Week 1

One thing you will find out about me, over the coming weeks, is I like open communication. So expect more of this! I would also like start a wider conversation with the team about the ongoing type of dialogue you want between us.

So my first five days, what do I think? Lets start with the Town Hall I attended on Monday. It was really interesting to see Phil Clarke in the Town Hall and get a real feel for his enthusiasm for the people at the ‘sharp end’ of the business and his staggering attention to detail. I really liked the directness of the talk and I was also really impressed by the determination to make some really difficult decisions this year to turn around the Tesco ‘supertanker’; that kind of bold decision making in senior management always reassures me.

The Tesco strategy and its strap line ‘Together making what matters better’ really resonated with me and my thinking about how business’s and teams should be run. With statements like ‘defining the value a customer places on what we do’ aligns with my thinking that we should focus on outcomes not process, which in turn is informed by the Agile Manifesto with it’s emphasis on working software over comprehensive documentation. I was also excited to read in the strategy pack that part of the Tesco vision is to become  ‘Modern, Innovative and Full of Ideas’. I interpret this as permission to change the way we do things; providing it is the right thing to do for our customers.

So what about when I got to spend some time in the office. Here are my initial reflections

* Friendly. The people are really friendly, both in and out of meetings. It is certainly the friendliest office I have ever walked into and I have been in a few!
* Enthusiastic. I have found some really enthusiastic people who really want to make the Digital team work.

* Skilled. The people I have managed to have 121’s with so far have really impressed me with their knowledge and skills
* Process. There are processes to get things done but not really any worse than the processes I am used to in Telefonica. Spanish procurement processes run out of Germany, anybody? Also, we are allowed to challenge and improve them
* Walls. A bit bare. I would like to see us ‘broadcast’ a lot more of what we are doing so I have ordered some whiteboards and will be encouraging all of you to put more of what you are doing on the wall
* Suits. I am not used to seeing so many suits and smart people. Feel free to wear what you are comfortable in all week
* Sunny

As the Open Source movement is all about sharing I would like to share a few things with you.

My favourite song at the moment. John Grant. GMF from the Pale Green Ghosts album. A beautiful song but please don’t play in front of any children, Vicars or elderly people – the lyrics would not be rated PG.

I spoke a lot about the Netflix values and culture. I really urge you to read it, it really is inspiring. It can be found here http://gigaom.com/2013/01/29/netflix-company-culture/

We are working in a world where the following happens.

Years to 100 million users:
eBay: 15
Linkedin: 8
Tumblr: 6
Twitter: 5
iPod: 5.5
Facebook: 4.5
iPhone: 4
iPad: 2.5
Instagram: 2
Google+: 1

Have a great weekend. I certainly aim to and am looking forward to coming back on Monday.

Andrew.

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