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subhashree mishra15:10:47

How do I join a Watch Party

Alex Broderick-Forster, IT Revolution, Event Staff15:10:04

Hi @subhashree2005— we’ll air it live here: — and then the conversation will happen in this channel. Starts at 10am PT (1.5 hours from now)

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Hello, all! I’m here “backstage” with @david627 and the ITREV team getting ready for the Watch Party! Catch y’all in about 15m!

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Ben Ford17:10:56

@david627's backdrop game is STRONG! 🙂

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Steve Jones - He/Him17:10:37

What was the book mentioned? Team of teams?

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Steve Jones - He/Him17:10:08

Thank you, nice talk


Yep! Team of Teams, definitely one of my favorite books i’ve read over the last decade:

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Justin Powall17:10:22

Definitely going to check out this book! 💯

Ben Ford17:10:55

@david627 I'm curious roughly when you came across Cynefin? From memory it was One Mission that first mentioned it, rather than ToT? Did you have a period of research after the fact, or did you come across this as the transition ToT describes was happening?

David Silverman17:10:20

We came across it in the research for Team of Teams

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Jörgen Andersson17:10:03

Is it possible to even out the audio level between you guys when you talk now and when the presentation is playing. I jumped out of my pants here 😄

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Steve Jones - He/Him17:10:14

I assume a lot of this relates to the challenges of dealing with large teams in orgs. Is there a big challenge with the volume of info that everyone has to comprehend and analyze in short periods? I'm thinking of the issues of many software teams, all with different amounts of metrics, data, priorities, etc. When a signal comes through, is there any way to ensure the signal isn't lost across teams? Especially when we aren't dealing with mortal issues, but business?

Jessica Reif - CrossLead17:10:53

Dave’s colleague Jess here! This is a great question. Sharing everything to no one in particular sometimes amounts to information overload, albeit is better than holding back information. Our experience has been that one way to manage this is to create a high degree of system- and dependency-awareness, such that people can be more targeted in their information sharing. The Ops & Intel call covered in Team of Teams (and later in this presentation) were one way to create that sense of Shared Consciousness. We’ve seen similar approaches with software teams, albeit usually on a less frequent cadence.

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Steve Jones - He/Him17:10:24

Thank you. Adding the book to my list. Very interesting talk.

David Silverman17:10:29

Exactly - And this meeting provided a format and context on what types of learnings were relevant to the collective objectives of the task force.

Ben Ford17:10:00

Steve - I think the ideas in ToT are increasingly relevant in smaller businesses, mostly because the pace of change in tech and the economy are exerting the same type of pressure that a networked decentralised adversary did in the book...

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Steve Jones - He/Him17:10:36

I'm going to have to read this book and see. Thanks for the note

Ben Ford17:10:24

Yeah, it's a great book. One of very few that I'd put in the required reading box 🙂

Steve Jones - He/Him17:10:56

Thanks, buying it now

John Osborne17:10:10

@david627 Re: Shared Consciousness. Does your team codify it's decision making framework (ala Ray Dalio's Principles)?

Ben Ford17:10:00

@josborne the is one of the key features of military communications that is really different from the civilian context. Is the basic structure that's used to codify decisions (roughly)

John Osborne17:10:27

Thank you that's so helpful

Ben Ford17:10:14

Shared consciousness == Fingerspitzengefühl and trust == Einheit (from Auftragstaktik). Would you say this is roughly right @david627? How much of the literature around mission command were you guys aware of at the time?

David Silverman17:10:20

shared consciousness was really more about learning than it was decision making. The idea was centralize key learnings on know dependencies in an established value stream. Then get out of peoples way to execute with the confidence that they were making decisions locally that were better informed.

David Silverman17:10:18

The O&I was that mechanism to create and sustain SC.

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Ben Ford17:10:05

Q: To what extent did Col John Boyd's work on the OODA loop feed into ToT?

Tony Hsieh17:10:31

@david627 Q: I am really curious about the content presented at the daily 90 minute meetings. How did it NOT devolve into a boring list of status updates over time?

Ben Ford17:10:13

My understanding is that this was mitigated by someone filling the Chief of Staff role - and focusing on "things I need help with" vs "Look how wonderful I am". The ToT follow up, One Mission goes into a bit more of the nuts and bolts of making something like this work in practice

Tony Hsieh17:10:34

Thank you, Ben!

Jessica Reif - CrossLead17:10:53

Dave’s talk at the upcoming DevOps enterprise summit covers the specific agenda for this meeting, coincidentally. The content followed this basic structure: • What happened in the last 24 hours? • What is the situation now? • What should we be doing differently? • How is our network functioning?

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Jessica Reif - CrossLead17:10:00

While the first is more “status update”-oriented, the last 3 updates focused how the situation evolved and how teams were learning as a result. From Dave and colleagues’ description, this became a meeting that leaders feared missing, as accelerated the rate of learning for their teams.

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Tony Hsieh18:10:49

Thank you, @jessica.reif.. This really helps! A daily 90 minute enterprise wide call boggles my mind.

Ben Ford18:10:22

@hsieh2888-slack - one thing to note here: the tempo of establishing shared consciousness is driven by the need to adapt faster than the external environment. If the external env changes at a slower pace than a chaotic insurgency, you wouldn't necessarily need that level of engagement 🙂

Tony Hsieh18:10:27

@ben That is a very interesting insight you just shared. I never thought about that.

