Blog page

Welcome to Unicorn Thoughts

For our Vietnamese friends: Ngoài ra còn có một blog của Cherry bằng tiếng Việt. Nếu bạn chuyển ngôn ngữ sang tiếng Việt, bạn sẽ tự động lấy nó.

We don’t know what unicorns think about (probably rainbows, glitter, and Frozen) but this Teal Unicorn spends a lot of time thinking about better Ways of Managing and Working, Human Systems Adaptability, and being an agile Manager (small “a”). We wrote a book. Click the image to learn more.

book cover

We will blog here to capture our thoughts. This blog functions as an archive for stuff we write elsewhere: on LinkedIn, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and documents for clients.

Here are some blog directories:

There is an RSS feed if you still use such cool technology to keep up.

Join our mailing list and we will send out an occasional update on blog posts.

 

Information has no value until it is acted upon.

This is from our new book “Working Naked”, about visualisation of work (publishing this year in English and Vietnamese):

 

Visualisation is great, if you do something with it. Information has no value until it is acted upon. That is beyond the scope of this book, except to say that this concept is expressed in many different ways that all essentially mean the same thing:

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The Open IT Project


This page is the home of our 2023 project to bring Teal Unicorn’s successful Open concepts to the Information Technology context. At Teal Unicorn, we have used our version of Open Work and Open Management to make work better for many organisations, large and small: better results, better lives, better society.  The numbers are spectacular. We wrote 5-star books. We got on TV. Clients make videos about us. People laugh and cry. We all have a good time. We’ve made lifelong friends. This stuff works.

 

The purpose of this project is to bring those ideas to make a difference within IT organisations. IT is the epicentre of much of Open: it has been the thought leader in better ways of working for decades now, leading the way with XP, Scrum, Agile, DevOps, Resilience Engineering, Remote Working, and more. Teal Unicorn has done so well with Open in business. Now we want to bring our formulation of the same ideas back to IT – it is the least we can do.

 

Come on a one year journey with us through 2023. Starting in April, approximately once a week, there will be LinkedIn posts interspersed with webinars. We will supplement the posts with videos. We encourage discussion and contribution, to evolve the syllabus even as we work through it, with an aim of a body of knowledge by year end that all can benefit from: Open IT.

 

Join our mailing list to get the Open IT newsletter with a copy of the weekly post, notifications of webinars, extra reading, and summary of the key points from previous week’s discussions. (You will need to sign up for our monthly Teal Unicorn newsletter too.  You can unsubscribe from it anytime, but hey! check it out, it’s pretty good.)

That’s it. That’s all you have to do.  Get the newsletter, follow along, engage as much as you want to discuss and develop the ideas, or just sit back and learn.

The project lives on this page for 2023; the body of knowledge lives at Open IT permanently.

Syllabus

The content we will cover: coming soon

Roadmap of posts and webinars

How we will cover the content: coming soon

Blog posts for December 2022

My New Year’s Matariki

I don’t make fixed New Year’s Resolutions that I probably won’t reach, so much as set navigational stars to head for, what Teal Unicorn call our matariki. Here are my five work matariki for 2023.

Singing and dancing

Something profound has happened to how we think about knowledge work – “office work” dealing with intangibles – as a consequence of the pandemic.
I’m beginning to uncover pieces of the new paradigm.

Dehumanising the workplace

As someone who worked for a big American corporation for 16 years, I know we submit ourselves to all sorts of things once we are cognitively captured by the organisational culture.

Employee resource groups

No matter how we organise ourselves, we will always be in siloes one way or another. There will be organisational divisions. It’s important to connect people across those divisions as well. One way to do that is communities of practice , a k.a. guilds or chapters. Here’s another.

You don’t know until you do

It is easy with hindsight to explain why improvement interventions had an unexpected result, missed the mark, or did more harm than good, and yet organisations seem to launch into them with the confidence that they will work.

Three principles of managing change

Here are three brilliant principles of managing change from Eugenio Moliní on LinkedIn

Carve these above the doorway at work.

How technical should a manager be?

How technical should a manager be? Separate managing work from managing people (as we should).

Agile coaching

Agile coaching is a hot topic. It is in vogue in the IT world to heap derision on the whole profession of agile coaching. There may be a quality issue, but stop saying agile coaches need to be software developers.  The discussion is of interest to non-IT people too, so I share it here.

Open Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture isn’t my field. I did study Zachman decades ago (had a one-day training from the man himself!), but I haven’t done much.

I needed to summarise our ideas at Teal Unicorn in the context of architecture and this is what I came up with.

GPT is fake

Please read this Twitter thread to understand the danger of GPT, the AI content generator everyone is raving about. It’s not real information. It’s a simulation of information.

 

Get controls out of the way

Controls are essential to protect the organisation’s assets. But achieving velocity through quality requires that all “necessary non-value work” get out of the way of value work. Minimise controls: just enough to control risk, ensure compliance, and monitor performance, with the least possible impact on value work. Experiment with less or lighter control.

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Employee resource groups

No matter how we organise ourselves, we will always be in siloes one way or another. There will be organisational divisions. It’s important to connect people across those divisions as well. One way to do that is communities of practice , a k.a. guilds or chapters. Here’s another.

Read More