Learn better ways to work with your direct reports

The most important asset of any company is its people. A company can’t perform well if the people that work there aren’t happy and productive.

In this episode, we’ll learn how to better work with your direct reports to make sure they’re happy, focused and productive.

We’ll first talk about 1:1s. We’ll discuss how they should be structured, how often you should do them and why they’re one of the most important things you MUST do with your direct reports.

We’ll then talk about Performance Reviews. We’ll discuss about how to use 1:1s to do better performance reviews as well as what format we use and why.

After that, we’re going to discuss individual weekly syncups with your direct reports. We’ll discuss how they’re structured and how to make them really useful.

Last but not least, we’ll see how to create productive and useful staff meetings, those meetings in which you meet with all of your direct reports at the same time.

We hope you really enjoy the how :)

Apply transparency in your org in a successful way

In this episode we’ll talk about what transparency is, and how you can apply it in a succesful way in your organization. We’re going to share some of the pitfalls we’ve both had as we implemented it with some solutions.

Transcript:

You can either listen to the episode above, or read the transcript.

Key Learnings:

In the first section we’ll talk about why and how you need to educate people before being transparent.

In the second section we’ll talk about what are some of the advantages of being transparent.

In the third section we’re going to explain some misconceptions organizations have about transparency.

We hope you really enjoy the how :)

Working with UX and Design: From good (or bad) to great!

In this episode we’ll be talking about how to improve the interactions between the design/ux org and the rest of the organization. We’ll be sharing different problems that came up as Auth0 and Wolox scaled and solutions that were implemented.

Transcript:

You can either listen to the episode above, or read the transcript.

Key Learnings:

We’ll first start with a sum up of the genesis and evolution of the design/ux org in Wolox and Auth0.

One of the first problems that both companies experienced was about focus. When you have small design team, should they focus on Product or Marketing?

Sometimes, designers have 2 bosses: their head of design and the lead of the team that they belonged to. The head of design gives the designer one task, and the lead of the team gives them another. Which one should they take? In the second section, we’ll learn how to deal with this problem.

At both Auth0 and Wolox, at some point in time, design was a bottleneck for shipping some projects. In the third section, we’ll learn how to tackle that issue.

In the fourth section, we’ll learn how to move design from being “order takers” to being included earlier in the creation process.

In the fifth and last section, we’ll discuss whether it’s better to have a centralized design team or have design resources spread across the organization.

The evolution of learning during our lifetime

In this episode, we’re going to talk about how learning evolves throughout the years. At first, when you’re a junior marketer/developer, you’re like a sponge trying to learn every new shiny things. But is that good for your whole career? Does that change? How? In this episode, we’re going to try to answer those questions!

Transcript:

You can either listen to the episode above, or read the transcript.

Key Learnings:

We’ll first talk about hypes. At first, we always want to learn the latest hype and use it. What happens when you want to use that hype in “production”? How much time and effort was put into that hype? Is it something short without much research? Is it proven?

Secondly, we’re going to talk about clickbait titles. The web is now flooded of posts like “The 5 things you need to know for SEO” or “The 3 most popular techniques to call an API”. Is it worth to continue reading them? How can we choose wisely?

We’re in the era of Information, or as Homo Deus calls it, we’re becoming Dataists. In the third section, we’re going to discuss about how to differentiate information from noise and some techniques to do so.

Finally, we’re going to close with a sum up of all of the sections above giving a guide on when it’s good to learn?

Moving from being an individual contributor (IC) to a manager of a manager of…

We’ve separated this episode into 4 sections. In each of them we’ll be explaining different issues that might arise when you move from being an individual contributor (IC) to both a manager as well as a manager of managers. In each section, Guido and Gonto will be sharing some of the solutions they’ve found that worked for them, as well as some examples of both good habits as well as fuck ups.

Transcript:

You can either listen to the episode above, or read the transcript

Key Learnings:

  • When you’re an IC, you have full control of (mostly) everything you do. When you’re a manager, that’s no longer true. In the first section, we’ll talk about a few solutions for this.
  • When you’re an IC, you’re the one who ships stuff. When you move to be a manager, your job is to enable people to ship and execute better. In the second section, we’ll share some insights about how to better do this transition
  • For a company to succeed, you need to both hire people smarter than you as well as hiring for your weaknesses. In the third section, we’ll discuss how to handle this.
  • Being a manager of ICs is very different from being a manager of managers. Last but not least, we’ll discuss how to do this transition effectively. SPOILER ALERT: we’re still learning this :D

Bibliography:

Blog posts and videos:

Books:

Podcasts:

Scaling up from a startup to ... not a startup

This episode is all about scaling a company. We’ll learn about the experiences of Auth0, which went from 0 to 300 employees in 4.5 years and Wolox, which went from 0 to 180 in 6 years.

Transcript:

You can either listen to the episode above, or you can read the transcript here

Key Learnings:

  • We’ll start talking about different strategies and tactics that can be used to keep and enforce the culture and core values.
  • We’ll move to talk about on boarding of new employees and how key that is to scaling.
  • We’ll then talk about how processes don’t suck as much as we sometimes think and share a few tips on how to start defining them.
  • Finally we’ll talk about how to correctly pick and continuously improve the metrics and KPIs that matter and how they can help with scaling execution.

Bibliography

Change and improvement in life and companies are very similar. It is all about being conscious. Once you know what’s happening, then you can do something about it.
— Gonto
Scaling a company is like changing the engine and the seats of the plane, while flying at full speed.
— Guido