Tony Hsieh18:10:32

But what about a "perceived" need to adapt faster? From the "business team who thinks IT moves too slow for them" - for example. There is always some truth that IT moves slow but business themselves are not always 100% clear on the objectives. Would a "shared consciousness" be valuable here?

Ben Ford18:10:39

@hsieh2888-slack 💯 - I think what often happens here is more of an impedance mismatch. One of the reasons for cross functional teams is to try and break those boundaries down (so that there's isn't a business/IT split in the first place). This is just another way of building shared consciousness 🙂

Ben Ford18:10:56

@hsieh2888-slack have you come across Col John Boyd's work on the OODA loop? I had a great chat with Aimee Groth a long time ago about the overlaps and similarities between holocracy ToT and OODA 🙂

Tony Hsieh18:10:03

@ben It is true we are looking for that blending of business+IT... I was just wondering would a "shared consciousness" help us grow into this merged consciousness.

Tony Hsieh18:10:19

@ben I have heard about the OODA loop but I haven't thought about how it relates to larger organization structures. I thought OODA was more lower-level tactical, I guess.

Ben Ford17:10:11

Q: How much contact have you had with holocracy at crosslead? (One of the slides of the network structure made me thing of it)

Jessica Reif - CrossLead17:10:27

We have had some contact with companies leveraging parts of holocracy over the years — we haven’t worked with any companies who wholly operate using the framework, but some who have used parts of it to shift towards self-management. We are certainly aligned on the benefits of self-organized teams empowered to make decisions about the work they do and how they work.

Ben Ford17:10:43

Thanks @jessica.reif - that's pretty much the conclusion I've some to as well having spoken to a few people (including and having been around a few orgs that have "dabbled" 🙂

Jessica Reif - CrossLead17:10:57

Curiously, which practices from holocracy have you found most beneficial? One we use a lot is “working agreements”

Ben Ford18:10:54

A couple of things. One is the meta principle of offloading a bunch of cognitive load into the system. But I've also found the governance process quite useful. There's something very powerful about making reasoning about the system part of a regular tempo of reflection (as opposed to just talking about the work that got done as is the case more commonly)

Jessica Reif - CrossLead18:10:21

Very interesting, thank you for sharing!

Ben Ford18:10:54

Maybe @hsieh2888-slack has a few things to add here... 😄

Tony Hsieh20:10:43

LOL.. Only questions for you all. No good answers. 😄

Ryan McBride17:10:48

@david627 are there any lessons you can share about how you’ve seen organisations deal with the challenges of time zones in setting up shared consciousness? (4:43 am here in Sydney, but it’s alright I was up anyway for a conf. call in my org :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:)

Jeffrey Fredrick, Author-Agile Conversations12:10:48

This seems very relevant for a virtual conference!

David Silverman17:10:08

@jessica.reif can talk to holocracy in our research

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David Silverman17:10:15

@mcbride it is hard. I usually try to find a time that consistently works for everyone and have people adjust the operating rhythm to account. In some cases we advocate that you break the discussions into two different events with a focus on geographic specific interdependencies

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Ryan McBride17:10:51

Thanks. Agree that helps, we’ve found that having critical mass of people in-region is key to making this work, so you don’t have to have as many off-hours tactical/operational calls), our leadership is starting to do more events like this one for our region (record part of an America’s/EMEA event and then replay it as part of a live event for APAC). Many organisations (including mine) are looking to increase asynchronous comms. to counterbalance the video meeting overload many folks are experiencing under COVID, and that will probably help with timezones as well.

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Ben Ford17:10:42

Great talk! Thanks @david627

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Steve Jones - He/Him17:10:53

Great talk, thanks.

Bryan Finster - Walmart (Speaker)17:10:13

I wasn't able to attend. Where is the link to the original talk?

Alex Broderick-Forster, IT Revolution, Event Staff17:10:00

We’ll post the watch party replay link @bryan.finster

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Linda Kavanagh18:10:05

I am also eager to receive the replay link for the Oct 8 Watch Party. Will you be posting that in this channel?

Ben Ford17:10:25

@genek101 - I had a conversation touching on one of the questions you asked on cognitive load a little while ago: One of the things the military does really well is to offload a lot of the skill of leadership into "the system". I think that's where a lot of the cognitive load mitigation comes from.


Super interesting! Thanks for the link — I’ll watch it in the next couple of days!!! (Buried in prep work for DevOps Enterprise Summit right now! 🙂

Ben Ford19:10:58

Sure thing - it's not going anywhere. It would be great to chat when you come up for air 🙂

Jessica Reif - CrossLead18:10:08

Thanks @genek101! We look forward to DOES Vegas Virtual next week!

Alex Broderick-Forster, IT Revolution, Event Staff18:10:23

Here’s the link to register for DevOps Enterprise Summit Las Vegas - Virtual: Code = WATCHPARTY150

David Silverman18:10:21

any questions - send me an email at <|>


Thank you, <!here> and @david627 and @jessica.reif! I always learn so much during these! And hopefully see y’all next week! 🎉 🎉 🎉

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