Lizard brains in digital transformation
Lessons from child psychology: my daughter fell on her bike recently, twice. She actually did “well” at falling, in the framing of our DevOps think. She gets really frustrated to the point of paralysis - wonder where she gets that from!
How would I get her back up to get to school on time?
If it were me, I would just get back on the bike, angry as hell, upset at everyone, the world, and myself. For whatever reason, I’m someone who goes forward, full of anger. I don’t take time to calm down. This is very bad. After decades of this - 3 or 4 - it’s burned me out and I can barely function with simple things like my kids telling me they don’t like cheese when I’ve just served them a cheese sandwich. (I mean, mysteriously, they love quesadillas, but cheese outside of two crisp and warm tortillas is bad?)
Don’t be like me.
Instead, something I picked up from that whole brain kid thing, and also Nonviolent Communication think, is a loop to follow: retell the story/acknowledge the feeling the kid has; try to physically touch them; and then wait until they calm down to appeal to their rational mind.
The key here is to not make any rational appeals until they’re calmed. In their mental furry, they’ll be in lizard brain state and the lizard brain will literally strike out at you if you try to tell them “it’s OK.”
Now, what they don’t tell you in NVC and such is that this will take time: you will be late to school. You will be frustrated and gritting your teeth.
She did get back up - like old dad she told me she hated me, but she got back up. Then she fell again, and the cycle (pun!) repeated. But then she got back up and we got to school…somehow on-time.
Now, let’s think about how to apply this to organization change… check out my video monolog for the rest…
Ha-ha! Call the Action!
Everyday digital babbling
I’ve started a week daily, er, “stream”? “Broadcast”? Video? Whatever you want to call it, the topic is the usual “how to do software better in large organizations” and it’s in on Twitch, live, every weekday at 11am Amsterdam time. I archive them in YouTube. I like creating a work product every day, and it’s interesting to come up with and talk about something every day. What’ll I talk about this morning? I have no idea yet!
In doing this - having a daily deliverable - I’ve also started to discover that idea of saying “no” and cutting out extra work. There’s two articles I said I’d do (one on BT and one on “what does digital transformation mean?”) but now I realize I don’t have time for that. I also have the usual set of online meetings with prospects and customers.
In addition to the daily videos, check out the most recent podcast episodes over at Software Defined Talk. Yup.
Most recently, Matt and I talk about possible implications of the Google vs. Oracle case: “It’s be a shame if something were to happen to that nice API implementation of yours.”
Don’t have to worry about that shit anymore
“he was no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, because yesterday had brought it.”
This is something that I have discovered over the years to be peculiarly true. Sometimes when terrible things happen to you, it can actually be kind of a relief, because you’re no longer tensing yourself and wondering, “Well what would happen if this terrible thing happened? I hope this terrible thing doesn’t happen.” And then one day you wake up and you’ve lost a job or whatever, and you think, “Oh, okay good. I’ve lost my job. I don’t need to worry about that anymore.”
So, I was looking at beginning the story with Shadow in prison. He’s watching everything a little bit warily, and you will learn eventually that a whole bank robbery happened, and he was a driver, and yet he managed to get away and then everything went wrong. And then you think, “Okay, I really get why this gave you a place where you could stop worrying and just exist day to day.”
I love the fact that people respond to that. And I also love the fact that every now and again I will hear from people who read the book in prison―in those prison systems that still allow it―or who read the book after coming out of prison, who tell me that it felt emotionally right, which as an author always makes you feel that something is working.
– Neil Gaiman, commenting on his book American Gods.
Relative to your interests
- How the Oracle vs. Google fight over Java use-by-inspiration on Android could effect how software is done - ‘Good summary of the Oracle/Google case over Java in Android. Also, good discussion if possible implications for the outcome, either way: either SW vendors will have to pay more for re-use, or legal controls in OSS licensing weaken.’
- Microsoft Arc, overview of the multi-cloud solution suite - ‘“There will be some IT resources, whether they are physical hardware, VMs, Kubernetes clusters or databases, that will stay in your data center or at the edge for some time or maybe forever, if it is a data regulated thing. With Azure Arc, we give you the ability to manage both centrally under one control plane from the Azure portal. Below the control plane, you can use Arc to deliver services to your edge or your data center in a hybrid way.”’
