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.

book cover picture of Changing Your Team From the Inside by Alexis Monville

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


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