Entries from December 2016 ↓

Fascinating article on health care data privacy leak

If you aren’t following Troy Hunt (and you care at all about information security — which you should) you should be.

A recent post of his went into detail on a poorly-secured server which left thousands of Indian citizens’ health care data exposed to the world.

I posted not too long ago about our expectations of privacy. This is exactly the sort of situation where nobody was hacked or infiltrated, but sensitive information was out there for the taking for months before anybody noticed.  This got a lot of attention (once it got into the right hands) because it was medical data — if these had been chat logs, it would probably all still be available for download.


Staying friends with your team

I had a conversation recently with a colleague about the challenges of having certain types of management conversations with a team that you’re socially close to. To put it another way, is it possible to deliver difficult messages to your friends? More broadly: does staying friends with your team compromise your managerial effectiveness?

When I started in management, the team I was given was the same team where I had been an individual contributor. In a situation like that, there are certainly some pitfalls: others on the team might be resentful they were passed over for the role, a close friendship with a colleague may be viewed as favoritism in the new team structure, and so on. That’s a difficult (but common) situation and makes the transition to management even harder than it is normally.

But let’s step past that scenario and into the “steady state” of management. You’re working closely with your team, have shared values and culture, and develop a strong working relationship. You eat lunch with them, invite them to social gatherings, give them holiday gifts, and so on. Some of them will undoubtedly be the people you are more likely to be friends with than others. In some ways, it’s not a question of whether you’ll become friends with individuals on your team, it’s what the impact of that will be.  From what I’ve seen, there are three main areas of concern:

  1. Delivering difficult messages
  2. Fairness (and the perception of fairness)
  3. Your own upward mobility.

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