- Tanzu’s competitive differentiation: integrating kubernetes into/with enterprise infrastructure - ‘one of the biggest difficulties “enterprises face is not in simply delivering Kubernetes as an abstraction on compute, but dealing with the mechanics of integrating storage and networking capabilities,” McLuckie said.’
- The story of the sizzle - ‘It was the central lesson that Beard absorbed: not merely selling the sizzle more than the steak but selling the story of how the sizzle came to be, even if the steak was not actually sizzling.’
- Wouldn’t it be great if… - ‘Note that the team was very precise in describing the behaviors it was seeking and their blockers. This is critical; if you don’t do this when developing BEANs, you may end up with ersatz blockers or laundry lists that are difficult to tackle. A simple way to identify specific changes you’d like to see is to gather groups of employees and ask them to complete two sentences: “Wouldn’t it be great if we…” (which surfaces the behaviors; see the sidebar above) and “But we don’t because…” (which helps pinpoint the blockers).’
- Benefits of using kubernetes as a standard - ‘According to Juergen Sussner, a cloud platform architect at German IT service provider DATEV, Kubernetes has the potential to be a game-changer for how teams like his do their jobs… Before we had the standardization layer, we had a lot of things to consider when putting new software in the data center,” he says, “like about network topology, sizing of VMs, how to place the VM into the network, firewalling, and all this stuff. And nowadays you can say, ‘Does your product run on Kubernetes, do you have a Helm chart for the plan deployment?’ for example. If yes, we’re fine. If no, maybe we choose another one.”
- Considerations for finding a new job, often a good way to get promoted - ‘I don’t know man, often the surest way to get a raise and promotion is to find a new job. As he says ‘Interviewing creates the opportunity to play “bias arbitrage,” finding a company that values your particular brand of bullshit disproportionately.’’
- VMworld Tanzu talks - ‘’
- Women in tech - ‘The study does offer some strategies to beat the trends and create more-inclusive cultures. This includes setting external goals; encouraging all parents to take parental leave; and providing mentors, sponsors and employee-resource networks. ‘
- Business travel creates timeless spaces - ‘The hotel lobby exists outside time. In that place, I’m 28, I’m 42, I’m all ages in-between. I feel like, sitting there in 2012, I could probably remember the future yesterday of 2016, but it didn’t feel special to do so, so I didn’t bother to think about it.’
- iPad growth over its ten years, analyzing the difference between the iPad and iPhone - ‘As a result, iPads stay in use longer, get passed on to new users and serve for many years. Their average life span is likely well over 4 years and 9 year old iPads are not uncommon. It’s therefore very likely that the vast majority of all iPads sold are still in use. So the true measure of success is not units sold but number of active (and satisfied) users. The iPad user base is probably around 400 million (about 27% of total active Apple devices.) The degree of activity is also telling and is reflected in the million apps built specifically for the platform.’
- Project vs product, banking edition - ‘Banks are on a digital transformation journey that will require them to get out of “project” mode, largely driven by IT, and transition to business-driven products that deliver customer needs through a planned and published roadmap—and then proceed on their journey to a platform orientation. In general, projects have an end date, while products have a lifecycle that continues to deliver capabilities well beyond the initial delivery. Projects typically perform only maintenance changes and don’t evolve the product’s capabilities. The product ethic is “standard issue” in software technology companies, many of which are already either operating as platforms (e.g., Google, AirBnB, Uber, etc.) or on the path to becoming one. The platform is a way to modularize products and combine them in different ways to meet customer requirements and business goals. Banks need to undertake this journey if they want to scale and benefit from powering an ecosystem that will help them generate incremental revenue with a very low capital outlay. Bottom line: To win, both banks and tech companies need a platform that powers both their products and their ecosystem.’
- Blame the rule for saying “no” - ‘Steve Kamb, the founder of NerdFitness.com, told me that the best and most polite excuse is just to say you have a rule. “I have a rule that I don’t decide on the phone.” “I have a rule that I don’t accept gifts.” “I have a rule that I don’t speak for free anymore.” “I have a rule that I am home for bath time with the kids every night.” People respect rules, and they accept that it’s not you rejecting the offer, request, demand, or opportunity, but the rule allows you no choice.’
