How to affect change without losing your job | Duretti Hirpa | #LeadDevBerlin
I'm. Gonna use the podium because ain't nobody dying it alright. Also. I just want to take the time to thank Mary and Ruth and all like why October for this like really cool day we've been a part of yes, yeah. Speaking. Of Lee Deb is like a highlight, of my year and attending, also is a highlight of my professional year so thank. You for the thoughtfulness and the care, alright. Hello. I'm. Dreading hi um, I'm. My first name every, place on the internet but snapchat, cuz like some 19, year old has, it. I'm. Mostly, on Twitter will you'll find me posting, nonsense. And, maybe these slides afterwards, and, which. Is fun for me nonsense I don't know if y'all want to be part of that a. Little. Bit about me I'm like, Mary said I've been a technologist, for over a decade I'm currently, a staff engineer mailchimp gang gang. And. Before that I worked at flack and before that I worked at fastly and then before that marketing, agencies that nobody knows about I, studied. English in college and all. That means, is that I used to really love to read and, now. I don't. And. Yeah, I also have a on hiatus, podcast, called snack overflow but maybe I'll relaunch it in 2020, and, I've, gotten really into plants, lately which is very millennial, and I have like calendar, reminders, to one. Of the plants they're. Very soothing and. I'm, here today to talk to you about making good trouble and, to. Me this. Is a, pure. Thing. That I got from John Lewis who is a US congressman. And. Solar. Rights activist and. He's. Been telling young people for decades to, get. In trouble Costco trouble put yourself in the way and that's how change gets made. So. Let's talk about changing our work, places. With. That in mind, I'm. Here to talk to you about drinking, your workplace but I'm also here to talk to you about the cost of caring. Hmm. But. First it. Disclaimer um. With. My talks I like to give shadow sides the. Pros and the cons I, can't. Tell you how much bad advice I've received in my life and.
I Don't want to sort of pass that along especially. Because sometimes, people give advice based. On a situation, and, you, know all, situations, are not the same. So. Firstly. Don't do this work if you're not senior enough don't. Um, you'll. Seem like you're skipping ahead and this. Talk is mainly about glue work and if you've seen Tonya Reilly's talk about glue work it's amazing she, gave it at Lee, Deb New York so the talks are already up on the internet if you have some time watch it it's worth every, second, and. Tonya recommends, to not do glue work if you're not senior enough or. Considered. Highly technical I. Also. Do, not recommend doing this work if your organization, does not value it I've. Been lucky to work in places that are highly collaborative with, lots of really nice people and good peers and colleagues, and. That is a necessary starting. Condition if your, organization. Doesn't value change this. Is wasted effort, don't. Do it. More. Than that what, is your super, senior to your doing um, that's. How you know if your organization, values it um your, principal engineer has your senior staffs whoever's. At the top of your ladder, and. Who's. Getting promoted what's on the walls Netflix. Has this really interesting culture, and responsibilities doc if you've kind. Of, sting. That's been floating around the valley for years I don't know if you've seen it and. They. Have this one gem that I find to be very interesting, which says that the real company, values as opposed, to the nice-sounding ones are the ones that are shown by who gets rewarded who, gets promoted and who gets let go so. For. Changing your org are, people getting promoted for doing this work if. Not that might be all you need to know. Now. Changing. Your workplace means, digging, in I mean getting involved means getting engaged and caring. More. About work, can, be a capitalist, trap, you. Know it. Can take more than it can give and, it depends what kind of person you are I'm, the kind of person that can't help but get involved in things maybe. You have better bad reason I do. You. Know working, on it. But, at the end of the day you'd, remember that passion is not a renewable resource and. It. Runs hot but it isn't burn clean it's not sustainable, so. If you're investing in a place that doesn't reciprocate it, can probably, take time off your life like the asterisk, the gnome studies about this but. Make sure you're doing it for the right reasons because. At the end of the day, you're. The one that's gonna be pushing this forward are. You taking care of yourself are you drinking water are you sleeping enough are you eating in the way that's good, for you, taking. Care of yourself as paramount because this kind of work is tiring and it takes a lot of focus and dedication to push through all. Right, that's all. What's. The time, you walk into a fire and. Here's. Some workmen and reading a lot of the information to the stop comes from rebels at work and a little bit from leadership yes and. Rebels. At work is like a seminal text if you are trying, to cause trouble at work it. Will show you how to do it safely. Here's. The agenda um. We're. Going to talk about how the workplace is kind