Principles, Not Directives

To inspire innovation requires giving teams freedom to explore

DEV.BIZ.OPS

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While this is supposed to be a weekly publication, some weeks are just too busy to sit down and write. Such was the case with my trip to Singapore last week. First, it was just a week, so three days are already lost in a haze of jetlag. Then, because it is just a week, I was packing in the meetings.

Me taking selfies in the AWS Singapore office
Me taking selfies in the AWS Singapore office

I would show you my calendar for that week, but it would be a sea of blue blocks one after the other. I normally advise people not to do this and to purposefully schedule in think time during the week. In this instance though, I felt I had to make up for two years lost to COVID and not connecting with my network in Singapore. The consequences of such a hectic agenda was sore feet, no time to write, and crashing in my bed before 10 pm every night.

I am not complaining though. I felt fortunate to even have a week available to spend time with so many awesome people in the Singapore tech community. Some were old friends and some were new faces. I sat down with founders, IT leaders, investors, and influencers. The incredible diversity of people, backgrounds, and ideas made for an informative and inspiring week.

I tend to find my most rewarding and enriching meetings happen over meals. There is a phrase called “breaking bread” which describes fostering deep and meaningful connections over a meal, an act as old as humanity itself. Thus it was Saturday morning, the last day of my stay in Singapore, that I had a moment of epiphany breaking bread over a classic Singaporean breakfast of kaya toast and soft cooked eggs with a friend and IT executive.

Kaya toast and soft cooked eggs, breakfast of champions
Kaya toast and soft cooked eggs, breakfast of champions

My friend has had quite a long and successful career as a Chief Information Security Officer and IT leader. He has helped transform the security and technology posture for a range of firms across many industries. If there is one thread that has weaved its way through every single one of his experiences, it would be the question of culture.

In his relatively new role, the challenges he faces are multifold. A significant percentage of the apps and…

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DEV.BIZ.OPS

Thoughts on developers, digital transformation, startups, community building & engineering culture. Author is Mark Birch @ AWS 👉 https://twitter.com/marksbirch