Hiring

The data suggested that the success of teams had much less to do with experience, education, gender balance, or even personality types; it was closely correlated with a single factor: “Does everybody talk to each other?”

Ideally this talk was in animated short bursts indicating listening, involvement and trust – long speeches generally correlated with unsuccessful outcomes. For creative groups such as drug discovery teams or for traders at financial institutions, say, the other overwhelming factor determining success was: do they also talk to a lot of people outside their group? “What we call ‘engagement’ and ‘exploration’ appeared to be about 40% of the explanation of the difference between a low-performing group and a high-performing group across all the studies,” Pentland says.

It was important that a good deal of engagement happened outside formal meetings. From this data, Pentland extrapolates a series of observations on everything from patterns of home-working (not generally a good idea) to office design (open and collegiate) to leadership. “If you create a highly energetic environment where people want to talk to each other right across the organisation then you have pretty much done your job right there.”

via, Sunday, 11 May 2014.

Via Peter Sibel, criteria for hiring:

Write a program that does what its supposed to do
Write idiomatic code
Debug a program that you wrote
Debug a program someone else wrote
Debug the interaction between a system you wrote and one you didnt
File a good bug report
Modify a program you didnt write
Test a program you wrote
Test a program you didnt write
Learn a new programming language
Explain a program you wrote
Explain what a program should do
Explain your ideas
Simplify a piece of code
Simplify a design
Understand someones explanation
Disagree fruitfully
Teach someone something
Clarify the points of a disagreement
Make engineering tradeoffs in an appropriate way
Ship code
Create abstractions
Optimize code
Come up with ideas
Listen
Talk
Measure things
Write clear documentation
Write clear emails
Write clear design documents
Work cooperatively with other people
Help other people improve their ideas
Help other people explain themselves clearly
Apply relevant algorithms to real problems
Review other peoples code and help them improve it
Divide work into reasonable pieces for other people to work on
Find appropriate algorithms to use to solve problems
Recognize good ideas from other people
Stick with it
Know when to give up
Hold yourself to a high standard
Hold other people to a high standard
Focus your efforts on whats important
Recognize whats important
Inspire your teammates
Do what needs to be done
Lead
Follow
Diffuse interpersonal tensions
Tell people hard truths
Identify problems
Devise solutions
Start things
Finish things