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  • It is important to treat humans like humans, and humans have emotions.

  • Since our emotions drive more of our decisions than our logic, it is important to recognize emotions as a conscious participant in our decision-making process.

    • CAUTION: According to biology, the decision-making portion of our brain is directly connected to the emotional-memory portions of our brain, but only indirectly connected to the logic and language centers of our brains.

  • Acknowledge, respect, and embrace the emotional states that each person brings to every interaction.

    • CAUTION: Day-to-day emotional variations can cause the same person in the same situation to respond completely differently, based on what has happened before the interaction.

    • TIP: Pay attention to which emotions match the current situation, and which match the previous interactions of your day.

  • Do not ignore emotional responses; emotional reactions to present situations are great pre-indicators of important issues arising before they can be consciously articulated.

  • Foster a corporate culture that encourages emotional intelligence at all levels.

    • TIP: You can test for Emotional Intelligence during the recruiting process.


O1.2 Emotional Intelligence

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  • To achieve better outcomes, “Begin with the end in mind.” (Stephen Covey, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”)

  • Strategic themes and goals are needed to ensure that the organization is progressing in the same direction.

    • CAUTION: To avoid a political tug of war between different factions in leadership, use time-boxed discussions built around the collection of evidence both in support and in opposition.

    • TIP: Seek agreement to try a time-boxed experiment instead of unanimous agreement.

  • Develop common definitions as a means of centralizing diverse viewpoints from multiple sources.

  • Make goals clear, and continuously available to all, so that it is not difficult for everybody within the organization to understand and follow them.

  • Regularly review and adjust goals in response to market and organizational changes.


O1.1 Goal-Based Leadership

  • Confusion

  • Defects (Bugs)

  • Disgruntled Employees

  • Impediments & Delays

  • Lack of Communication

  • Late-breaking Requirements

  • Low Output

  • Rework

  • Siloed “Not My Job” Thinking

  • Unhappy Stakeholders

Problems Experienced Without These Practices




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  • Diversity is not enough; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access are all important.

    • WARNING: Speaking up on behalf of a marginalized group is not the same thing as giving someone from a marginalized group a seat at the table.

  • ​The goal is not acceptance, integration, and uniformity but holding space for multiple, diverse experiences to coexist concurrently.

    • TIP: Learn how and strive to support ideas that you yourself do not personally believe in. 

  • ​It is not the responsibility of the marginalized population to educate others. 

  • Self-identification with marginalized groups is very personal. Do not force people to participate in dialogue or action.

    • CAUTION: You can create space for marginalized groups to step forward, but whether or not they take the space is their choice.  

    • TIP: To help create a safe space, ask for volunteers in general terms (never directed at anyone in particular) and provide a way for volunteers to step forward in private (or not) before going public.

  • ​Diversity in leadership is important and helps to demonstrate a commitment on behalf of the entire organization.

  • Speak up when you hear marginalizing statements, jokes, etc.; a lack of response is perceived as acceptance and encouragement.


O1.3 Confront Bias & Embrace Diversity

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  • “Not every idea can become a great idea, but a great idea can come from anywhere.” - adapted from Pixar’s “Ratatouille”

  • ​New ideas need time and space to develop; even the greatest ideas can look troublesome in the early stages.

    • TIP: Cultivate innovation as an organization-wide practice.

    • WARNING: Do not use popularity within the organization as a guide; adoption by customers is the true measure.

  • ​Have one transparent system in place to openly accept, review, and process ideas across the entire organization.

    • CAUTION: Be clear up front that not all ideas will be pursued, but emphasize that all ideas will get a fair evaluation.

  • ​It takes multiple people with a variety of skills to grow an idea into a great idea; encourage all employees, regardless of role or level, to contribute.

    • TIP: Hold events to promote ideation, and allow people to participate in any role, regardless of their current position. It’s a great way to grow new skills!


O1.4 Ratatouille Principle

Org Practices

Organization Practices

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