- Time with kids - ‘’
- Oracle’s strategic missteps - ‘Success in old it was a big reason why Oracle was late to the new sort: cloud computing. Mr Ellison long dismissed it as a faddish label for existing technology. By the time he realised it was an epochal shift in it, Oracle had fallen behind. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (oci), as it calls its offering, is said to have sales of less than $2bn annually, compared with more than $40bn for Amazon Web Services (aws). The e-commerce titan’s market-leading cloud unit is valued at several times Oracle’s market capitalisation of $178bn. Cloud-based rivals of the sort that Mr Ellison once dismissed, such as Adobe and Salesforce, are worth around a quarter more than his firm.’
- Summary of American politics
- Getting customer feedback makes better businesses - ‘’
- Screen Time - ‘According to research, the average Dutch adult stares at a screen for no less than 45 years of his life. We spend more than 6,180 hours per year looking at our phones, computers and televisions every year. In an adult life, that equates to a shocking 395,562 hours, or nearly 45 years.’
- Depression is a reality distortion field - ‘While I’m manic I assume that people want to hear what I have to say. I assume that people are interested in what’s happening to me, and that what I can share might help them in their own lives. When I’m depressed, it’s the opposite. I assume that nobody wants to hear from me, that nobody could possibly care enough about what I have to say for it to matter. I get down about my readership and listenership numbers — I don’t think there’s any number high enough to make me feel validated in those times. There’s no amount of affirmation that can make me feel like I’m OK.’
- Crisis drives transformation - ‘The rise of digital-business models predates the pandemic, reflected in how quickly organizations were able to pivot to telemedicine, online learning and remote work, according to Kristin Moyer, research vice president and distinguished analyst at technology-research firm Gartner Inc.... But in its wake, nearly 70% of corporate boards cite the impact of Covid-19 for a ramp up in spending on IT and digital capabilities, according to a Gartner analysis this month.... Gartner forecasts global IT spending to reach just under $3.7 trillion next year, up 4.3% from 2020. Within total spending, investment in cloud-based IT infrastructure is expected to surge 27.6%, to $64.3 billion in 2021, Gartner says.... The goal for companies, Ms. Moyer adds, is to enhance customer engagement and generate revenue by driving “a higher proportion of business through digital channels.”’
- The DevOps stew - ‘“[A] growing consensus within the information technology community is that DevOps = Agile + Lean + ITSM. We believe the integration of Agile, Lean, and ITSM can provide a strong foundation for DevOps.” ‘
- All those Q4 deals - ‘McKay relayed an anecdote about an executive who waited until midnight on vendor’s year-end sales cycles to secure discounts. While this approach to pressuring vendors worked in many cases, it also gave the company a “nasty” reputation. If a salesperson brands a company as “difficult to work with … it can backfire on you,” said McKay. Midnight deadlines should only be used in emergency scenarios. ‘
- Anti-intellectual times - ‘’
- A PaaS is better for developers than raw kubernetes - ‘Some solid reasoning on why it’s better to layer a PaaS on-top of kubernetes for developers, from BT.’
- You have to teach people to collaborate - ‘’
- 20 years of mainframe Linux - ‘By the spring of 1999. Frye recalls, “Enterprise Systems Group General Manager William Zeitler had enough information for a final chart of his presentation to then-CEO Lou Gerstner: ‘We also have Linux on s/390,’ Zeitler said.” Gerstner was not impressed at first. In fact, “‘That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard,’ said Gerstner, who then paused for reflection and added ‘Or maybe not?’“’
- The missing context from that new Woodward book - ‘https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/bob-woodwards-bad-characters’
- New VMware kubernetes distro packages - ‘The new kubernetes distro packages/products from @VmwareTanzu. There’s four bundles of the distro, associated management tools, and integrated developer stuff.’
- Kroger’s COVID omnichannel - ‘“What we’re expecting of ourselves is we will get to the point where we’re indifferent if a customer connects with us digitally or a physical store.”
- Less business travel in your future - ‘“I wouldn’t be surprised to see business travel languish for a decade before it gets back to 2019 levels.”’
- Remote work at GitLab - ‘Sounds like it works well. You just have to take the management and org. culture gardening seriously, we well as training. Most companies forget and neglect their “most valuable asset: people.”’
- Relearning to change, improve - ‘This is the process of relearning, which comes with its own challenges: (1) you must be willing to adapt and be open to information that goes against your inherent beliefs (2) you may need to to learn how to learn again and (3) you must create an environment for relearning to happen in a meaningful, yet often challenging, space outside your existing comfort zone. The point of relearning is that you’re trying to get better information and learn to see, sense, and listen differently, to respond and act differently.’