This morning Clockwise hosted Halftime: How to Recharge Your Winning Team, a live virtual pep rally designed to help technical managers re-energize their teams going into the second half of the year.
During the event, our VP of Engineering Dan Kador announced our latest product launch: Conflict notifications. Read on for a short overview of the new functionality and a recap of our star-studded event.
Introducing Conflict notifications
Seeing tons of meetings when you pop open your calendar is tough enough. Add conflicts and double or triple-booked meetings to the mix, and it’s a surefire recipe for a stressful week and the Sunday Scaries.
Already, when you mark meetings flexible in Clockwise, we automatically resolve your and your team’s conflicts. Occasionally, we can’t resolve a conflict without your input – perhaps it’s too close to a meeting time or scheduled outside of someone’s working hours.
Starting today, you'll get notified about unresolved meeting conflicts before they happen, and we make it simple to reschedule them. It’s all part of our goal to help you create a schedule you love.
Here’s how it works:
- View meeting conflicts (and what’s causing them) right in the Clockwise sidebar, email, and Slack.
- Reschedule or resolve these meeting conflicts in a couple clicks with our smart scheduling suggestions.
- Clockwise will suggest the best times to meet, taking into account your Focus Time, working hours, meeting preferences, lunch, travel time, and more.
To start using conflict notifications today, mark more of your meetings as flexible! We’ll handle the rest.
This time of the year is business halftime. It’s the perfect opportunity to consider hitting reset on your team’s priorities, operations, and culture. Our event featured inspiring presentations, hands-on workshops, and a whole lot of motivation. Early registrants received a box of goodies to help them recharge, refuel, and reset during the live event.
Meet our accomplished panel:
- Ryan Atkins, Head of Engineering Ops at Asana. Ryan previously held roles at Dropbox and Stripe.
- Wade Chambers, CTO & SVP of Engineering at Included Health. Wade has previously worked at Twitter and Yahoo.
- Vicky Thomas, VP of Product at Clockwise. Vicky led product at Rivet and Vivint Smart Home.
- Anna Dearmon Kornick, Head of Community at Clockwise. Anna is a celebrated time management and personal productivity coach.
Check out the video to watch the whole thing, or read our recap below!
“Right now it’s June,” Clockwise Co-Founder and CEO Matt Martin began. “We’re a little bit more than half way through the year. You can think of this like halftime. During halftime, both teams pause, they rest, and they reflect on what they’ve accomplished so far. And, importantly, they adjust their strategy in order to ensure they finish strong.”
Product roadmap update
Dan Kador began by outlining Clockwise’s product philosophy: “Help organizations achieve ambitious goals by creating time for important work and preventing burnout.”
Besides announcing conflict notifications, Kador also highlighted Clockwise Links, which enables you skip the back-and-forth and surfaces the best times to meet based on your Focus Time and preferences. He also announced a recent improvement to our rescheduling flow.
We’re also excited to announce the following items on our product roadmap:
- Finer controls on when a meeting can move during the week
- Scheduling suggestions for group meetings with external attendees
- Support for Microsoft 365
Tips for leading in uncertain times
The panel discussion covered a range of topics, like leadership in uncertain times, time management and team building. The first question to the panel concerned how to reset effectively.
Wade Chambers talked about how halftime, for him, is all about reconnecting with his purpose and restructuring his week to be sure his calendar reflects his purpose and larger goals. Ryan Atkins likes to use halftime to make sure he’s getting enough Focus Time. Vicky Thomas makes time to ensure her to-do lists reflect her priorities. “Resetting means consciously taking that time,” Vicky said. “It’s all about making sure we’re focused on the most important things.” Vicky likes to take this time to “Marie Kondo” her habits, as well as rest and recharge.
The next question concerned adjusting how your technical team spends time in light of changing circumstances. “With people, you have to focus on being effective, not efficient,” Wade Chambers said. “With computers you can focus on being efficient. But not with people. That effectiveness for me has always depended on three things: Trust, the degree to which you have it; Clarity on my priorities and how we’re going to achieve them; And third, the degree of influence that you have and what you’re focused on with that influence.”
Wade talked about the importance of trust between team members, between teams, and between the team and manager. He advised ensuring everyone is clear on the team’s goals and priorities. Lastly, everyone needs to know who has what influence and authority to do what needs to be done to achieve the team’s goals and priorities.
Ryan Atkins shared how he evolves operational priorities while leading a united team. He said it’s helpful to trust people on the ground to solve problems. “This might mean holding off on some implementation of standards – introducing a new tool or spinning up a new process. You might pause on some of those efficiency gains and allow people to have more control at the local level.”
Investing in culture
Vicky Thomas addressed how leaders can innovate culture without doing away with beloved cultural touchstones and rituals. Vicky stressed that culture isn’t optional. You must invest in it regularly, or (like a neglected houseplant), it will die. Making these investments is harder when times are tough, but cheap investments can work wonders. For example, Vicky’s team would have a new person lead standup every day and each day the leader would bring in a simple icebreaker/team building activity like standup BINGO or themed Zoom backgrounds.
The Q&A finished out with one piece of advice each panelist would give for navigating these challenging times. Wade began with a warning to be aware of ego and blind spots. It’s time to reflect, inspect, and be vulnerable. Ryan warned against falling victim to recency bias when making decisions. Vicky recommended resetting every day. She spends 15 minutes at the beginning and 15 minutes at the end of each day. And then every Friday she spends time determining which five things she needs to do the next week to “win the week.”
An audience member asked how managers can be sure their reports are actually resting and recharging. Ryan advised listeners to measure how much time people are taking off and to create a budget and let people know there’s money there for that purpose. Vicky playfully nudges people on Slack to stop working on vacation. Wade said it’s important to model rest and recharge yourself. Don’t send messages after hours or on vacation.
Wade also talked about how to give feedback that engenders trust. His advice: Listen, park your ego, and make it about them. His advice was to ask yourself: “Do they get it, do they want it, and can they do it?”
Start marking more of your meetings as flexible in order to start using conflict notifications today. If you have feedback or questions about what’s coming in the product, we want to hear it! Share your comments with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org