Chains in the foreground and a setting sun in the background

On praise in the workplace

You were forced to work a lot to reach a milestone set by someone else. It could be for a number of reasons and often times it’s because someone made a mistake that these things happen (or the person in charge is an ass or an incompetent ass). You put all things on hold, dig in and put in the hours. Depending on how long this lasts , days, weeks or even months. Your physical and mental health starts deteriorating.
Your reward? Some mention on Slack. Pat on the back. Honorable mention in the weekly update. You get everything except compensation for your sacrifice. It is natural to feel a sense of joy and gratitude when seeing this, but you should not as it most like means you have been taken advantage or.

You ended up getting the short end of the stick here. In exchange for your own heath you got praise (while it should have been praise minus the p). Whoever needed you to perform this transaction most likely got a bigger reward. If it was a bad sell, often times the sales person still got their pay.

There are of course potential upsides in you becoming noticed, perhaps even getting promoted or receiving a raise down the line. You will get the appreciation of your peers, which is nice.

What you will not get is time to heal. Time to catch up on the things in your life that was sacrificed. Time to recover physically from the toll it took (some places you get time off to compensate for overtime, others not).

When you receive that praise. Don’t mistake that as a reward, it’s the documentation that you got the worse part of a deal someone else profited off of. You should not be happy, but angry. Your learnings should be: Never Again!

Wage labour is the transaction of someone renting your body in exchange for you applying your knowledge. When forced (and forced here could mean peer pressure, “the company’s future is at stake”, etc) to sacrifice more of you without actual real compensation you are giving away parts of you for free.

It is on the privileged to make the change happen

Yes, this is not quite that simple when the employer holds your families faith in their hands. When your stay in a country depends on your employment. If your income is used to support family and loved ones who can’t work. There are so many thing which makes this difficult.

The people I’m addressing with this post are the people with the privileges. We are the ones who can stand up and help others not have to do this deal with the devil.

We have little / nothing to loose and we should work hard against cultures of hollow compensation for heroics.

A dark forrest during sunset with some light shining through

On being open to grow

All my “On..” posts are things I write from beginning to end without any editing or thinking about structure (so it’s like all other posts?). They are just dumps of thoughts I’ve had which I deem that maybe they’re useful for something or someone, so I’ll just dump it here where nobody actually sees them.

A friend of mine told me his friends reaction when he said he was starting to learn how to play the flute. They said: “why do you want to learn that now?”. What they meant was why are you, a grown man, starting to learn to play an instrument? As if that’s an outrageous idea and that it’s not something grown up people do!

It’s a really sad outlook if we’re not supposed to learn anything new in what in most cases will be half our life time! We learn a ton of stuff and then suddenly because we’ve gained responsibilities and have obligations we are to stop learning? This is a preposterous idea. Learning and changing is the most natural thing we do, so why stop?
I know some people think it’s too late to change and things like that. What I think is the case is that we gradually neglect and pay attention to our own willingness and openness to change. That’s why we stop, because our minds are closed.

You stop growing and evolving. One example is often see is music. You can choose to stop exploring and being open to new impulses, which means you enjoy the same music as when you where in your twenties. There is another option, which is to continue being curious and open to the idea that just maybe there is the odd chance of someone being capable of creating music you might enjoy even after you’ve surpassed the age of 35 🤷🏼‍♂️ It requires a mindset of being open to new impulses and challenge what you belive is good music. Engaging and making an effort to understand something new.

Many new parents find themselves in the same position, having suddenly to deal with the fact that their lives are forever changed with the arrival of the infant. You can choose to constantly look at what you are missing out and the life you used to have, constantly looking for opportunities to get a tast for “the old life”. I believe this will only make you miserable as that life will never return. Instead one could choose to be open to the new things that your life now offers you. This huge change is a great opportunity to grow as a person. Learn new things about yourself and also be open to all the learnings your child will give you. If you pay attention, you will notice that the child is learning you just as often as you are learning it things.

Person with long hair in a dark room looking through a window with light coming through it.
Photo by Mario Azzi on Unsplash

What’s the key difference between someone “stuck” and one that evolves? It is, I think, a willingness to seek out new impulses and to be open to the fact that you might be wrong in your current assumptions. In order to grow and learn you have to be open to receive new impulses. It means you must reflect on your view points, you must and should dare to change your position on things.When someone comes to you and say that you perhaps could have solved something in a different way. It’s natural to go in defensive mode and try to explain why, that you didn’t intend it that what and you explain all the reasons why you did what you did. I’ve learned that this is not how you receive feedback. First step towards learning from feedback and input is to listen, like actually listening. Take in and focus on understanding exactly what the person said, without judgement and without trying to defend yourself. In order to achieve this, I think it’s vita to be open to the fact that you might have to change or adapt how you do things.

