Winning At Work

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Goals, Giants and Guac: My First Week at BetterWorks

As a native Southerner, I never imagined myself living on the West coast, let alone working in sales in the fast-paced technology world of Silicon Valley. But I did leave the comforts of “home” to join LinkedIn—first as an Executive Recruiting Associate before quickly moving into a Sales Development role.

The sales experience was both fun and hugely valuable because my job was all about connecting customers with tools and resources that would strengthen their brands and raise awareness for their causes. I was part of an awesome sales development team with well-defined and understood processes. So when the opportunity to move from a large, established company to BetterWorks came along, it seemed daunting at first.

Now that I’m here, I’m certain this is exactly the right place for me. I’m excited about the BetterWorks platform, the company’s vision and the incredible talent behind it all. I’m helping build the Sales Development team, bringing people and processes into place that help scale our business. I’m loving the daily opportunity to “nerd out” about the psychology behind Goal Science and how goal setting can make individuals more effective at work.

So how …

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Developer Note – Python ‘Evidence Net’

In our first developer note post, we discussed how automated security can help enterprise platforms enhance protections and safeguard apps. Now, we describe an architecture to make inter-app events more capable and robust.

Putting Django Signals to Work

When we set out to build an event/notification architecture for our app, we wanted to accomplish:

Separation of concerns — Our primary app should only produce signals and not be concerned with what happens to those signals in other apps
Traceability — Developers should be able to figure out cause and effect relationships between the core app and the signals produced
Scalability — As the business logic of our app and number of models increases, the infrastructure should provide a platform for a large number of signals and conditional logic.

Our first solution incorporated conventional wisdom and advice from multiple sources, including http://twoscoopspress.org, and kept business logic in places where developers could immediately see what happens next. We sent signals in our model methods so that notific…

What are your goals

Reduce the Ramp - Setting Goals for My First 30 Days as a Product Manager

When I joined BetterWorks several months ago as a product manager, I knew there would be little time to adjust to the new working environment. Everyone was heads down and I wanted to add value on day one. So here’s how I aggressively worked to reduce the ramp.

Much of the advice around successfully onboarding at any company centers around a series of tasks broken down into 30, 60, and 90 days. But I know a product manager job rarely entails just completing a task list. Responsible for getting high-quality products built, product managers need to lend a hand to make sure the right things get done. Sometimes we need to help teams get their house in order. Sometimes we are asked to be designers or marketers. Other times, we are primarily data analysts. And often, we need to do all of the above.

So to reduce the ramp for my new position, I used a framework from an unusual source — Donald Rumsfeld. He is credited with saying:

“There are known knowns…there are known unknowns…but there are also unknown unknowns.”

This was a great framework to help me be more flexible a…

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3 Golden Rules of Feedback

My college lacrosse coach was a true master of feedback. His timely insights were always spot-on and a huge part of my growth as a player. His input was NOT, however, always filled with sunshine and daisies.

Coach Shay balanced praise and criticism—he was not afraid to give negative feedback when appropriate—and my teammates and I completely trusted what he had to say. His “secret feedback sauce” led to more wins, and I try to keep his approach in mind whenever I deliver feedback of my own.

Feedback is a cornerstone of modern management, and a critical part of goal science thinking here at BetterWorks. It tells us where we are in relation to where we want to be, how the “going is going,” and where we are heading next. When our goals are aspirational and stretch us, feedback is essential. Otherwise, we can easily get lost and give up on the journey.

While the importance of feedback is clear, best practices for giving feedback are much murkier. There are lots of questions like, …

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A Q&A with Vincent Drucker about Setting Stretch Goals

Vincent Drucker and I recently met to discuss his ideas about management, management philosophies, goal settingand goal-setting strategies. The son of Peter Drucker, Vincent is a successful and respected businessman with his own ideas about controversial topics such as stretch goals.

Lamorte: What are your thoughts about stretch goals?

Drucker: I like the idea of stretch goals. Goals probably should not be set so we can achieve 100%. If you say you’re expected to achieve 100%, individuals “game the system.” This means that people will manipulate the system for a desired outcome. They will work the system for what they are trying to achieve.

Lamorte: If not 100%, then where should the goal be set? And how should it be tracked?

Drucker: I believe the goal should be set at 80%. I realize Google sets its bar at 60-70% for stretch goals, but I feel that 80% is better. And goal-setting software platforms can be useful as long as users set the right goals and everyone is working on the right goals, at the right time.

Lamorte: How can …

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Developer Note – 3 Automatic Ways to Increase Security in a New Software Platform

When you’re heads down building a new product, you field lots of questions about the processes you choose to follow and the decisions you make. Answering those questions for customers and prospects made a few of us want to share more technical detail about what we see as a way to encourage dialog around modern, enterprise platform development.

In the coming months, we plan to post developer notes about technologies and processes we’re evaluating—some of which we’ll implement and some of which we won’t—as we build our BetterWorks platform. Our first topic is automated security.

Security is on everyone’s mind. Businesses think about it:at the World Economic Forum in January of this year, Bob Moritz chairman of PWC in the U.S., said cyber security will remain among the top tech concerns this year. Government agencies think about it: the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers a guide for security plans for federal IS systems. Develope…

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