of broken. How. We should change things anyway and then some anecdotal, data from my own life to kind of illustrate what, I'm talking about. The. Workplace, she's. Broken have. You been at work like, it's, called work for a reason. Workplaces. Are. Not. Great awesome places are the exception, not the rule lots. Of places where, you work don't have a lot of autonomy you don't get to choose what you work on unless you're very senior, a lot. Of workplaces don't follow their own rules or processes. Ways, to work together can vary your, career can stall there's lots of bias like y'all have been at work before. Here. Are some stats. So. This, is from a survey of thirty thousand people worldwide and 28. To 56, percent of people want to leave their job like right now. So. What I get, at working sucks. Thirty. Percent of the u.s. workforce is, actively, disengaged. Where. 20. Percent is actively, spreading. Discontent. Like. Yeah like we stand a petty employee like you're going around spreading rumors like whatever it's. Thirty. Five percent of people would forgo a raise to, see their boss fired. Just. Like you need to know. People. Aren't happy with their managers and there's that adage that says that people leave managers, are not like. The workplace, and.
That's Because the blast radius of leaders and managers were so high. One. Of two. That's. A while that's like you, know that's pretty wild and. Then Jeffrey. Pfeiffer goes on to say that and. Work. Was often toxic environments, for the people working him and for the employers themselves and I, like. How. He talks he just says what's real and what's not popular. Moreover. What's. Good for the individual, is not always good for the group and. In. A lot of cases leaders can focus on what's good for them as opposed to was good for everyone. For. Example Dick, Costolo used. To run Twitter I. Think. This is like a joke tweet but this actually happened. You like started to see yellow and like the anything you see yo for a while this is like from 10 years ago of it still. So. Why am I talking about leadership um. It's. Because changing. Your workplace is leadership work and you'll. Be met with resistance and. In. My own case. You. Know the I'm. A black woman and. There's. A lot of extra scrutiny and. Which. Can you. Know lead, to people. Proceeding my performance as less. Good I can earn less money I can even, lose my job it's very serious. Women. And minorities, are penalized. For promoting, things. Like diversity or initiatives they care about, one. Set of studies suggests, that it's, risky for low status, group members, to help others like them and and. So what that can mean is that, women and other minorities, can choose not to advocate, for each other when they get into positions of power because. They don't want to be perceived as incompetent or poor performers. So. It's. Gonna be some work and, this. Matters because software, is proliferating everywhere, and everything. What, we make matters how we make matters, and then, when company is you know, take. A hit or take the El it's. Can, often be because of bad leadership and it usually infects, employees, first and there's, always some new, article, within news about how leaders create toxic environments, and it, hurts their employees I'm sure there's an article right, now on, the Internet. They're. Probably. Anyway. This kind of work won't be, easy it takes time dedication, and persistence. If. You've ever tried to get more than four people to decide where to go to dinner you are familiar with, what it's like to get people to do anything let. Alone changing, your workplace. Okay. So it's gonna be tough let's do it anyway. Mmm. Great. This. Is a framework, called the four tendencies, it's created, by Gretchen Rubin, Rubin. Is an American lawyer by training but. She's turned into an author where she's primarily, focused, on things, like. Happiness. Habits. And human nature the. Four tendencies, hopes to answer the question, how. Do I get people including, myself to do what I want. Upholders. Just want to know what needs to be done obligors. Need accountability, rebels. Want freedom to do what they want and questioners, want justifications. I. Am. An obligor. And. For a long time as how I thought about responsibilities. Like, I would do things if there was an external stimuli, otherwise why, would I takes. A lot of energy to do anything and. Life. Is exhausting. But. Then I read rebels at work and I realized that I was actually a rebel and, and. It, means that you decide to keep speaking up and keep trying, to push things forward despite the costs, and and. Carmen. Medina and Louis Kelly have this framework for. How you can decide if you were a rebel. You. Tend to be more organized, around creating. Possibilities and, achieving certainty you, see emerging trends, early. You're. Thinking several step ahead where'd. You come from a different background culture, and so you bring different ways of thinking into the workplace. That's. Me. I don't, care about ping-pong or nice snacks I want well-oiled machines I won't work to be nice that's, all I care about. I often. Think about how things gonna play out six months from now I've. Always worked ahead and I'm a black lady in technology, and there are like four of us.
