Earlier today I had the privilege to attend a lecture on crisis management by the Harvard Senior Lecturer Ron Heifetz. Here is a list of points that struck me (in the form of slightly edited tweets), and my view of their relevance to software development.
Although the seminar was aimed at political leaders, this being mostly a hacker's blog, I can't help but noting the relevance of many of Heifetz's observations in the field of software engineering. Consider the differences between technical and adaptive problems and their respective solutions. Phillip G. Armour has been arguing since 2000 that software development is a learning activity. Or think of Heifetz's advice to try many small experiments; this is clearly something that strikes a chord with those of us who believe in agile software development.
A lot of the talk's material appears in a 2009 Harvard Business Review article titled Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis. Some notes and a video of a shorter talk by Ron Heifetz appear on a web page hosted by the University of Minnesota.Read and post comments, or share through
Last modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 11:31 pm
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