Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 46, 2021


Weekly Pulse is a content curation and highlights from readings, books, videos, podcasts, insights, ramblings and other interesting things I discovered and digested during the last week.

In the end of this page, you will be able to subscribe for the Weekly Pulse by William Meller Newsletter and can receive more findings like that in your Email.

So, let's go with some discoveries from last week!

#1 - For an Agile Transformation, Choose the Right People
#2 - When Collaboration Fails and How to Fix It
#3 - The Art of Innovation, TED Talk by Guy Kawasaki
#4 - Why Agility Pays
#5 - Beyond the Holacracy Hype
#6 - The Tinder Algorithm, Explained
#7 - A summary of the two mindsets by Carol Dweck
#8 - Pocket: organizing what you find to read


For an Agile Transformation, choose the right people

Source: Harvard Business Review

Agile methodology, created to fast-track software development, is now being used throughout organizations by teams that want to execute projects quickly. But those efforts often don’t pan out, say Babson’s Rob Cross and Alia Crocker and Harvard Law School’s Heidi K. Gardner. Their research reveals that many large agile initiatives not only miss their goals but also cause organizational disruption—including staff burnout, the loss of key talent, and infighting among teams.

What’s going wrong? With the help of organizational network analysis—a methodology for mapping how people collaborate—the authors have identified where unforeseen barriers undermine agile initiatives. 

Yes, it’s true that an agile team needs some autonomy to spare it excessive scrutiny and interference, but complete isolation doesn’t work. Agile teams seldom have all the capabilities required to develop and execute a new initiative.

I was reading this one on the Harvard Business Review Magazine, but you can find a web version to read this.



When collaboration fails and how to fix it

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review

Leaders can diagnose team dysfunction by looking for six common patterns.

To avoid priority overload in the first place, leaders should ask stakeholders to prioritize their requests before sharing them with the team; they should also explain both the level of demand involved in those requests and the capacity of the team to meet them.

Some leaders do this by bringing stakeholders into a room and having them collectively shift tasks on sticky notes above and below a line that demarcates the team’s capacity.

The challenge of avoiding priority overload is often compounded by personal aspirations and cultural values. Servant-based mindsets and the desire to “just say yes” can aggravate the problem. Putting all demand requests through a prioritization process creates a psychological distance and enables clear-eyed appraisals.

I was reading this one on the MIT Sloan Management Review Magazine, but you can find a web version to read this.



The Art of Innovation, TED Talk by Guy Kawasaki

Source: TED Talks

When you think of launching a business, what words come to mind? Success? Profit? 

They probably do, but according to Guy Kawasaki, innovation, motivation and success are the three main points a successful entrepreneur must take. 




Why agility pays

Source: McKinsey

New research shows that the trick for companies is to combine speed with stability.

Over the past decade, they studied the impact of a wide range of management practices on different dimensions of organizational health. The earlier research consistently showed a strong relationship between organizational health and the creation of value: the healthiest companies far outpace those with moderate or low health in long-term total returns to shareholders. This new analyses suggest that speed and stability are significant catalysts for organizational health and performance.

Agile organizations appear to be powerful machines for innovation and learning. Their performance stands out in three of the four management practices — top-down innovation, capturing external ideas, and knowledge sharing — associated with that outcome.



Beyond the holacracy hype

Source: Harvard Business Review

Most observers who have written about holacracy and other forms of self-management take extreme positions, either celebrating these “bossless,” “flat” work environments for fostering flexibility and engagement or denouncing them as naive experiments that ignore how things really get done.

Adopting self-management wholesale—using it to determine what should be done, who should do it, and how people will be rewarded across an entire enterprise—is hard, uncertain work, and the authors argue that in many environments it won’t pay off.

Ultimately, and somewhat ironically, the next generation of self-managing teams is demanding a new generation of leaders—senior individuals with the vision to see where it is best to set aside hierarchy for another way of operating, but also with the courage to defend hierarchy where it serves the institution’s fundamental goals.

I was reading this one on the Harvard Business Review Magazine, but you can find a web version to read this.



The tinder algorithm, explained

Source: Vox

Helen Fisher — a senior research fellow in biological anthropology at the Kinsey Institute and the chief scientific adviser for Match.com, which is owned by the same parent company as Tinder — argued that dating apps can do nothing to change the basic brain chemistry of romance. It’s pointless to argue whether an algorithm can make for better matches and relationships, she claimed.

“The biggest problem is cognitive overload,” she said. “The brain is not well built to choose between hundreds or thousands of alternatives.” She recommended that anyone use a dating app should stop swiping as soon as they have nine matches — the highest number of choices our brain is equipped to deal with at one time.

You rose in the ranks based on how many people swiped right on (“liked”) you, but that was weighted based on whom the swiper was. The more right swipes that person had, the more their right swipe on you meant for your score. Tinder would then serve people with similar scores to each other more often, assuming that people whom the crowd had similar opinions of would be in approximately the same tier of what they called “desirability.”



A summary of the two mindsets by Carol Dweck

Source: Farnam Street

There are two main mindsets we can navigate life with: growth and fixed. Having a growth mindset is essential for success.

Carol Dweck studies human motivation. She spends her days diving into why people succeed (or don’t) and what’s within our control to foster success. Her theory of the two mindsets and the difference they make in outcomes is incredibly powerful.

In fact, Dweck takes this Stoic approach, writing: “in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.”



Pocket: organizing what you find to read

The article of the week in this blog!

When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket, a social bookmarking service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks.

Originally named Read it Later, Pocket is designed to let you save articles, videos, and websites in a click. It saves just the text, videos, or images, for a content checklist of noteworthy things you want to see later without distraction.

Pocket is a web application, also available for iOS and Android, that allows you to save all kinds of content you find on the internet to read later in a minimalist reading. Mobile devices are remarkable for reading and allow accessing these readings wherever we are.

But, we don't have time to read some fascinating link we found at the exact moment we see that item on the internet.




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