How to know if Kanban is right for your team?

Is Kanban Right for your team? Yep.

This is a nice post from the folks at Breath Agile.

You’ve got the best performers in your team, yet they falter. If this sound familiar to you, it is time to look at a different approach that can help

Source: How to know if Kanban is right for your team? | Breathe Agile

How Effective Leaders Listen

More great Leadership Nudges from David Marquet

If you’re not getting David’s (@ldavidmarquet) weekly Leadership Nudge, you really are missing some great info. This installment provides us a wonderful mnemonic to help us listen more effectively. (IMHO, this tip could/should be re-purposed and titled, “Hey Husbands! Here’s how you can become a better listener!)
Thanks for the great insights David! bh 2017/03/21

Representing data is the best way possible is art and science.

This is an interesting post by machine learning enthusiast Sachin Johglekar. Here’s a quote from the article.

Non-Mathematical Feature Engineering techniques for Data Science – Sachin Joglekar’s blog

Why do I say art/science? Because good Feature Engineering involves an elegant blend of domain knowledge, intuition, and basic mathematical abilities. Heck, the most effective data representation ‘hacks’ barely involve any mathematical computation at all! (As I will explain in a short while).

What do I mean by ‘best’? In essence, the way you present your data to your algorithm should denote the pertinent structures/properties of the underlying information in the most effective way possible. When you do feature engineering, you are essentially converting your data attributes into data features.

The article goes on to discuss ways that we present data. It’s thought provoking and definitely worth your time.

bh 2016-09-12

Communicating Change… ick

Change is hard, but communicating changes just stinks. This is a good piece about ways to communicate change using video. Have you used video to communicate change?
bh 8/15/2016

Three ways to use video to communicate change


Use video to communicate change, connect with audiences, and create a unified change story

We get it. Change is hard.

According to research, one of the main reasons change efforts fail in business is the lack of effective communication. If there’s anything that employees and clients dislike more than uncertainty, it’s silence.

Video is the richest, most engaging communication medium. It’s the opposite of silence. So when inevitable changes occur, video can help you cut through the perceived silence with powerful, nuanced communication.


Here are three ways you can leverage video to communicate change.

1. Live broadcasts 

Deliver short live interviews with employees or clients – use these events to address changes and the impact of new regulations, merger and acquisitions, staff changes, etc.

For example, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding post-Brexit vote outcomes in the UK and EU. Legal services and financial firms – and others – are leveraging video to reach their customers promptly to help them navigate Brexit. Live streaming video is a great way to interact with your employees and customers in real time. It keeps your organization agile and helps you reach targeted audiences across regions.

Make it personal  video brings the human side of the organization into change initiatives.

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The Danger of Comparison (from Launchpoint)

My daughter has a reminder from Theodore Roosevelt posted on her refrigerator:

Comparison is the thief of joy.

As I look back on my life, my unhappiest memories involve me comparing myself to others and anxiousness about where I “should” be. When I focus on where I am and try to improve from there, I am much happier and much more successful.

This is a great post and worth your time.


The Danger of Comparison

August 10, 2016 – by .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }

.wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style&We’ve all watched the Olympic swimming rivalry play out between the USA’s Michael Phelps and South Africa’s Chad le Clos. The not-so-subtle jabs in the media between the two have spanned continents, from the London games all the way to Rio, and are credited with Phelps’s return to the sport from retirement.

phelps+faceFor those of you who haven’t been salivating over this story, le Clos narrowly beat Phelps in the 200 meter butterfly race during the London games and giving Phelps his first international loss. Phelps announced his retirement shortly after, with this one blemish on his nearly spotless competitive record. He watched le Clos dominate in the 200 meter fly race in international competition and eventually announced his return to the event stating the other swimmers really “are not that fast,” clearly taking a jab at his rival. That statement has unleashed a slew of back-and-forth comments from both parties in the news and on social media.

And since arriving in Rio, le Clos has been trying to psyche Phelps out, most notably while shadowboxing in front of Phelps as they wait for a qualifying race, launching a thousand memes featuring Phelps’s hilarious scowl.

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Keep Your Career Options Fresh

I am asked on a fairly regular basis, “What can I do to help my career and ensure I stay relevant in the marketplace.” After writing several emails to people with my recommendations, I decided to jot down a generic version of the advice I usually provide. Here are some things that I recommend people do from a career standpoint, whether or not they are looking for a new position.

Make Your LinkedIn profile a Value Proposition

Use your LinkedIn profile summary to answer the question,

What is it about me and my recent accomplishments that make me indispensable to any organization?

People have lots of things that make them valuable to a team, but those traits  rarely appear in a list of job titles. Bottom line, no one really cares about your job title, they just want to hire someone who has lots of energy and who can contribute immediately.

Get Active on Social MediaiStock_compass3

Social media is not just for funny cat videos or for pictures of your latest culinary creation. To expand your career Find people interested in topics in your area of expertise. (LinkedIn, Twitter, Mashable, etc.) Follow them, comment on their work, and expand your network.

  • Get active on LinkedIn, especially in professional interest groups. Find thought leaders in your areas of interest, read and comment on their work or their posts.
  • Twitter: follow some heavy hitters, but seek out up and comers across the spectrum. Twitter is a great place to things that provide a unique point of view.
  • Facebook: I almost hesitate to put FB on this list, but despite its ability to deliver time-wasting content to us on multiple platforms, Facebook is a great way to reconnect with people you may have lost over the years. That being said, it is not a great place to look for a job.

Create Something Interesting

Learn how to communicate for the new digital age. There are lots of opinions on how to write content people will want to read. Do some research. Find stuff that catches your eye and learn to use the “Add to Reading List” command in your browser. Go through stuff you’ve saved and note things you enjoyed reading. Comment on things and start posting content. Remember that brevity is key. Using images is also a plus. Many times you will find great content buried under obscure titles. Use content that is already out there as a springboard for your opinion.

Enjoy the Process

One of my favorite non-fiction authors is Gretchen Rubin. One of her Secrets of Adulthood is,

What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while.

Love this concept, especially as it related to how we engage the world. Being a lifelong learner doesn’t have to be a chore. Exploring new concepts and finding new ways to look at old things keeps us young.

So what do you think? I hope this kicks off a discussion on ways to stay relevant. I know I’ll keep working on this issue, and I look forward to your feedback!




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