Stay new, Ponyboy

I’ve joined a lot of new teams in my career. A lot lot.

I spend the first few weeks noticing all the things that could be better and fighting the urge to change them all at once. I try to trickle the changes in gradually, so people don’t revolt and we can see the effect of each one individually.

But after a couple months, I lose a lot of the fire. Learned helplessness creeps in and I forget that things could be different. My radical ideas fizzle out as I get used to the new normal.

Solution: Now I write it all down in a “stuff that could be better” list. Then once I’m not new anymore, I look at my list before each retro. Something usually pops out and I think “oh yeah, I forgot about how much better that thing could be.” Time to pitch an experiment!

Try a “stuff that could be better” list to stay “new” and prevent the fizzling out of radical ideas.

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