Exploring 'A Seat at the Table' by Mark Schwartz

· December 30, 2017

Recently, I had the pleasure of delving into a modern classic: Mark Schwartz’s “A Seat at the Table”. Let me tell you, it’s a must-read.

Schwartz’s writing style is both engaging and informative, making this book an invaluable resource for leaders within contemporary IT organizations. Throughout my reading, I found myself enthusiastically nodding along in agreement, mentally echoing phrases like “YES!” and “Exactly!”

The book delves into the evolving role of the CIO in the age of lean and agile practices. Concepts such as DevOps, autonomous squads, and automated testing herald a shift in mindset and culture, necessitating corresponding adjustments in leadership approaches. I particularly appreciated Schwartz’s analogies between open source culture and that of a modern, agile IT organization.

One of the book’s greatest strengths is its accessibility to senior leadership. It’s written in a language that resonates with those already “seated at the table,” facilitating understanding and fostering dialogue. In fact, I’ve already recommended it to over 15 individuals, and the leadership at my current client is launching a book circle centered around it next week.

As a habit, I underline notable quotes and fold corners of pages in books I find particularly impactful. Attached is a snapshot of my copy of “A Seat at the Table” after my initial read-through, showcasing the sections I deemed noteworthy.

Pages that contained stuff that I think was particularly important to remember in this book

In conclusion, kudos to Mark Schwartz for penning such a fantastic read. I eagerly anticipate exploring more of his work in the future.

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