As a person who has been successfully coaching software development teams for twenty years, let me throw out a few ideas to chew over. With luck, maybe one of them will jiggle the frame enough for you to find a next step.
1) Nothing, *absolutely* nothing, always works. There are thousands of forces in play in a typical team or organization, and many of them are inherently or ontogenetically anti-change. I vary my game a *lot*, and I have a lot of variants to offer. And I still lose all the time.
2) My dog Wally likes to lead, when we're out on Tiger Patrol. But he only occasionally knows where we're actually going. He finesses this by frequently checking to make sure that he's leading where we want to go. This is *primo* coaching practice.
3) Oblique approaches are often far more successful than direct ones. To the point, I might add, where I see the directness of many change efforts as being the exact reason for their failure. Meandering paths seem inefficient in the abstract, but that's a trick. *Wander*.
4) Because lived experience nearly always beats out verbal argument, reserve most of your wrangling juice for getting folks into experimentation. Set up the most favorable conditions. Accept the results. You'll win far more often if you get folks to *live* your idea.
5) It's relationships all the way down.

It's relationships all the way down.

It's relationships all the way down.
6) Have *fun*. Remember Zander's Rule #6 ("Don't take yourself so goddamned seriously.") Have fun yourself, and *share* fun.

Be of good cheer! None of this is actually all that deathly important.
7) Trust builds in a spiral shape, little deals made and kept, then a little bigger, then a little bigger. And they don't have to be the same *kind* of deal to grow the spiral.
8) Shoot straight, but remember, honesty means believing everything you say, not saying everything you believe. You are allowed, nay, *encouraged*, to direct your meanness -- we all have moments of meanness -- somewhere it can be safely grounded.
9) Going from zero to agreement using a meeting fails way more often than succeeds. You can build ground for consensus in hallways, small groups, backchannel chats, and informal conversation, far more effectively than in a 10-person meeting. Use meetings to formalize and confirm.
10) Find someone outside work whose job is also changing things, outside of geekery. Ply them with beer and nachos, mutually de-brief and support. Changing things is changing things, largely regardless of domain. Safe place for grounding, too.
11) Accept the ultimate reality: you'll fail, plenty. And you'll constantly have to decide whether to try something else or to move on. Don't be so hard on them, sure, but also? Don't be so hard on yourself. If this game were easy, it wouldn't be worth the candle.
12) Don't get them to do what you want them to do, get them to do what they already want to do. They nearly always want to do things to make their lives better, and some of those things are part of what you want, too. Help with that.
13) Prioritize the easiest nearest owwie, and leave the hardest furthest nightmare for later, when it will have become easier and closer. What small fixable thing is bothering them now? Work on that. You'll build trust and you'll enable the habit of change.
That's it for now, a lucky thirteen.

Find someone today who could use a little kindness -- including maybe even yourself -- and make sure they get it.

Have a good week!

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More from @GeePawHill

26 Sep
The first plank of my take on fixing the trade is MMMSS: If you want more value faster, take Many More Much Smaller Steps. Today I want to start laying this out for folks. This isn't gonna happen in one thread, but let's get started.
Before we dig in a little, let me remind you that I'm aiming here for geek comfort good, respite. I am far more concerned with changing the world right now than I am with changing code. I hope you are, too.

Please keep working for change outside the monitor.

Black Lives Matter.
The first thing to get about MMMSS is that it represents a radical change. It seems like a minor tweak, but it's not, it is a complete reversal of a whole body of existing trade practice, the model I call "Rework Avoidance Theory". To drive it home, maybe a picture will help. A left-to-right picture of a path, showing an initial phase
Read 24 tweets
25 Sep
Okay, gonna play some ONI Spaced Out. This is the variant where the starting world is still fairly large. Seed V-SNDST-C-68286727-0

Dunno how long I'll go, but what the hell, it's been quite a while. :) The starting biome of a game of Oxygen Not Included.
Plenty of water, and the temperate biome seems reasonably wide. I'm thinking of a central 16-column with two wider wings on either side, ultimate census 24. And away we go!
First stop, the starter bathroom, cuz some things never change. Once that's complete, I'll bounce to the west of it and toss in my generator and get some research going.
Read 14 tweets
24 Sep
Friday afternoon, got some surprisingly spicy but labeled plain hummus, and I chanced to watch an hour of my favorite ONI twitcher, but I'm days behind the current run-through, so now I am *studying* an old ONI twitch stream.

I do not intend to apologize for this.
It's been nearly a year since I played ONI for more than a few minutes. But I think I'm about ready again. Gonna play my first Spaced Out run. Got it started, realized I was gonna need some new inspiration, cuz my old designs aren't good for these tiny planetoids.
Lifegrow's a great watch for me, cuz on the one hand, he has my order/symmetry/cleanliness thing, but on the other hand, he's really good at the game, and on the third hand, he's *so* calm and patient, and on the fourth hand, he's profane and opinionated.
Read 4 tweets
23 Sep
Okay, let's talk about a nice illustration of resisting primitive obsession. Gotta break this writing drought. I'mo freestyle this muse, and I'm rusty, so bear with me.
Before we start. I want you to know how important it is to me that we keep working on change outside the monitor. Please know how proud I am of *every* *little* *thing* you do to help address this world's equity problems. Every little thing helps. Keep it up.

Black Lives Matter.
So, a few months back, my Friday night geek group -- we meet on Tuesday's -- spent a lot of time and had a lot of fun generating random dungeon maps based on the idea of a grid of tiles, each representing a floor, or a wall, or a door, or what-have-you.
Read 36 tweets
22 Sep
The remote conference scene has been a mixed blessing, but I have to say, it's been truly *mixed*, and there have been some great things about it.
I did a conference this year, and for the first time in 20 years of conferencing, I watched every single session. Because I could fidget, smoke, shake my head when I disagreed, stretch, make noises, go pee, and most of all not be exhausted from too much social interaction.
And, in general, I've been to more events in the past 18 months than I was ever able to manage in the past.
Read 6 tweets
21 Sep
My favorite take/spin on the blind men and the elephant is this stunning take from Peter Vaill. It's nearly a page of text, so I'll gist it here, but spell it out below.…
"The relationality of all experience contains challenges to our understanding of organizations that we have barely begun to come to terms with. I can illustrate this by extending the metaphor of the blind men and the elephant."
"In its conventional telling, each blind man had a grip on a different part of the beast, and they were unable to agree on what it was really, really like, that is, as one of Kuhn's 'fixed and neutral
Read 13 tweets

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