Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 47, 2022

Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 47, 2022
Weekly Pulse is content curation and highlights from readings, books, 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 - Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change
#2 - A Lack of Leadership Roles for Women Even in the Metaverse
#3 - Why We Buy Things We Don't Need
#4 - What Happened When Zapier Cancelled Meetings for a Week
#5 - Feeling Stuck or Stymied
#6 - What is Design Thinking
#7 - Book Notes: The DevOps Handbook - Gene Kim, Patrick Debois, Jez Humble, and John Willis


Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: Clayton M. Christensen and Michael Overdorf
Year: 2000

Summary: It’s no wonder that innovation is so difficult for established firms. They employ highly capable people—and then set them to work within processes and business models that doom them to failure. But there are ways out of this dilemma.

3 Highlights:

"... These are scary times for managers in big companies. Even before the Internet and globalization, their track record for dealing with major, disruptive change was not good..."

"... Before rushing into the breach, managers must understand precisely what types of change the existing organization is capable and incapable of handling. To help them do that, we’ll first take a systematic look at how to recognize a company’s core capabilities on an organizational level and then examine how those capabilities migrate as companies grow and mature..."

"... Often, it seems, financial analysts have a better intuition about the value of resources than they do about the value of processes..."



A Lack of Leadership Roles for Women Even in the Metaverse

Source: McKinsey
Author: Mina Alaghband and Lareina Yee 
Year: 2022

Summary: The reality is that women are spending more time in the protometaverse than men are and, according to our data, are more likely to spearhead and implement metaverse initiatives. However, just as in the tech sector as a whole,5 women represent a minority in the metaverse economy.

3 Highlights:

"... Five early indicators of women in the metaverse reveal gender inequality—especially in the leadership creating and setting metaverse standards..."

"... Women spend more time than men in the metaverse, especially in hybrid use cases..."

"... Women are spearheading and implementing more metaverse initiatives..."



Why We Buy Things We Don't Need

Source: Time
Author: Alana Semuels
Year: 2022

Summary: Compulsive shopping could be an evolutionary problem. We are, after all, evolved from blobs that survived because their networks of cells learned to repeat decisions like moving towards a tasty treat or backing away from a predator. Today, we have some 86 billion neurons, the “action cells” in the brain, that are constantly creating circuits to reinforce rewarding behavior, releasing dopamine as they do so, in order to help us learn how to get a reward. We seek out those releases of dopamine, and at the same time, learn to repeat the actions that lead to them.

3 Highlights:

"... The best way to alter the overconsumption habits that have gotten us here is not to stop buying things completely..."

"... All things being equal, we are predisposed to try to acquire more and more stuff and to try and work less to get it..."

"... That’s why Duhaime stresses that our brains are not “hard-wired” to keep consuming more and more..."



What Happened When Zapier Cancelled Meetings for a Week

Source: Cal Newport Website
Author: Cal Newport
Year: 2022

Summary: Zapier was concerned about the rising volume of appointments filling their employees’ schedules. Managers at the company had it much worse, with many reporting that they spent more than half of their workweek participating in video conferences. Zapier wanted to find out how critical these real-time, pre-scheduled collaboration sessions really were. It was in this context that what became known as Getting Stuff Done (GSD) week was conceived.

3 Highlights:

"... One of the most consistent things I’ve learned studying the impact of digital communication technology on the workplace is that it’s easy for convenient habits — “I’ll shoot you a meeting invite” — to become ubiquitous..."

"... 80% of respondents would want to do another GSD week in the future..."

"... When I heard from leadership that we were going to experiment with a week with no Zoom meetings, all I felt was excited anticipation..."



Feeling Stuck or Stymied

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Dorie Clark
Year: 2021

Summary: When people feel that their career progress is frustratingly slow or has sputtered out, they can become dangerously demoralized. Without a clear understanding of what constitutes a reasonable pace for advancement or why peers are outachieving them, they write off promising paths, downscale their ambitions, or quit altogether. But often these people are simply not giving themselves enough time to succeed.

3 Highlights:

"... That said, in the absence of clear movement toward your goal or even the milestones you’ve set out, you should be able to find small, motivating wins. I call these “raindrops” of progress. They start out intermittent and barely perceptible—praise from a boss or a client, LinkedIn requests from strangers who have started to hear about your work, an invitation to lead a committee, and the like—and on their own, they’re not worth popping open the champagne..."

"... None of us can predict every turn our careers or lives will take. We also probably won’t land every job we apply for or win every laurel we seek. But that doesn’t mean we can’t craft a uniquely satisfying, directionally correct form of professional success..."

"... But these days, thanks to social media, we’re benchmarking ourselves not only against relatives but also against college pals, coworkers, and even celebrity influencers. When we see some of those people gain recognition early on—by launching unicorn start-ups, winning coveted prizes and promotions, or making “30 under 30” lists—we forget that they’re the exceptions, not the norm..."



What is Design Thinking

Source: Article of the Week

Empathy design involves understanding people's psychological and emotional needs, their way of doing things, how they think about the world, and what is meaningful to them. Design thinking is an iterative and non-linear process that contains five phases: 

1. Empathize
2. Define
3. Ideate
4. Prototype
5. Test

You can carry these stages out in parallel, repeat them and circle back to a previous stage at any point in the process. We can use design thinking to think outside the box and also dig a bit deeper into problem-solving. 



Book Notes: The DevOps Handbook - Gene Kim, Patrick Debois, Jez Humble and John Willis

Source: Book Notes of the Week

The goal of DevOps is to move away from the adversarial behavior of teams, rallying instead toward common delivery goals by creating a safe, efficient, fast flow of valuable work to customers — minimizing the overhead of developing, testing, and deploying code.

Following in the footsteps of The Phoenix Project book, The DevOps Handbook shows leaders how to replicate these incredible outcomes, by showing how to integrate Product Management, Development, QA, IT Operations, and Information Security to elevate your company and win in the marketplace.

The DevOps handbook is one of the most important DevOps books available. 




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