think about what it…

Overflow: a little bit extra

We all have moments where it feels like we’re running on empty, and we need other people to help us carry the load. This is a normal part of being human – but it shouldn’t be the default for most of us. It’s desirable and healthy to live (at home, at work, and elsewhere) so that in the usual run…

The Life You Can Save

Singer’s work triggered the Effective Altruism movement, and his hugely influential book is now available as a free download in multiple formats – and as an audiobook – at thelifeyoucansave.org. I’m adding it to my reading list. This interview on The Ezra Klein show is a good place to start.