February 22, 2019

Week 19 (18 went missing)

Last week was a lost one. Looking back at my todo list for the week it was lost to chasing too many small things and administration. I’ve a suspicion that these weeks are lost to my mood more than anything else, I definitely felt like I was struggling: progress was/is slow and feels a lot like hard work. I’m not finding my flow, and so I’m frowning a lot and finding myself feeling like I’m not doing the work I want to be doing. So it was good that I had some annual leave planned and took time out.

Coming back on Thursday to a short week was also helpful, and meant that after the usual 1:1s I had only time to focus on a couple of big things: our career framework and the show and tell.

Show and tell took its feedback from last time and had its second iteration today - key improvements were shortened timings (5 minutes per presenter), clear intro slides for each presenter so that people knew who to follow-up with and what they were talking about, and a much tighter control over the technology and handoffs between participating cities (this iteration saw people from Shanghai, Lisbon, London and Porto). It was amazing to see the work and more importantly to see different faces from the teams talking about their work.

The career framework is something that we need to sort out. I run a bi-annual survey on the team (based on the one in the book First, Break All the Rules). What we saw in that was an decrease in people knowing what was expected of them at work (pre re-org we had 20% of the team strongly agreeing with the statement, I know what is expected of me at work’ which has dropped to 3%).

Given that we’ve changed some of our roles and moved away from a studio model to a different kind of organisational structure where the focus is on the knowledge and skills held in teams, I don’t think that’s surprising, but it’s on us to create some clarity here. I worry that the move away from designers progressing up to be either design managers or individual contributors has created uncertainty because we’ve changed the roles that people were looked towards when they were hired.

What we need to do is fill that uncertainty with something that people can interrogate and explore for themselves and then to use that critique to build a better framework.

progression team survey low show & tell

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Week 17 We’re beginning to see some of the rituals that we set out start to happen across the teams. One of the most important ones that we identified in