Much of the week was spent on-site, meeting with my R&D leadership peers (and the thin layer of execs above us) to figure out what behavior should to change to change our results. Strangely enough, this group not met since well before I started, and much of the contact I’ve had with these people has been in 1:1s, small meetings, or in some cases not at all.
- Naturally this was the first time at this job I’ve had that “first team” feeling, which has been long overdue. It’s great that we were able to get from a little icy to working together openly in less than a day, the first day.
- Since the agenda was less agenda-like that I typically feel comfortable with, my main goals were to represent myself and my team well and to genuinely engage with the topics as a knowledgeable and connected member of the team. I think I did that, and so do several people I’ve checked with.
- Last week I mentioned that a deadline helped me, “having written and received helpful comments on many pages of pre-read material.” It turns out that several months ago our CEO encouraged pre-reads as a way to accelerate meetings. Little did I know. But with this group it works; the discussion that happened in these documents meant that when we sat down together we had a basis of agreement and a pretty good understanding of where controversy remained, and could get into the substance quickly and without too much preamble. (This isn’t the same as the Amazon method of bringing a document and reading it quietly together to start a meeting.)
- I had my first “quarterly coaching” conversation with my boss, and it went better than I expected.