So. I'm different. Also. This. Is a word like. Being. A minority or women significantly. Increases, the chances that you can be a rebel at work and. Because. While companies, make space for people who are different they, don't often make space, for their perspectives. So. What. Do Medina and Kelly recommend, they, recommend that you first gain. Credibility, because. You can't do anything without it so, here's, how to here's, how they say that you should increase your credibility you, need to increase, your credibility with your boss your colleagues and yourself so, being credible means you've the win your boss over they, have a whole host of things that they are worried about including. Politics, and you, have to pitch them wins. Your. Colleagues or your natural allies, because they also want things to be nice, and. They also kind of see the things that you see and. The more we collaborate, with people the stronger ideas become. Plus. You have to follow through you can't just do cool projects because they're cool you have to honor your responsibilities. And cultivate, a reputation of getting things done and. They that way you can go from being a troublemaker to, a change, maker and you. Can't fight every fight you have to pull in some of your paper people to. Say, what you can't and you. Have to decide if you want the, outcome, or, if you want the credit sometimes. You just want the thing done you decide. What's more important to you and. You. Also need to navigate your actual, workplace. Oftentimes. We can't change the culture or politics, or the norms of where we work we. Can, however learn our organization's, environment, well enough to navigate it. So. What. Does that mean it means what. Does your organization actually, value are there, any sore spots as, your company a mission driven is it more consumer centric does. It actually value feedback. How, our decisions made our is. There one real decision-maker, who's the Kim Kardashian of your office who's influencing, people who's, getting things done figure. Out who you need to befriend. How. Long do executives, stay in their physicians do. Decisions take a long time do, they happen at all when. This budget and headcount come into play because that's maybe you, need more people. With you learn, how to time. Your decisions. We've. Talked a lot today about how, important communication is it, is fully, a superpower, and it's, step, one to getting people on board, because. Humans. Love a story that's what we're here today for and, you. Can do a couple, of things to make your story more compelling you, can appeal to your. Listeners. Self-interest. You, can frame your idea in terms of what that person cares about and what they want you. Can, spin. A story of what could be people. Are rational actors stories take hold in people's minds you know you, can tell them a story of, your future world because you, can see it because you are you, know seeing your future thinking you're six months ahead. Show. That the idea, can work don't lie because, that's not, great but, show the milestones, be buttoned up have a plan. Anticipate. Ways that people are gonna poke holes in your ideas your idea gets better people. Support ideas that they think can work. And. Finally. Take care of yourself. You. Can't win, every, battle. Work. Is how people define themselves I, think a lot these, days but you have to remember it's just work in. Terms, of. Finding. The right manager you have to ask the right question, you should ask your manager how. Do you treat people who, question. Approaches, that might not be you, know effective, or maybe you have, alternate, ways of doing things and, changing. Things at work requires, the effort of many many people and you won't be effective on your own it's not just you on a crusade you need to bring other people along with you, and. Sometimes. Your ideas won't land and you. Have to take a step back and wait for your work to catch up because you kind of are in the future right and.
