#sgcal Live notes on Dynamic reteaming .@heidihelfand

April 10, 2017

Along my path of exploration on leadership and teams, I attended this awesome talk by Heidi Helmand at the San Diego Scrum Gathering in 2017. These are raw notes. My collaborator at this conference, Dana Pylaveva, taught me a tremendous amount about presenting and showing up to be part of the team. She attended this talk and brought the lessons back to the company she was at at the time where they rolled out this technique of allowing employees to assign themselves to work as an workshop and exercise. The exercise pointed out challenges in management and leadership and incredible strengths and generosity amongst team members and workers.


People misinterpret keep your teams stable with keep your teams the same. This is about dealing with the reality if changing teams.

Told her story. Was doing interaction design. Was pulled off and put on an innovation in isolation team. Worked on gotomeeting as a result.

Innovation by isolation pattern.

Team put off to side, disrupt status quo.

Examples of Citrix and grasshopper. Secure docs.

Reteaming brings freedom (from process).

Does research, watches for patterns.

This is about PEOPLE. Issue she had with keynote was the human side. This is our lives. Don’t want to be a feature factory.

Stagnation is real. So bringing in new people can stop that. Always learn new, feel reenergized.

@ppfolio – had a cake baked for them by customers. Building right values continuously.

Read the emotional feed, but don’t avoid conflict.

Geek joy – if you see this pattern, don’t break it up.

How companies form teams and how people get on teams. Interesting when teams self-select.

Book: Creating Great Teams (Sandy Mamoli ET)

Spotify: infrastructure tribe, some missions of teams were overlapping, so using self-selection, re-org’d

Put boards up and could put your avatar on team you wanted.

Unruly (company in London) does it with a survey.

Retrospectives are key.

Hunter, where mob programming invented. Team members negotiate change.

Mobbing is working on one computer and coding as a group.

Companies having Disappearances of team members because of re-prioritization done on management level.

“A leaders job is to drive fear and ambiguity out of the room.” — Denning

Not just about velocity.

Trademe, a NZ company.

Reteaming for sustainability.

Reteaming to combat knowledge silos. (me: Joy, inc. talks a lot abt this)

Cloud Foundry does a lot of deliberate reteaming to create empathy, sustainability, outsmarts mythical man month.

Question is not “How can he get 2 times faster work. It’s about the team and how can you share knowledge.

At Menlo get to re-roll and change. High-tech anthropologists.

Procore Tech: changing roles in team.

Geek Joy, Mike Hill, but sometimes get sick of teammates.
“Reteaming is inevitable. Might as well get good at it.”

She used to be the pair police, but not any more. Use often, but be open to mob or other forms.

Book: Great Business Teams

Making team contracts. Use Alyssa Adkins Journey Lines with teams to get to know each other.

Equalize local and remote. Get to know each other! Use video for non-collocated teams.

#sxsw Buddhist Teaching at @PalyulLing branch center in #austin by Khenpo Tenzin Norgay – live notes 

March 12, 2017

Who do we blame for our obstacles. Impermanence, interdependence, emptiness.

There is no supernatural power creating that obstacle. No one external to you that you have to please so they will give you luck. Take the path of Compromising with people you view as creating obstacles.

If you remove one or two causes the obstacle will become weaker.

Emotional part is totally in our hand – so take those out which will enable you to tackle obstacles. If you have a rigid mind, it just cracks. If your mind is flexible like bamboo, you can take that shock.

How to clear is you have to do your job not to make it an obstacle.

Relying on three jewels to help you as you clear your obstacles.

Can pray to Guru Rinpoche asking for help clearing outer, inner, and secret obstacles.

Remembering Buddhas has power to clear your karma, which is root of obstacles. Praying to Buddhas in eastern direction so reach destination without obstacle. So on awakening remember Buddha and think you’ll have a nice day. Like being in love with someone. What we do is so little and what we expect is so great.

Buddhas smile at us whether we smile back or not. Purpose of getting enlightened is for themselves and all sentient beings to be worry-free. Unconditional devotion, love, compassion. No matter what happens.

Ego makes us master of all the ghosts.

Evil ideas influenced by others. Outer obstacle which is easier to overcome compared to inner and secret.

Inner obstacle is our inner elements causing us to get sick.

Can be cleared through proper conduct. Eating habits and have healthy body. Spiritual healing within us also.

Medicine Buddha does only spiritual detoxification.

Secret obstacle is emotion. Ego clinging is root of our emotions. Who brought us in samsara is our ego. It is creator of our secret obstacle, master mind of all obstacles. Egos want everything for ourselves.if someone goes against you have resentment or aversion.

When ego gets what it wants THAT is a distraction. We don’t feel it is a distraction. But, like time passed on iPhone, you don’t realize until too late.

Likes and dislikes. Things that lead to jealousy. 

Deep down we believe “I” exists. There is a base that makes us believe there is an “I” because we have this body, on the gross level. We don’t combine with mind much. We think of others physical existence. Most of us think if body as “I”.

We think characteristics of “I” as there is a permanence, independent, autonomous. 

Every mistake we make is because of assumptions.

We assume “I” exists and not be able to let go. That is distorted view.

The assumption and wanting to evolve is based on ego clinging. We think permanent because we don’t think we are changing.

Over time our body changes. We are fat, thin, sick, healthy.

Over time our likes and dislikes change.