An office space with a long table with chairs next to it.
Photo by Jose Losada on Unsplash

Starting out in the IT industry you work on the ground floor and all you have to do is to show you know the craft. Gradually you’ll be expected to take into account things outside the realm of just the one thing you know. The progression from junior to senior is not about years, it’s about widening your perspective and to evolve you understanding of what it is that you do. Often a good senior will get offered the opportunity to lead.
This is often done without any real formal training or coaching mechanisms in place. A good crafts person is somehow automatically a leader.

This fallacy leads to many dysfunctional teams and some times destroyed careers.When accepting the challenge to lead you must be open to change. Everything you do is different when you are a leader and you have to be able to adjust your thinking and behavior. You have to put in the work to understand the power dynamics between leader and worker. In order to help your workers grow you have to learn how to activist listen to them and to turn  that input into actions. It is an entirely new job, it’s like going from a car mechanic to becoming a nurse. The requirements of you as an individual have completely changed and you have to change. You have to be open to the fact that this will change you as a person and you’ll be a different one on the other side of your new position as a leader.

This isn’t only about the classic worker-to-leader scenario where openness to change is essential. During the Covid pandemic a lot of people have had to suddenly work from home. This is a great opportunity to learn new things about yourself, if you are open to change. One option is to dig your heals in and try to mimic  “the good old office vibe” in a remote setting. We’ve all seen that it does not work and people just become really tired of the endless video calls. A different approach is to look at working remote as an opportunity to learn something. All trends point towards the new workplace being much more duos and flexible, so instead of fighting against it you should embrace it as a learning opportunity.

Distribuerte produksjonsenheter er kommet for å bli – eller Remote Work FTW


Jeg tok en sjanse i sommer, jeg gikk over i en jobb hvor jeg visste at jeg kom til å jobbe som del av et distribuert team i Vibbio. Resonnementet bak å prøve var at om det funker og jeg liker det kan det åpne nye muligheter for å gjøre morsomme ting i femtiden.

Jeg har en erfaring med å jobbe distribuert og det var under en oppsigelsestid hvor jeg var fristilt. Da jobbet jeg med en person i Seattle og vi klarte og levere det vi skulle. Riktignok varte dette bare ca tre uker. Etter det var planen å finne noe annet, det ble aldri noe av.

Å skulle jobbe distribuert uten å ha noen du kan bare snu deg til også snakke med var skremmende. Alle som har jobbet med meg vet at mitt behov for å snakke er der ganske hyppig (beklager..). Jeg har også merket at jeg liker mennesker og liker å snakke med folk. De gangene jeg har hatt foreldre permisjon har jeg snakket hull i hodet på de hjemme fordi jeg ikke har fått snakket. Så vi kan si at kona var minst like bekymret.

Antagelig jobber du alt distribuert

Jeg her nå gjort det en måned og har vel egentlig erfart at det å jobbe distribuert er ikke så ulikt å jobbe i en stor bedrift. Hvis du uansett bruker digitale hjelpemiddel for all dag til dag kommunikasjon så er overgangen til å jobbe distribuert liten. Om kollegaen er i en annen etasje, bygg eller land betyr lite. Eneste overgangen er at du ikke like enkelt kan kaste bort tid på å bare snakke med folk.

Veldig mange steder har tatt i bruke ting som Slack / HipChat eller lignende. De aller fleste styrer oppgaver og prosjekter via digitale løsninger. Hvis vi skal oppsummere så er det egentlig bare møter som må endres (og strengt tatt er vel det bare 100% positivt ettersom alle selskaper er elendige på å holde møter) til å bli digitale via videokonferanse.

Ikke nødvendigvis hør på alle råd

Hvis du får muligheter til å ta en jobb som har et distribuert team, så er det verdt å sjekke ut. En liten viktig ting er å sjekke at dere er i samme tidssone. Etter hva jeg har hørt er det en helt annen greie og kanskje ikke så chill om dere er ca på samme tidssone (selv om min første remote jobb var på tvers av tidssoner og var bra, så tror jeg det først og fremst var fordi vi var et team på to mennesker).

