Thursday, 31 August 2017

Having Compassion - The Autobahn Metaphor

At the XTC meeting on Tuesday 23rd August I had the pleasure of meeting Sven! He shared with me a way of relating to other people’s world view and actions which centred around “how fast do you drive on the Autobahn?”.



The autobahn is the German motorway - famous for having no speed limit. 

On the Autobahn<link> there is no speed limit, a driver can as fast as they like. Say we are driving at 80mph, we could then say that we perceive:
  • 80mph is the CORRECT speed!
  • The drivers going 50mph are delaying me and it is a nuisance overtaking them.
  • The drivers going 180mph are dangerous and are risking crashing into me.

This leads to an interest situation where you can bisect the population of drivers as “agreeing” with your world view and those that are “detrimental” to you. Naturally this leads you somewhat into conflict… it would be GREAT if everyone just drove at YOUR speed right?!

How do we overcome this and actually relate to all the other drivers on the road then?

Monday, 7 August 2017

Developer Diary: Starting At TIM Group

Today was my first day working at TIM Group! I'm humbled to be working with so many enthusiastic and intelligent people. The culture and way of working at the company is a massive departure from what I am used to. Everyone in technology is responsible for themselves, trusted to get the work done and nurtured to improve. People under the value of happiness and real work/life balance.

Even after a single day there I am seeing and feeling the difference. Little things like:

  1. We managed to break something as I was being onboarded. A colleague spotted this before us, fixed it and notified us. No fuss, no muss.
  2. For lunch we took 90 minutes and sang sea shanties, it was silly and glorious. It could have been embarrassing but it felt like a safe space :)
  3. Everyone, including the CEO, started walking out at 5.30pm
  4. For 7 years I've come home and gotten changed. There is relief when I can take off the suit. Today I walked in the door and I was already comfortable in my skin.
Exciting times :)

Friday, 23 June 2017

Parenting: Uncovering Unconcious Bias

One of the challenges of bringing up children[1] Up there with leaving the house & making sure they are alive at the end of every day is not passing on any biases or prejudices you have. On the face of things this would seem like an easy problem to solve, just don't discriminate and teach your children the values of equality. The problem arises when we actually stop and think about how we really perceive the world and the people around us. If we really get introspective then we can uncover personal bias that we don't even realise we have.

Let's look at an example. How many fathers out there think on public transport: "it's polite to give up your seat to a woman"? On the face of it you are doing a nice thing. However if you teach that to your son then you are teaching him to treat women differently. This isn't ideal when you want to foster the ideas of equality. In this case you may wish to opt for "it's polite to give up your seat to anyone less able to stand". Women are just as capable as men in standing up :)



Tackling unconscious bias is a tough problem for everyone to solve, you're dealing with how your brain is hardwired to think about things. Only by consciously making an effort to question yourself can you discover these "things that I didn't even know I believed in". Luckily (depending on how you look at it), as your child grows up they will inevitably develop a perfect mechanism to help you with this: The incessant stream of "Why? Why? Why?..."