If we can find anything permanent we can say there is an “I” but there is not. Final conclusion is you do not exist at all.

If you just remain happy, thinking “I” doesn’t exist, cures all. Emptiness is one cure for all.

We are all in one sense living in assumption. 

How we can work with our issues is to be more practical. We can work with this by seeing our solutions in more practical way. Having your ego too and then find a solution.

Thinking of ego with or without philosophical training. Without, it is like dog at the table. Another system influenced by culture, philosophy, training etc.

If no self what becomes enlightened? A chain of consciousness moving from lifetime to lifetime, body to body. Like beads on a mala. 

Wild author .@cherylstrayed and .@tferriss #sxsw

March 11, 2017

I didn’t think I’d get much out of this, but did.

Format is questions from Facebook, Twitter and submitted before.

Giving to your audience beyond the book you’ve written. Being famous and having people come up to you and ask advice.

Like each of our keys has a story. Necklace she is wearing represents unzipping, opening up. 

Writer creates words, but minute we release them, they belong to the reader.

“How wild it was to let it be.” Is now tattooed. No one has it tattooed because of writer, it is because of them. 

“Write like a motherfucker.”

Humility sometimes gets misinterpreted as weakness, so people don’t want to seem humble. [My takeaway: this is at root of having a learning approach.]

Sense of surrender and acceptance.

Humility, acceptance and surrender giving us a kind of power.

[Questions are from a different context so feel a tad disconnected.]

Shame, guilt and procrastination. Binge writing. Writer’s block. 

Two crappy pages per day technique.

Cathartic nature of writing because you empathize with your tormentor as you have to ask why.

Writing prompts. Talisman prompt is an object that has accumulated meaning.

[People expect Ferriss to be more about crazy experimentation, not so much emotional–so this is kind of breaking that.]

“What makes me angry” as a prompt.

Rationally we know we can die, but not in our bones. Dont take our lives for granted. Keeping mortality at a distance versus keeping it as a point on a daily basis. Gives her a greater sense of consequence.

“Good-bye” means “God Be With You” — Ferriss became more aware of death.

Interesting: Tim Ferriss hyper-focused on technique. On how someone rolls things out in their lives.

She used to write “dear sugar” column.

Lists as a way to SEE not just feel your feels. Like post-it’s. What you want, fear, desire.

Ferriss does a worst case list. How can I mitigate.

One of scariest things is doing what we know we should do. Giving ourselves permission. Doing what you want to do is a kind of generosity.

Theory of putting O2 mask on first in the plane. 

Most of us get wisdom from a wide range of sources. Help on saying “No” — everyone has something to tell about it. Not about right or wrong, it’s about illumination, to get me to think in a way I have not thought before.

Most important is to feel not alone.

Pacific Crest Trail. Long hikes when you suffer and make it. Not going to be fun all the time. Retrospective fun. 

Ferriss schedules prospective enjoyment–give six months to look forward to trip.

Citizen, Claudia Rankin

Mary Oliver poet

Alice Munroe
Many definitions of success. Way we are and act in world is more a mark of success. Set intentions and followed through. When done that feels successful.

She’s talking about decluttering.

Boot box. Is her purchase under $100

Second time heard fail fast. Difference between failure and being sloppy. Craftsmanship. Know what you are doing. People haven’t done their work. Old school about having done the work.

Do multiple revisions to yourself.

Surrender to your own mediocrity. It is an American thing. But in the sense of humility, but the drive to be so good might stop you from doing it.

Your dreams can get in the way of what you need to do.

Awesome close talking about Oprah being open, like the zipper necklace.

Darkest Teacher writer’s prop. A person in your life who taught you something you don’t want to know about our selves. She wrote about her father. When you view them as a teacher changes view.

Bye, Employee Engagement, Hello Human Intelligence – notes .@merhaberfeld #sxsw

March 11, 2017

People spending billions on engagement and no result.

Wegman’s, Soul Cycle: why they succeed on engagement is that they are obsessively concerned with what’s good for their people. It’s a context, decision filter about what they do.

“I want you to be emotionally engaged so we can get the best of your discretionary effort.”

Discovery 2: the framework – the human impntelligence quotient.

Amy Edmondson and psychological safety – interpersonal risk taking. High HQ companies.

  • Healthy ecosystem
  • Circle of safety: Higher safety reported errors more than low ones — because nurses didn’t feel safe. People drop their guard and do things bigger than themselves.
  • Emotional weather: Everyone influences so give people the tools to improve weather.
  • Human potentuial
  • Embolden potential
  • High impact

Wegmans sends employees abroad for training. They do college scholarships. 

Culture: Values, beliefs, behaviors

Invisible expectations. Top down and bottom up. Culture like a sound wave in an echo chamber.

Discovery 3: the vibration of the leadership sets the emotional tone for what’s get reflected back.

Soul Cycle leaders showed they could send out positive even under stress.

Open loop system — physically transmitted back and forth. The CEO is the emotional center. Can’t delegate culture.

Sacrifice is it has to start at senior leadership. Whole Foods CEO worked on himself to help company grow.

Don’t buy in. Embody the culture.

Work brain vs personal brain.

Silo’d and guarded vs open and unified.

Put your human intelligence to work by embedding in your team. Use concentric rings. 

Ask: are team members empowered and able to have real conversations. Are they inspired? Help each other learn deeply and meaningful.

Go to work on your own human intelligence.