Default Mode Network

For us to have those powerful insights or “aha” moments, we need to have a moment of brain pause. From a neuroscience perspective, that means that the Default Mode Network needs to be active.

Workplace stress and anxiety

A few days ago, I was sitting on my back deck working on the laptop. Out of the corner of my eye I saw some movement in front of me and I glanced up, expecting to see one of the many birds that are normally here. Instead I found myself staring at a young black bear that was walking across my lawn towards me.

“Assume positive intent”

When dealing with troublesome or difficult situations, someone will often chime in with the advice “assume positive intent”. Sometimes teams will even bake this into their working agreements as something they should always do. While I really do like the sentiment, if taken literally as a hard rule, this can be dangerous advice.

Perverse Incentives: Coffee Badging

I learned a new term today: “Coffee Badging”. This is when a company has mandated that people be in the office, so they travel in to the office, swipe their badges, grab a coffee and perhaps talk to someone, and then head home again, where they remain for the rest of their working day.

Tuckman model of team development

I was once called in to help a team, six months into a three month project. Yes, you read that correctly. It was supposed to be a three month project and after six months they had lots of code but nothing that actually worked, and no end in sight.

Playful learning with LEGO

Last week at Agile Open Canada, I brought out the LEGO again, to illustrate technical practices. While there is so much we can do effectively remotely, there are some things that really do benefit from being together in the same room, and this is one of them.

Ladder of Leadership

Sometimes our people aren’t taking initiative in the way we hope they will. This could be due to an issue of motivation or a lack of safety or more generally a system that discourages that initiative in some way. Whatever the reason might be, we need a way to change the conditions to get the result we want.