OrgHacking 2018 — year in review

The 4th full year of OrgHacking is coming to an end, and with it comes my 4th “year in review” post.

I’ll divide the post into two sections: the first will cover the insights from reflecting on the content I published this year; the second will organize the year’s post according to the emerging themes.

1. Key insights:

  • “Policies and Practices” was the biggest theme for this year. Under which I grouped the most practical, “you can do this thing tomorrow” kind of posts. While nowhere near to be the majority of posts in this blog, it’s important to me to keep the more theoretical and abstract posts grounded to reality with pieces of more actionable advice.
  • The second biggest emergent theme ended up being “feedback”, in both its formal and informal forms. And often times, as a proxy for broader insights on interpersonal interaction and collaboration. Feedback also connects to one of the key thematic questions I posed to myself at the beginning of the year, as I’ve started exploring the role it plays in supporting and hindering the developmental growth in support of higher performance and better collaboration. More on that in 2019.
  • I’ve also made some pretty satisfying progress on understanding the science of good decision-making.
  • Polarities are playing a growing role in my mental models toolbox, proving clarity and insights in exploring important issues. I’m also starting to notice some of their limits/friction points. More on that in 2019 as well.
  • The two topics that I’ve spent most of my professional time on: recruiting and DIB (Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging) did not yield a proportional amount of posts.
  • My recruiting work did not lead to any transformative changes in my thinking on the subject, just to further refinements and fine-tuning of some of the key challenges in that space on which I’ve written more at length in 2017. It did, however, gets credit for shifting my mental model of the connection between the world of sports and the world of work from metaphor to analogy, which will serve as the basis for much of the research that I’ll be doing in 2019.
  • My thinking on DIB has been gradually evolving, though I seem to be converging on a rather contrarian approach that focuses on “drawing a larger circle” rather than empowering marginalized groups. And on emphasizing sameness rather than differences. More in 2019.
  • The two pieces that had the most profound impact on my thinking were “ Tribalism and Intractable Conflicts [Ripley et al]” (polarities, for example, turn a simple, dichotomous good/bad narrative, into a more complex and ambiguous spectrum) and “Principles of Deliberate Practice [Ericsson and Pool]”. In 2019, I intend to spend a significant chunk of my time exploring the application of deliberate practice in the world of work and general and the role of managers in particular.

2. Thematic categorization:

Policies and practices

Feedback

Mental models

Decision-making

Practice, experimentation, failure

Psychology

Distinctions:

Recruiting

Mindsets

DIB

Other

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OrgHacking 2018 — year in review

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