by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, & George Spafford
Digital transformation has lit a fire that is burning through traditional IT shops across the world telling us to adapt or be reduced to the ash heap of obsolescence. The Phoenix Project grapples with this disruptive change by telling an engaging story about an IT manager who is thrust into this fiery turmoil. The main character is ushered unwillingly and unprepared into a new leadership role where he uncovers the complex and unrelenting problems any IT shop knows all too well. Fair warning: If you have any history working in, leading or managing IT teams, you will likely have a visceral reaction to the narrative and even suspect the authors were spying on your organization. But there is hope! The main character in the story finds enlightenment and begins to implement changes based on the “Three Ways” discussed in this book that ultimately transforms the teams, balances life for the employees and successfully propels the business forward.
IT leaders will find the narrative and advice relevant, potent and inspiring. By applying the principles learned in this novel, your technology organization, like the phoenix of old, can rise from the ashes to take on the challenges of our new Digital age.
There is hope! Technology workers and leaders will find the narrative and advice woven throughout The Phoenix Project, relevant, visceral, potent and inspiring. By applying the principles learned in this novel, business and technology leaders will see how they can transform their own organizations, identify and break down unnecessary silos, improve life for technology workers, and successfully propel their businesses forward in this new Digital age.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
by Eliyahu M. Goldratt & Jeff Cox
by Jay Elliot
I happend to find this book while surfing through my Safari Online account. This is a great perspective from someone who worked alongside Steve Jobs and experienced his leadership style and philosophy.
There are several great Quotes from Steve Jobs in this book and Jay uses some of the best as chapter leads:
Lessons I picked up from this Book:
1. Think Different
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes . . . because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. -Apple Ad
It’s important not to settle into a stagnant mechanical state. Be the one to change things. Create constructive discomfort and challenge the status quo. When starting on work for the Mac, Steve wanted to create a team of “Pirates, not the Navy”. In Chapter 4, Jay says:
You want people who dare to be different! You want Pirates—where the skull and crossbones may not be part of the company’s symbol, but they’re Pirates nonetheless. People who take risks, live at times a little on the edge, flaunt rules when justified, laugh loudly as the wind lashes their face and their pursuers fade from view into the distance behind. I always want to work with people like this, and so should you.
Whether you think of them as nonconformists, dissenters, rebels, pirates, nutters, positive deviants, or as Blair’s crazies, make sure your team has a solid sprinkling of them. They will challenge your thinking, fuel your ideas, pump up your momentum, boost your competitive edge, and quite simply make your business a winner. And make sure you yourself provide a dose of this magic on occasion. You’re unlikely to accomplish anything great in your career without it.
One of the things that happens in organizations as well as with people is that they settle into ways of looking at the world and become satisfied with things. And the world changes and keeps evolving and new potential arises but these people who are settled in don’t see it. – Steve Jobs
2. Stay Focused on the Product
Product, not Profit or Process: Businesses usual start out focused on product, their great idea to change the world. The tendency is slip from product to profit and process focus. Steve and others like him (Walt Disney included) spent all their energy thinking about making something great, not making a great profit. As we have seen, those that keep that product perspective often end up with healthy profits as well.
Design with the customer in mind: Steve drove product design by keeping the end user in mind, not just surface usage, but emotional connection as well.
You can’t talk about profit; you have to talk about emotional experiences. – Steve Jobs
Design for excellence. Design to create an emotional experience, not just utility. No more crap products.
In chapter 7, Jay says:
The reason for the outpouring of emotion around the world at the time of Steve’s death was that his products had touched people emotionally. Money and profits were never the motivators for Steve. His motivation was, “I’m going to build a product for myself, a product that will fill a need and at the same time give me pleasure to use.
It’s not just a job, it’s a journey. Let’s never forget that. . . . Your customers dream of a happier and better life. Don’t move products. Instead, enrich lives. – Steve Jobs
I believe that, fundamentally, leaders have followers. This can be on the technical or management side. Technical leaders may not mentor directly, but their innovation and wisdom is passed down through implementation or documentation. Managers are typically more direct through interaction or through their policy.
I believe good leaders create a “gravity” that pulls people to them, their ideas or their policies… IMO, some thoughts:
• Successful leaders are in front of others pulling and challenging them to advance. They need to remain close enough (relevant not necessarily proximity) to create influence (gravitational pull). Those who are too distant can be discouraging or have little impact. Those that are consistently too close (micro) can overwhelm the individual’s unique, separate and growing contribution.
• Successful leaders create a cascade of leaders. Behind them are leaders pulling others up. This chain effect allows a leader to scale, to influence a greater number of people at various levels.
• Successful leaders will not be afraid of creating a gravitational pull that will eventually slingshot some of their followers to an orbit higher than them. In fact, such leaders should encourage this and be encouraged when this happens. Great leaders look for these opportunities to invest in others and then celebrate their success.