Subvert from Within

Wow! What I thought was being grouchy with people that don’t care about candidate experience actually has a name now, thanks to Kathy Sierra. Kathy recently blogged Subvert from Within: a User-focused Employee Guide. All I can say is “amen sister” and thanks for explaining my personality flaw.

I write down ideas for blog posts when they come to me. A long time ago, I wrote down the following phrase: “complaining is a competency” (yeah, I might have had a glass of wine in my hand, so what?). But it didn’t seem right to me because, though I feel like I am a uniquely skilled complainer, other complainers bugged the heck out of me. Kathy’s posts highlights what makes one a successful and *valuable* complainer: customer focused intent and believing that you can impact the solution.

Many people are comfortable in pointing out what’s going wrong. The bright and passionate difference-makers (thought I would never use that terms after hearing it ad nauseum during last college football season, but here we are) know how to influence those around them to inspire change (the kind of change that delights customers because what else is important?).

I just can’t think of anyone to whom Kathy’s advice does not apply. Product developers: delight your customers. Recruiters: ensure your candidates are having a first rate experience. If that isn’t happening, subvert from within!

This was just a good reminder to me that I could be doing more. And these passionate, ornery change-agents are exactly the type of folks I LOVE to see hired here at Microsoft.

via John Porcaro here and Shawn Morrissey here

Comments (7)

  1. Canadian Headhunter says:

    People hate subversives. Especially when it’s their work you’re trying to subvert.

  2. Brad says:

    This is a fantastic guide! Everyone should have this somewhere that makes it easily reference-able.


  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    CH-I’m accountable to shareholders, not co-workers. Granted, there’s a way to subvert without ticking people off, but at the end of the day, doing what’s right for the customers and the company is what is more important. I’m willing to take an unpopular stand if I think it’s the right thing to do.

    Brad-yeah, Kathy pretty much rocks.

  4. Ma’am. I like the boldness of your stand but if you said that in an interview you’d never get hired. You’d also be very (very) lonely at work unless you came in as the ass-kicking new boss, prepared to handle the negative feedback.

  5. Paul says:

    Subversive!? This manifesto is common sense. If you aren’t creating positive user experiences, what are you doing?

    It’s a sorry state of affairs when doing what we are supposed to be doing is considered subversion.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Paul-it might be common sense for you but many people are just complainers or lack the confidence to speak out, or they aren’t partcularly engaged in their work or they get side-tracked by tactics and forget to ask themselves "why are we doing this anyway?".

    If you have worked in an environment where everyone is how Kathy described, you are very fortunate. I bet that makes for some noisy meetings ; )

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Paul and Michael (CH)-one of you says it’s common sense and one of you says it’s out of line. I think that’s very funny. I’m imagining the 2 of you arms wrestling right now but I don’t know what you look like.

    Michael-I did in fact get hired and I’m not lonely. Trust me, I wear it on my sleeve.