Management tips, stories, and interviews to help navigate the challenges of managing creative and technical teams.
"Marketing" Your Team as a Manager
Nick, Brandon, and Travis discuss the term "Marketing" and the myth that doing good work will speak for itself. How can you advocate for your team's work authentically without feeling like you're bragging? They talk about using tracking documents to track and showcase team accomplishments, and why it's important to demonstrate your team's impact, and not just their efforts.
Inviting Feedback and Creating Psychological Safety
Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk about how they increase psychological safety on teams to create space for a variety of voices, starting by debating the value of "strong opinions, weakly held". They explore the questions: How do you bootstrap trust and safety when joining a team? How can you make space for less vocal team members? What are things managers do that reduce trust within their teams? How can you encourage and receive important and valuable feedback?
Is "Resources" a Dirty Word?
In this episode, Nick, Travis, and Brandon talk about the word "resources", thinking of humans versus abstract notions of people, and balancing company needs with individual needs. What changes as your role moves further from managing individual contributors?
Just Culture, Blame, and Accountability
In the last episode we recorded in the "before times", Nick and Brandon discuss the connection between blameless culture, systems thinking, and just culture. Nick explains how blame robs learning, and how to foster an environment that allows the system to learn and improve. They talk about how accountability fits into a blameless culture, and Nick introduces Sidney Decker's idea of Forward Accountability and shifting behavior rather than assigning blame.
How Much Process Is Enough? How Much Is Too Much?
In another episode recorded in the "before times", Travis talks about finding the balance between not enough and too much process. Is Scrum too much process? How do you tell when process is designed to help versus be a remote control for a team? What if the process is being blamed for other problems? They discuss the signals that tell you when a process isn't working for you and when to modify existing processes versus throw them out.
The Manager's Calendar
In an episode recorded in "the before times" that we feel is still relevant, Nick suggested we talk about "what to do when you can't do it all". Nick, Brandon, and Travis discuss how the game of "Calendar Jenga" is symptomatic. What happens when your calendar is so full of "valuable" things that you have to choose between lunch or more meetings? Nick talks about using WIP limits to keep your calendar clean, and Travis talks about how designing your schedule is like designing teams.
Really excellent advice and I’m so glad I stumbled upon this podcast! I’m going into meetings with some new questions & refreshed mindset after listening, so thank you for that. Fifth star will come when you give women a voice on the podcast ;) Thank you for this amazing content!
I did try listening to their podcast, but unfortunately the sound quality is pretty bad. I ended up getting a headache.