The catalyst quest

This quote changed my career path:

…I came to the conclusion that she was a superb catalyst. Teams naturally jelled better when she was there. She helped people communicate with each other and get along. Projects were more fun when she was part of them.

The catalyst is important because the project is always in a state of flux. Someone who can help a project to jell is worth two people who just do work.

“Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams” by Tom DeMarco

I read that in 2014 and became obsessed with team jelling. I still am today.

Someone who can help a project to jell is worth two people who just do work.” I wanted to be that someone. I’ve spent the last 7 years trying to become that someone.

That quest carried me away from development and into management. And here I am seven years later, an engineering manager still on the catalyst quest.

The other day I read an article on teamwork and complexity science and this quote stuck out:

I call him Lego. When he’s on the court, all the pieces start to fit together.

NBA coach Daryl Morey talking about Shane Battier

That’s the catalyst at work, making all the pieces fit together.

I still find this quest fascinating, and I still work at it daily. If you’re on the quest yourself, reach out and let’s chat!


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