I've been listening for a year or so, but haven't posted much here. I'm a chemist by original training, moved into the business of building information systems for chemists. A year ago, I moved into the business of building information systems for researchers in climate change. I'm currently the senior technical person for a data center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with influence over a group of 8 programmers and 2 direct reports. It's an interesting environment, to say the least.

I've done management in the past (with as many as 12 direct reports), working in the commodity chemical industry, so the environment of a government lab has been an interesting (and generally satisfactory) change.

I haven't quite caught up on the back-file of podcasts, but plan to do so. I've been pushing some changes, and am about to start more formal 1:1's with the people who don't report to me, but over whom I have fairly heavy influence on their day-to-day work (in addition to the existing 1:1's with my directs).

Thanks to all for the forum posts and to M&M for the podcasts. It's definitely useful, particularly in thinking about how to adapt some of the ideas to an environment where profit & loss aren't everybody's first consideration. Herding cats!!!! :?

Bruce W.

MattJBeckwith's picture
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Bruce, welcome to the forums. Enjoy catching up with the back library of 'casts! I enjoy listening to the first one, Solutions to a Stalled Technical Career was the title I believe, every now and again as it's a great starting conversation.

jhack's picture

It's great going back and listening to the older ones. One on Ones, feedback, coaching and delegation are foundational. You can see how other stuff (like DiSC) really build on them, in ways that Mark and Mike don't have time to discuss but the clues are there.

And they're very clever. It was only when I had done O3's and gone back and re-listened to the July 4 2005 One On One podcast that I realized the first 10 minutes of the podcast were a mini-O3 where Mike and Mark were catching up on the personal stuff, showing us, even before they told us, how it should be done.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Welcome Bruce. Glad you're here, and getting value from our community.

It's a privilege to serve you.


refbruce's picture

Well, the world changed a bit, effective this week. I'm now the group lead, with a total group (direct + indirect) of 30. 12 are directs. It's a bit interesting, in that I'm the Team Lead for one of the three teams that make up the group, as well as the Group Lead for the overall bunch.

I've been doing O3's with about half the people who are now my directs, and am working on the scheduling to get them set up with the other half. I'm also sorting out the staff meeting issue, since I really have two completely separate staffs. One is my primary team, with about 15 people (10 of whom report directly to me). Then I'll probably set up a separate staff meeting with the other two team leads (in addition to their O3). It's a bit of a pain, but it's the best solution I can see, since the stuff which is relevant to my team isn't particularly relevant to the other team leads and vice versa.

jhack's picture

Thanks for the update, and congratulations are in order. Congrats!

If the other two teams don't report directly to you, how is that a staff meeting? Or is it a skip level? It's unclear whether there are clearly named leads for those other two teams. If there are, then you can do skips, and have the leads run their own staff meetings. Only those team leads would be in your staff meetings.

Have you considered grooming someone to be the team lead for the one team you still lead? You'd have a more balanced org structure, and you'd be developing leadership in your group.


refbruce's picture

Let me be a bit more clear (and sorry I was not). I am the group lead for Environmental Data Science and Systems. EDSS has three teams: DAAC, ARM, and CDIAC. I am also the team lead for the DAAC (dual role). So, where I'm headed is that I will have one staff meeting with the DAAC team, since the stuff we need to talk about there is often not relevant to the ARM and CDIAC teams. I'll wind up with a separate staff meeting with the (other two) team leads for ARM and CDIAC, where we work on issues that cross all three teams (and in creating the synergies between the teams, which is one of my big balls).

The three teams are fundamentally in the same "business" -- that of storing and serving environmental data. However, the types of data which the teams work with is substantially different and the sponsoring agencies are also different.

Todd G's picture

Welcome Bruce,

Congratulations on your promotion. I know how you feel with your 30 directs, I have 54 and O3's are very difficult to attain. Do manage to meet with my more senior directs as they are in charge of unit. Charge nurses and Clinical Nurse Specialists.

They are the most rewarding tools I've used and are a God send when it's time for evals. Which is generally monthly.

I have 17 total this month.

Good to have you here.