J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

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  • Blog Post: How To Build a Roadmap for Your Digital Business Transformation

    Let’s say you want to take your business to the Cloud --  How do you do it? If you’re a small shop or a startup, it might be easy to just swipe your credit card and get going. If, on the other hand, you’re a larger business that wants to start your journey to the Cloud, with a lot of investments...
  • Blog Post: How Leaders are Building Digital Skills

    Cloud, mobile, social, and big data are changing the game of business. But to play the game well, leaders need to grow new skills. In order to create new customer experiences and market-leading operational capabilities, leaders need to invest in digital skills. Our Cloud-First, Mobile-First world provides...
  • Blog Post: Drive Business Transformation by Reenvisioning Your Operations

    When you create your digital vision, you have a few places to start. One place to start is by reenvisioning your customer experience . Another place to start is by reenvisioning your operations. And, a third place to start is by renvisioning your business model. In this post, let’s take a...
  • Blog Post: Emotional Intelligence is a Key Leadership Skill

    You probably already know that emotional intelligence, or “EQ”, is a key to success in work and life. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of yourself, others, and groups. It’s the key to helping you respond vs. react.  When we react, it’s our lizard...
  • Blog Post: Creating a Company Where Everyone Gives Their Best

    “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” —Steve Jobs What does it take to create a company where everybody gives their best where they have their best...
  • Blog Post: The Principles of Modern Management

    Are your management practices long in the tooth? I think I was lucky that early on, I worked in environments that shook things up and rattled the cage in pursuit of more customer impact, employee engagement, and better organizational performance. In one of the environments, a manufacturing plant, the...
  • Blog Post: How Employees Lost Empathy for their Work, for the Customer, and for the Final Product

    “In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way.” -- Tina Fey The Digital Revolution marked the beginning of the Information Age. The Information Age, or Digital Age, or New Media Age, is a shift away from the industrial revolution to an economy based on...
  • Blog Post: Fearless Speaking

    “Do one thing every day that scares you.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt I did a deep dive book review. This time, I reviewed Fearless Speaking . The book is more than meets the eye. It’s actually a wealth of personal development skills at your fingertips and it’s a powerful way to grow your personal leadership...
  • Blog Post: The Drag of Old Mental Models on Innovation and Change

    “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.” — Howard Aiken It's not a lack of risk taking that holds innovation and change back.  Even big companies take big risks all the time. The real barrier to innovation and change...
  • Blog Post: The New Realities that Call for New Organizational and Management Capabilities

    “The only people who can change the world are people who want to. And not everybody does.” -- Hugh MacLeod Is it just me or is the world changing faster than ever? I hear from everybody around me (inside and outside of Microsoft) how radically their worlds are changing under their feet, business models...
  • Blog Post: Who's Managing Your Company?

    One of the best books I’m reading lately is The Future of Management , by Gary Hamel. It’s all about how management innovation is the best competitive advantage, whether you look through the history of great businesses or the history of great militaries.  Hamel makes a great case that strategic...
  • Blog Post: Satya Nadella on How the Key To Longevity is To Be a Learning Organization

    Everything should be a startup. Unless you’re a learning organization that actually uses what you learn to leapfrog ahead. But the paradox is you can’t hold on too tightly to what you’ve learned in the past.  You have to be able to let things go.  Quickly.  And, you have to learn new things...
  • Blog Post: Satya Nadella on How Success is a Mental Game

    As technology and software change our world at a faster rate than ever before, we need to play a better game. How do we play a better game? By recognizing our conceptual blocks and removing them. Here is how Satya Nadella told us to think about our mental game and conceptual blocks: “It's really a mental...
  • Blog Post: Satya Nadella on Live and Work a Meaningful Life

    There's a quote in Ferris Bueller's Day Off : ”Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” It’s true. Satya gets it. Sayta reminds us to individually think about our broader impact, our deeper meaning, and the significance of everything we do, even the...
  • Blog Post: Satya Nadella on Everyone Has to Be a Leader

    Satya Nadella, the new CEO for Microsoft, is all about employee engagement and employee empowerment. Here is how Satya reminded us that we all need to be a leader: “We express that core identity, being the company that allows every individual to be more empowered and get more out of every moment of their...
  • Blog Post: Declaration of Interdependence

    You might already know the Agile Manifesto : Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan But do you know the Declaration of Interdependence : We increase...
  • Blog Post: Nelson Mandela Quotes

    As a tribute to Nelson Mandela, I put together a comprehensive collection of the best Nelson Mandela quotes: Nelson Mandela Quotes It’s a pretty extreme collection, organized by key themes like compassion, courage and conviction, and humility. One of the things that surprised me is how much Mandela was...
  • Blog Post: High-Performance Teams Happen When It All Hangs Together

    “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” -- Patrick Lencioni To create high-performance teams, you don't need the best people in the world.  But you do need people at their best. To bring...
  • Blog Post: 7 Metaphors for Leadership Transformation

    “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” — Publilius Syrus Change is tough.  Especially leading it. Whether you are leading yourself, others, or organizations through a change, it helps to have tools on your side. Recently, I read Leadership Transformed , by Dr. Peter Fuda.  It uses...
  • Blog Post: Generalists vs. Specialists

    When you build teams, one of the issues that comes up is whether to build a team of generalists or specialists. On the Microsoft patterns & practices team, because I was doing project-based work, I was effectively building new project teams roughly every six months (it varied – in the earlier days...
  • Blog Post: Improve Your Execution Excellence with Roadmaps at a Glance

    One of the ways to be awesome at work is to create roadmaps that lay out the big “projects” or “initiatives” for your team.  This helps you easily plan in a visual way, get your team on the same page, and communicate to other teams, both your impact and what’s going on. Roadmaps smash the perception...
  • Blog Post: What Keeps Leaders Up at Night

    One of the best books I’ve read lately is, What Keeps Leaders Up at Night, by Nicole Lipkin.  I wrote my review at: What Keeps Leaders Up at Night The book is all about how to be at your best, when things are at their worst. By learning a core set of leadership skills and psychology tools, you equip...
  • Blog Post: Elizabeth Edersheim on Management Lessons of a Lifelong Student

    I’m always on the lookout for the best insight and action you can use for work and life.  I especially enjoy when I find somebody who is truly a thought leader, a giant in their space. After all, I’m a big fan of helping everyone “stand on the shoulders of giants.” Elizabeth is a giant (actually...
  • Blog Post: Leadership Development in a Box

    “Managers help people see themselves as they are; Leaders help people to see themselves better than they are.” — Jim Rohn Actually, it's leadership development in a book .  The book is, Intelligent Leadership: What You Need to Know to Unlock Your Full Potential , by John Mattone. Intelligent Leadership...
  • Blog Post: 5 of the Best Books I’ve Read Recently on Getting Jobs, Doing Leadership, and Presenting with Skill

    I read a lot.  I read fast.  I go through a lot of books each month.  Books help give me new ideas and ways to do things better, faster, and cheaper.   Books are one of the best ways I get the edge in work and life. Here are the 5 of the best books I’ve read recently, along with...
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