Alexis Monville from the Red Hat Engineering Leadership team joins me to talk about his experiences leading, developing and changing teams. He’s also the author of a new book: Changing Your Team From The Inside.

Conversation Highlights

  • Alexis helps engineering teams at Red Hat be more efficient in systematic ways
  • Alexis’ passion for open source software development and how it ties into his work
  • Team members often know something needs to change, but they rarely think it’s them that needs to change
  • Teams are often really good at “resisting” so being told to change by an outside party rarely works
  • Using “visioning” in retrospectives
  • Positive ways to turn retrospective discussions into real change
  • The importance of assigning specific owners to a new team processes or responsibilities
  • The value of checklists
  • How to engage people in games or activities they don’t want to participate in
  • The importance of believing in what you are doing as a leader
  • The tension between what people want and what they think is possible
  • How large a team can be and still effectively change
  • The percentage of times large scale change works vs. fails
  • Every member of the team is responsible for changing things
  • Asking “how?” instead of “why?” leads to more progress
  • Addressing the “dysfunctions of teams” in remote (geographically disbursed) contexts
    • Helping people come together as a team vs. a “group of individuals”
    • Getting personal with each other
    • The value of empathy
  • Success using empathy maps
    • Helps to create a three dimensional avatar or persona
    • A very constructive way to draw out disparity across a team’s perspectives
  • Waterfall software development
  • Our natural inclination to think in terms that are too black and white (polarization)
  • Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday and how it relates to changing teams from the inside
    • Creating better self-awareness for ourselves
    • Not getting in the way of our own progress
  • Self-awareness is a very key aspect to initiating change
  • Start enacting change now with small experiments
  • Alexis’ parting challenge
    1. Pick one thing
    2. Start and do something now to invest in yourself or your team

Suggested Books

Contact Alexis Monville

Credits

All songs licensed under Creative Commons