Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 11, 2022

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 week.

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

#1 - Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail
#2 - The Great Attrition: Wanting the Best, Keeping the Worst
#3 - I’m a Copy Machine
#4 - Picking the Right Approach to Digital Collaboration
#5 - The Circular Business Model
#6 - The Parkinson's Law
#7 - Book Notes: Agile Game Development with Scrum - Clinton Keith

Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: John P. Kotter
Year: 1995
Summary: The change efforts have gone under many banners: total quality management, reengineering, right sizing, restructuring, cultural change, and turnaround. But, in almost every case, the basic goal has been the same: to make fundamental changes in how business is conducted in order to help cope with a new, more challenging market environment.

3 Highlights:

"... Two factors are particularly important in institutionalizing change in corporate culture. The first is a conscious attempt to show people how the new approaches, behaviors, and attitudes have helped improve performance. The second factor is taking sufficient time to make sure that the next generation of top management really does personify the new approach..."

"... Instead of declaring victory, leaders of successful efforts use the credibility afforded by short-term wins to tackle even bigger problems..."

"... Real transformation takes time, and a renewal effort risks losing momentum if there are no short-term goals to meet and celebrate. Most people won’t go on the long march unless they see compelling evidence within 12 to 24 months that the journey is producing expected results..."

The Great Attrition: Wanting the Best, Keeping the Worst

Source: McKinsey
Author: Aaron De Smet, Bonnie Dowling, Marino Mugayar-Baldocchi and Nicolette Rainone
Year: 2021

Summary: Employers must be thoughtful and creative to retain the right talent, develop skills to fill critical gaps, and attract new people. These four strategies can help organizations retain the best people, improve morale, leverage untapped talent pools, and acquire necessary skills.

3 Highlights:

"... Well-being challenges and deficits have increased, and the very nature of the pandemic has strained some social support and coping mechanisms at work..."

"... It is time for employers to be bold by, for instance, rewarding and promoting leaders who drive visible performance results and also build capabilities, enhance organizational health, create psychological safety, and help reenergize the organization..."

"... Employees you would like to retain are leaving, and if this continues, talent gaps will only worsen. These strategies can help retain the best people, improve morale, leverage untapped talent pools, and acquire necessary skills..."
Access here >>

I’m a Copy Machine

Source: Fast Company
Author: Daniel Pink
Year: 1997

Summary: The new economy is out there, hiding in plain sight. In the process, they’ve written a new bill of rights for business: Freedom is security. Work is fun. Working solo isn’t working alone. You are what you do.

3 Highlights:

"... What’s one thing that all free agents need? Copies! Plus slides, brochures, Internet connections, and a host of other services offered by Kinko’s: The Free-Agent Home Office..."

"... If all this talk of free agents leaves you feeling isolated, then let us emphasize the importance of community. Being responsible for yourself doesn’t mean ignoring your connection to others..."

"... Once you’ve read and absorbed all this advice on free agency, you’ll be ready to give it a try..."

Picking the Right Approach to Digital Collaboration

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Paul Leonardi
Year: 2021

Summary: Consider this paradox about digital change: Although it increases the need for collaboration in organizations, it also makes collaborating more difficult. Many software solutions promise to facilitate teamwork — but what suits close-knit colleagues may not help those who need to make connections across the organization.

3 Highlights:

"... When people narrow their attention in that way, it undermines the benefits of digital connectivity, but it’s understandable. Given how frequently and fluidly people move from project team to project team (possibly from week to week), they don’t often build the relationships that would allow them to map out the expertise in their companies..."

"... A common obstacle to collaboration among specialists or geographically dispersed colleagues is that their work is often invisible to one another. We typically see the outputs of others’ work — models, prototypes, reports — but not all the thinking and decision-making that went into producing those outputs..."

"... As with the introduction of any new initiative, digital collaboration tools need to be implemented carefully by senior leadership. But the effort is more than worthwhile. These platforms enable employees to find the right partners for their work, persuade those partners to help, and establish the common ground necessary to make their collaborations run smoothly..."

The Circular Business Model

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Atalay Atasu, Céline Dumas, and Luk N. Van Wassenhove
Year: 2021

Summary: More and more manufacturing companies are talking about what’s often called the circular economy—in which businesses can create supply chains that recover or recycle the resources used to create their products. But creating a circular business model is challenging—and taking the wrong approach can be expensive.

3 Highlights:

"... High-value products that are easy both to access and to process are ideal for circularity, because they require neither a significant business model change nor efforts to facilitate material recovery..."

"... In 2018 Apple introduced Daisy, a robot capable of disassembling up to 200 iPhones an hour to recover valuable materials such as cobalt, tin, and aluminum for use in brand-new phone components..."

"... That doesn’t mean turbine companies should give up on circularity, but they should begin by considering how they can unlock value from the product through a strategy of product life extension..."

The Parkinson's Law

Source: William Meller - New article

Summary: Parkinson's law says that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Work complicates to fill available time, but if you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do. If something must be done in a year, it’ll be done in a year. If it must be done in six months, then it will. If something must be done next week, it’ll be done next week. If something must be done tomorrow, it’ll be done tomorrow.

3 Highlights:

"... In the article, he shares the story of a woman whose only task in a day is to send a postcard – a task which would take a busy person approximately three minutes. But the woman spends an hour finding the card, another half hour looking for her glasses, 90 minutes writing the card, 20 minutes deciding whether to take an umbrella along on her walk to the mailbox. And her day was filled..."

"... It is used as a criticism against the inefficiencies of bureaucracies in large organisations. Parkinson’s law refers to the tendency among people at work to finish their tasks only just in time for the deadline even though they are capable of completing it earlier..."

"... It happens because people give tasks longer than they really need, sometimes because they want some buffer, but usually because they have an inflated idea of how long the task takes to complete. People don’t become fully aware of how quickly some tasks can be completed until they test this principle..."

Book Notes: Agile Game Development with Scrum - Clinton Keith

Source: William Meller - Book Notes

In this book you will learn how to form successful agile teams that and promote effective collaboration within and beyond those teams, throughout the entire process.

Game development is in crisis—facing bloated budgets, impossible schedules, unmanageable complexity, and death march overtime. 

It’s no wonder so many development studios are struggling to survive. Fortunately, there is a solution. Scrum and Agile methods are already revolutionizing development outside the game industry. 

Now, long-time game developer Clinton Keith shows exactly how to successfully apply these methods to the unique challenges of game development. 


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