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Showing posts from February, 2016

How Mindsets can Help or Hinder Learning (Book Review)

It was inevitable that I would read Mindset. Having recently read two books Give and Take by Adam Grant, and How Children Succeed by Paul Tough) which referenced this book, and having heard mention of it in other contexts as well. As promised on the cover, Mindset provides advice that you can apply whether you are a manager, worker, parent, teacher, or some combination. Carol Dweck does a great job of explaining an idea with a lot of research behind it in a popular book, without glossing over too many points. There were a few places where I thought the book dragged a bit, but those sections were brief and far between, and on net it was a quick enjoyable read.The point of Mindset is that people have one or two mindsets: fixed mindset which is premised on the idea that you abilities and qualities are carved in stone, and the growth mindset which is based on the belief that your basic qualities are cultivated through effort. The 2 mindsets in Dweck’s model provide a powerful framework fo…

Team of Teams: An Unexpected Source of Agile Inspiration

One can find insight in unexpected places. Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal et al is a book about dealing with organizational complexity, written by a general, which uses the war against Al Queda as a common thread. I was somewhat skeptical that I could find information here about software teams that I'd find immediately useful, regardless of how interesting it was. I was wrong. In addition to the advice I was expecting to read about team dynamics, I gained some insights that I thought would be immediately applicable to scaling Scrum Teams.Fairly early into Team of Teams the authors explain that this is not a war story. While it's true that the common thread in the book is how General McChrystal worked to get the army more able to adapt to a decentralized, agile enemy, there are are also stories from commercial aviation, NASA, and corporate America. While there is a fair amount of military history in this book, there is also a discussion of the history of manufactur…