There Is a fine line between advocacy. And obsession. Very. Fine. Are. You resting if you're tired you're burnt-out you're only gonna see problems instead of opportunities. In. My case I'm fairly charismatic. And when. I'm rested things, are great everything's, great love it when, I'm not rested, everything's, terrible rain. Cloud this place sucks I've done, and. I can transmit this feeling, into like dozens, of people like emotional, contagion is real especially, as leaders we have to be kind of cognizant, of that and. This. Is my friend do. He. Always says, that everything's, trends towards entropy. Software's. Never finished work has never finished it takes sustained. Effort and energy to make things nice so. If you want to say launch. An engineering blog you have to remember that change, is something that. Needs to consistently, be fed and cared, for and you could take that into account when you're pitching your idea. Also. At the end of the day remember Tony Morrison has told us you. Are the person you are your not your work so, if it doesn't go great, like that's fine next. Okay. Let's tie some examples. And these are examples for my own working life and they think they've happened in the last like 18 months I. Love. This quote the plural panic, to tell, you that I love it. Feel. Free to use that your life um. So. Um when, it comes to new things at work I have to interrogate why I want to change things and for me the answer is twofold one, this tweet really, resonated, with me as. Leaders, we have to speak up we are paid for our expertise, so, if you're not going to push to make things better like, why are you doing this job, obviously. There's a time and a place for everything but. Like Mary said this morning don't be a bystander. Secondly. My parents immigrated to America in the 80s and what. That means is that their. Love language its critique. Yeah. Oh. Yeah. So. That. Means my relationship, to critique is that it's a loving action plus. I'm a mouthy broad and I love talking so it's like he could stop me. And. That's my dad and he's the best. Cool. So let's talk about some things that I changed, for. A number of years I ran the backend community of practice at slack what. I had observed was that their front-end team was like super, cohesive, they're all like yeah react let's go, and. They, were more in step, with, each other technically on the backhand side I observed that we were having a lot of difficulty, making decisions together, and it, felt hard and brittle to change anything so. What. Did I do I planned an off-site I don't recommend this, I. Plan. To like it was like don't do that um. But. It was really useful the, off-site was only ICS like no managers allowed in, our clubhouse and it, was a spitter, and. There, was a specific space to discuss actual issues. So. We, had a lot of things come out of that like we revamped our onboarding, we added our RFC, process we became an actual community we had a mentorship program that came out of it like so many working groups and it, became kind of a vibrant. Community where we're actually able to talk to each other and make decisions for the health of the. Back end and. I. Got. Some super, great payers about it so I'm gonna show you know. People. Felt really connected because people are trying to connect at work right and so um and. Also, cross functionally as well and. This. I didn't love as much because there I do it every six months and I was like I almost died but okay. But, at the same time people did recognize. The value. I. Think, code review is difficult, in any organization. And I. Have a lot of opinions about code review so come find me I will talk your ear off about it um. But. Code, review was identified, as like a major blocker and back to back engineering, surveys, like just code, of you here sucks um so. I spun off my working groups you work on it, um so. We spun up a working group we came up with RFC and then nothing happened. And, in. My sort, of post-mortem of what went down I. Stumble. Across this blog post about how to make, changes, at work when you don't have any formal authority and I. Really, I do recommend this post if you the. One gets there and but. What just the blog post distills into this graphic which is you have to like iterate locally in my process document.
It So we iterated we're like yes we want to do this we, documented it and then we shared the documentation. When we should have mandated we should have just changed, our code. Review tool to, like Mandy. What we wanted to have happen as opposed to hoping people would just take. On the change themselves. And. I. Was also involved. In, revamping. Back, and hiring at slack and we. Were having a hard time, feeling. Like we were competitive in the space people. Were able to turn around job offers very quickly and we were not able to compete as well because of. How long our take-home took. So. We. Changed, how we did the, the take home and. Revamped. The hiring process completely, I. Developed. And trained like 40 engineers on our new on site so. It was like a live programming assessment, as opposed to to take home we. Hit, our goals for the year recruiting, was like this is amazing, and. Started. To influence the way other orgs, started, to hire. Candidates. Really liked it they thought it was thoughtful they thought it was you. Know actually. Tested what they knew and felt, like the kind of thing that you would do at work which was super. Great because we're not trying to trick people we just want to assess how. What. Their skill set is um. But. This didn't come without a cost right. And changes. Were made and each. Of these missions took about six to 12 months and I, did this all while being on a future human shipping code so. What. Was the cost I was, sick a lot. Probably. More, in the last 12 months and I've ever been I worked. A lot and I burnt myself out I still, think the effort was worth it um because. I you know I wanted to feel my limits, I guess um. But. Would I make the same choice again. Probably. I mean probably but I'm not sure um. Okay. So, the. TLDR. Changing. Your workplace is work. Changing. Your workplace is leadership. It. Will be really. Difficult. And. There's. No perfect, end state all we can do is hope for a, little. Bit better than we did yesterday, and. It's. Okay to worry about yourself if you need to. You.