Hvis du leser på nettet om Remote Work er det selvsagt en mega industri som er veldig klar på at dette med å jobbe distribuert krever at du leser masse greier, kjøper bøker, handler inn kontormøbler, setter deg inn i hvordan du skal gjøre dette mega endringen. Det er litt som når du får barn for første gang og begynner lese alle tingene du bare  ha, men som du senere innser er fullstendig unødvendig.

Jeg kjøpte 37 Signals sin Remote: Office Not Required bok, som var nyttig og lese men kanskje mest nyttig for de som trenger argumenter for å begynne jobbe distribuert. Utover det har jeg ikke gjort noe. Dagene jeg er hjemme sitter jeg ved kjøkkenbordet (fordi det er ikke plass til noe kontor). Jeg har ingen spesiell rutine annet enn å levere unger dit de skal også få meg kaffe.
Folk er selvsagt forskjellige, men det er verdt å ikke lese for mye og heller bare prøve seg frem selv. Snakk med folk du kjenner og stoler på som har gjort dette alt.

Hva er anderledes?

En ting jeg merker veldig er at du må være flinkere til å formulere deg presist og kanskje bruke litt lengre tid på å utforme det du skal kommunisere. For meg personlig er det ekstremt positivt, da jeg kan være litt vel rask og noen ganger ikke helt være innforstått med at kanskje ikke alle vet alle detaljer jeg har i mitt hodet. Du merker at det å bare slenge ut noe på Slack ikke funker så bra. Tidligere har jeg gjort det mye, men da har jeg som regel tatt det “offline” rett etterpå for å liksom rette opp i ting som ble misforstått.
Jobber du distribuert så må du rette opp alt skriftlig også, noe som kan bli lange og tunge chat dialoger. Så jeg forsøker å bli flinkere til å komme med litt mer gjennomtenkte og velskrevne ting for å unngå lange chat tråder.

Dokumentasjon kommer automatisk, fordi du må formulert noe skriftlig for å gjøre noe. Dermed har du allerede før du begynner noe dokumentasjon og for å forklare dine intensjoner klart ovenfor de andre må du som regel skrive litt til når du er ferdig med en oppgave. Vanligvis kunne du bare reist deg opp også sagt “ey, jeg har laga noe kom å se” eller tatt det i lunchen. Distribuerte jobbing gjør at du er nødt til å ha en “papirsti” for at andre skal kunne forstå hva du holder på med.


Sjefer som er vant til å være “manager of chairs” vil bli helt åpenbart unyttige og være uten hjelpemiddel til å fortsette styre teamet på en gal måte. Å være på team hvor viktigste delen av jobben er å ha ræva si på en stol på et kontor er ikke gøy og ekstremt demotiverende. Ved å fjerne muligheten til å kalle “å se at folk er på jobb” ledelse så flyttes også fokus på hva det er som leveres av verdi. Det er ekstremt positivt og kanskje en av de aller største fordelen med distribuerte team.

Jeg merker at jeg må jobbe litt med min holdning / fremtoning i video møter. Hvis hele kroppen min og stemmen min utstråler “jeg vil gjøre noe annet, make it stop!!” så er det ganske dårlige signaler. I vanlige møter kan du rette dette opp med “koseprat” før / etter møtet, mens i videokonferanse får du liksom ikke det.


Å uttale bastant at dette er AWESOME etter rundt to måneder er i overkant naivt. Jeg vil si jeg er overrasket over at jeg liker det såpass bra allerede. Skepsisen jeg gikk inn i dette med er i ferd med å forsvinne. Jeg merker at friheten og ansvaret du får ved å jobbe distribuert passer med bra, kanskje varer det også.

Influences and context

You read something or listen to somebody say something in a talk. Sometimes you think: “hey, this is really great and makes a lot of sense”. You go back to your job and apply what you learned. The missing piece here is this: you can’t just take the thought and methods somebody else came up with in a different context and apply them directly think you will achieve the same results.
You will see this time and time again. Somebody got inspired and then without context applies it to his or her job. It is lunacy.

Even though this is lunacy, businesses and people all over the world do this. The proof for this statement lies in the amount of gurus and thought leaders making a living giving general advice.
The fault does not lie with those who make a living doing this. Everyone is free to make their living as they self choose as long as it doesn’t harm anyone. The fault lies with us. The people who do this without thinking or silently ablige when someone else does this.

When you see a quote and a name in a slide. You usually know it’s all down hill from there on.

It is perfectly fine to get inspired and learn from others. That is how we grow and aquire new insights. What is not fine is doing so without thinking. Applying methods without considering the context _you are in_ and how that might influence your new found ideas. Blindly applying methods that worked for someone is not a good thing and it will never provide you with the envisioned end result.