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Level Up - Issue #77

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Level Up

January 31 · Issue #77 · View online
Level Up delivers a curated newsletter for leaders in tech. A project by http://patkua.com. Ideal for busy people such as Tech Leads, Engineering Managers, VPs of Engineering, CTOs and more.

Shaping Team Culture
I had a fun discussion with an engineering leader this week around defining team (and organisational) culture, but how you influence it. We talked about stated culture, like company “value” statements but more importantly, the behaviours and actions that demonstrate real culture. Systems thinking talks about emergent properties and that’s how I see culture. It’s not a property you can directly control, but influence and sense as you nudge and shape the organisation and team over time.
In our discussion, we talked about how policies and rules shape behaviour, therefore have a strong impact on culture. One of my favourite quotes from Goldratt feels relevant: “Tell me how you measure me, and I’ll tell you how I behave.” This means that managers, who establish, evolve and remove(!) policies and rules, strongly influence culture. Since individuals have agency, policies and rules aren’t enough. To influence behaviours, and thus culture, you also need to think about feedback and accountability. As I often say, culture is what you allow as much as what you do, or say you want. If you ignore or tolerate behaviour, this is a form of permission, and thus an accepted part of your culture.
What do you do deliberately to shape culture? What do you allow (or ignore/tolerate) that shapes culture in a positive or negative way?
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What do you do (or allow) that shapes team culture?
What do you do (or allow) that shapes team culture?
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Leadership
The Holiday Test
Breaking the Taboo – What I Learned from Talking about Mental Health in the Workplace
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Is Providing Key Crisis Communication Lessons
I’ll Never Be a Chief Technology Officer Again… Unless It’s For My Own Company
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Join the next public workshop on Feb 24 or Mar 17 (click the banner for more info)
Tech
State of Chaos Engineering 2021
South African government releases its own browser just to re-enable Flash support
20 years of IntelliJ IDEA
Keystone Flags: Feature Flagging With Less Mess
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Organisation & Processes
The New Future of Work - Microsoft Research
User Story or Manager Story
Transforming Technology at Redgate
Interesting tweets
Great tip of the week. 💯!
adriennefriend
I don't know who needs to hear this, but if it's you, take it -- and advocate for meaningful connection via video-off video calls! https://t.co/1QyHuxQ07T
A great twitter thread 👏
Kief
"Why your team doesn't need pull requests" - I've summed my thoughts on why Continuous Integration is more effective than pull requests for most software development teams in a post: https://t.co/6ulY3kMYp8 https://t.co/fxyQbdP9MC
Thanks for making it this far! 🤗
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please send me feedback and share with others!
Want to level up your technical leadership skills? Watch out for future dates for the Shortcut to Tech Leadership online workshop, or check out self-paced courses at the Tech Lead Academy including “Time Management for Technical Leaders” and “Fundamentals of Systems Thinking”.
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Patrick Kua, Postfach 58 04 40, 10314, Berlin, Germany