The Menlo Mission: To End human suffering in the world as it relates to technology.
How the pandemic has affected a culture that is 100% pairing. An environment where everyone is out in the open working shoulder to shoulder. Passing around a shared object to 50 - 60 people during their daily standup. Essentially the perfect environment for COVID-19 to spread. The good thing is they have an incredibly adaptive culture.
Run the experiment! So they started practicing what it would be like if a shelter in place order was put in place.
Discussion about the Hi-tech Anthropologist and how this has affected their ability to really work with and understand the users of their products. The remote effects hitting doubly (is that a word?) this role. Not only are they remote but also their users are interfacing with their product remotely in many cases as well. The best way to live the mission is to understand the user in their local environment.
Talked about building the construct of separating work from home life when they now happen in the same place. It is still important to keep your work-life balance in check. Being self-aware of what you're lacking now and taking deliberate steps to keep them separate so you aren't mentally crushed.
Being a No Hero based organization. No one can do this all alone. "Menlo can't solve this for you on its own."
There are moments where command and control are necessary. Rich and James got together to make some of the tougher decisions. They came up with the two primary constructs that would allow Menlo to survive:
Take care of the health and safety of the team
Preserve the business
They made the decisions in the morning and vocalized them that afternoon.
Talk about radical forms of transparency! Knowing what everyone makes. Knowing how much cash was in the bank. Knowing how much cash was in accounts receivable. Being more informed just helps people make better decisions.
Looking for the Agile playbook is like looking for the one true way to raise a child.