The Sunday Report

I’m going to try something new here, and round-up the cool stuff I found each week while doing some research for things I’m doing…

First, cool article here HBR: How CEOs Became Takers, Not Makers

“Given incentives to maximize shareholder value and meet Wall Street’s expectations for ever higher quarterly earnings per share (EPS), top executives turned to massive stock repurchases, which helped them ‘manage’ stock prices. The result: Trillions of dollars that could have been spent on innovation and job creation in the U.S. economy over the past three decades have instead been used to buy back shares for what is effectively stock-price manipulation.”

Good to know. now how do we fix it?

And a couple of insights: first, to get someone to like you, ask them for a favor. It’s called the Ben Franklin effect.  And transforming complaints into goals.

Communication Finds

The big find was the T-Group reader. This brings up all kinds of question, like what is a T-group. T (after much searching) stands for training group. The training they do is they teach you how to perceive and communicate more accurately. It’s required in Stanford’s GSB (that stands for graduate School of Business, lovers of acronyms!) class on Interpersonal Dynamics.  Now the document I linked to is a shiny, cleaned up version made for another conference, but I have the original given to me by my sources deep inside the GSB, and it’s the same thing only with prettier diagrams. Who doesn’t like a good-looking diagram?

Here is a good example of the kind of insight you’ll find in it.




If you, like me, are a fan of Difficult Conversations and Nonviolent Communication, this is a very simple, practical guide that continues those ideas and focuses on self-knowledge.  If you don’t know either, this reader is actually a great starting point.

I’m very passionate about finding better tools to hear and be heard, and this is a toolbox full! If you want to go deep, check out the Stanford Class (there is one in October also) The reader led me to the five-part excerpt to Who’s Got Your Back, so that’s a find! Alsways nice to find a cliff notes version, when you’ve got a book backlog like mine.

As well, on the topic of speaking, I just discovered Matt Abrahams, author of Speaking Up Without Freaking Out. Great playlist here of videos of him teaching what he knows… the first is invaluable.

As well, he’s teaching an online course via stanford this upcoming semester.


Code of Conduct Finds

As well, as I plow through some efforts I’m doing with a small workgroup of like-minded individuals trying to create an even playing ground in tech, I dug deep into Codes of Conduct. I started out suspicious of them a couple of years ago, but I’ve converted. After my current obligations have been met, I will not be attending or speaking at any more conferences that don’t have them.

This is a great place to start, especially if you are an XY My New Convention Harassment Policy

Scalzi is such a good writer, and this is both a pleasure to read and a motivating document. He pledges he will not speak at or attend any conference that does not have or does not enforce a Code of Conduct.

Why? Because I want my friends and fans to be able to come to a convention and feel assured that the convention is making the effort to be a safe place for them. I want my friends and fans to know that if someone creeps on them, there’s a process to deal with it, quickly and fairly. And I want my friends and fans to know that I don’t support conventions that won’t go out of their way to do both of these things. I want them to know that if I’m showing up as a guest, it’s at a convention that has their backs.

He’s also really funny. In his followup post 

You’re just doing this for the feminist cookies and/or to suck up to the women and minorities and/or to get laid. 

Toward the latter, I trust most rational people will understand why “I have asserted you have a right not to be harassed at a convention NOW IN EXCHANGE YOU WILL DO ME LIKE A FEVERED STOAT” is actually not a winning strategy.

Codes of Conduct 101 + FAQ is a very reasonable and completely thought through argument for them.

The FAQ is particularly telling:

If I suddenly put up a Code of Conduct won’t people think we’ve had incidents and feel unsafe?

While you may have some attendees that worry about that, a public statement from your organization explaining why a code of conduct is being implemented now can help quiet some fears. Explain why it’s important to your organization to keep all of your attendees safe and what this means for the event going forward. Feel free to point out the large list of other events that have adopted this policy.

Even if you think you haven’t had an issue at your event, being aware of other issues in the community and preparing for the eventuality at your event shows you care about the safety of your attendees.

Remember that it’s more important that your attendees are actually protected versus the false sense of security of believing nothing can happen to them at these community gatherings. You are thinking two steps ahead if and when something were to happen and are telling them that you will take reports seriously.

It also includes a list of solid resources at the end including “We’ve got a Code of Conduct, Now What” and The Geek Feminism wiki’s great template to use.

I also think The Lean Startup Conference is a paragon, by identifying people to turn to, and giving emails and phone numbers.  XOXO also and this story about how it was handled right. Here is another story of a situation being handled well. It highlights why it’s so hard to report incidents. And why it’s so needed.

Finally, Sara Wachter-Boettcher’s Universal Design on why I, and you, should give a crap in our happy little design world.


And yet, when it comes to building our own communities—the events and conferences in which we learn new skills and discuss new ideas—we’ve spent precious little time designing with this inclusivity in mind. We accept conference lineups loaded with white men because “we couldn’t find any other qualified speakers,” or “all the women we asked said no.” We host bro-tastic hackathons fueled by beer-serving babes. Sometimes, we even give straight-up harassment and vitriol a place at the podium.”

Because, if you are human,  you should care.


“The inferiority of women is man-made.” – Helen Keller, June 11, 1916