Influencing a system as complex as the contemporary product engineering organization can feel daunting—even for senior leaders who operate by design in situations of ambiguity.


This talk explores one of the most common contexts for that ambiguity: the structures and signals of power in your workplace. Formal org charts and values statements can serve us well in situations that they were designed to address, but they often fail us as we attempt to bring change to bear. All organizations have a shadow—the rules, people, and hierarchies that influence our team’s cultures and decisions. Participants in this workshop will explore that shadow, hold it up against their organization’s formal rules and structures, consider their position in it and what purpose (or harm) it serves, and decide how to leverage it even as they bring that shadow to light.