Week notes #195

A week of working, walking and writing

Working

Work has been really busy this week. I’ve been doing quite a lot of what feels like ‘translation’ work, digging into configuration settings of various products and then writing recommendations and guidance on setting up and using the products. I’ve actually really enjoyed it (which is good as I have lots more to do) as I get to build mental models about how a product works, which is something I’m really interested in , and I get to write for other people to understand, which is a skill I want to improve.

We’ve also been building a new website, which will probably launch next week. It would be good to get a BCW (that’s Big Chunk of Work. I saw it on a presentation and it amused me) done before we move to reduced hours.

I’m beginning to recognise some of the differences and effects of our completely distributed way of working. Working in an office has more distractions but those distractions often mean getting up from the chair and going to see people, but working remotely means far more time sitting down. This takes a bit of a physical toll but I find its easier to do more focused deeper thinking work, which on turn has a mental toll. The context-switching and social interactions that used to occur in an office environment actually seem quite refreshing now, but back then I longed for more focused time. Basically, human beings are never satisfied.

Walking

I’ve been getting out for short walks each evening, often in time to see the sun set.

Writing

I’ve been working on my essay about the team of the future. I’m not sure how to explain what it actually is I’m doing, which is why I call it an essay, but it’s kind of an imagining of how a really good team would work effectively in a future where they aren’t constrained by our current outdated thinking. I’ve restructured it a few times, but at the moment there are four sections: practices, policies, principles and philosophies, and each has sub-sections that contrast the outdated thinking with new thoughts in deliberately adversarial ways. The section I’ve been researching and writing about this week is called ‘Distributed, decentralised & diverse vs. Command and control’, and talks about how management and leadership thinking that developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century worked for manufacturing but isn’t effective for managing knowledge work. So the team of the future will utilise thinking of management in distributed, decentralised & diverse ways.

And some other stuff

I haven’t had a much time for Twitter, or reading and post links in the Reading section of my website.

I received a grade of 74 for my case study about Amazon’s approach to innovation, my highest grade so far, and definitely helping me keep my average in the merit range.