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Safety as a fundamental pillar when building robust equipment

Sogeti Labs
March 25, 2022

At the beginning of the year, I published a photograph that showed my stack of books to read during this 2022. We are in March now and two of them have gone to the reading shelf. The first was Amy Webb’s “The Nine Giants” and the second was James Clear’s “Atomic Habits.” Let me take advantage and insert the image here😉

With regards to the first book, I would say that it has helped me a lot in understanding how biased AI is today. The bias is present in the data, in the algorithms, and even among the people or tribes, as they are called in the book, who develop it. Knowing this, and again thanks to the book, I have managed to discover a new form of bias, that of the study programs of the main universities where the members of the AI ​​tribes are trained. That leg was kept hidden from me and it was not until reading it, that it became obvious to me that I can understand why some AI models that were put into production did NOT finish working. Well, rather, they behaved like a complete disaster. This helped me to remain firm in the idea that disciplines such as philosophy.

In my case, every year I increase the number of books I read books on humanity, as it helps me face challenges from another perspective. And the truth is that it is helping me a lot in my daily life.

Regarding the second book, the greatest learning obtained has been with respect to the reformulation of some of my objectives and evaluation metrics (remind the reader that I use the OKR methodology to define and monitor the progress of my objectives, both quarterly and annual). I really liked a phrase that the author repeats on several occasions and that reads “a little exercise is more than no exercise”. With this simple phrase, I have managed to get closer to the 1% daily improvement that James Clear aims to achieve. The truth is that before, there were many times when I boycotted myself simply because I understood that, if I couldn’t dedicate enough time to it or I didn’t feel like spending 1 hour doing such a task, it wasn’t worth doing it. Honestly, that simple phrase has helped me tremendously and I’m glad for it.

Another aspect I am working on is trying to automate more tasks in order to turn them into habits. I struggle to free up space in my brain, and this automation through habits and David Allen‘s lists are tools that help.

Finally, sharing that it has also helped me to classify, as undesirable, some habit that was not completely aligned with my vision. Once detected, it remains to complete the process described by the author to end up removing it from the portfolio, but I will not continue as I do not want to make a complete spoiler.

Well, I’ve summarized the comments about the first two books of the year 2022, I will focus on the one I am currently reading, ” When spiders weave together, they can tie up a lion “, by Daniel Coyle. The book reminds me in a certain way of others I have read by authors such as Simon Sinek or John C. Maxwell. But although it bears a certain similarity, the examples used to illustrate the message are different and very useful.

In the first part, the author talks about how safety is the cornerstone of any high-efficiency team. It is not a new concept, as I have already mentioned, but the example used to make it visible is. This time it deals with the case of Google versus Overture, and how Google leaders were open to all kinds of questions, such as participating with the rest of the organization in hockey games on Fridays, while in Overture, people were more concerned about their own status within the organization, waging ego battles.

This open-door feature takes me back to when I read the book “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr. It talks about how Google implemented OKRs as an agile work methodology. Through them, everyone in the organization could access the objectives of any of their colleagues, from managers to the newly landed. This translates, as stated above, into another example of openness and accessibility.

Aspects such as those mentioned, without a doubt, help Google to position itself among the world’s leading companies. Therefore, that way of getting together, of trying to ensure that people have trustworthy environments where they can express their thoughts, doubts, ideas,… I think it is mandatory for any business organization. So let’s build trusting, collaborative workplaces to make teams stronger and more efficient. Cover photo thanks to  Thirdman  on  Pexels

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.

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