You have 0 further articles remaining this month. Join for free to read unlimited articles.


It is common for Staff Plus Individual Contributors (ICs) to be “parachuted” into teams that are struggling (e.g. delivering, reacting to incidents, etc.). These problems are compounded when the teams are involved in high priority deliverables. At Recursion, with our “We Learn” value, the right thing to do for these teams and the business is to help them figure out how to get back on track. Temporarily embedding Staff Plus ICs on these teams provides this extra help and improves success around the company priorities.

In the last 18 months, I have embedded on two different teams across business units with a diverse group of people (engineers, data scientists, operations, and product managers) to successfully deliver on company priorities by improving the health and productivity of the teams. Working together, we improved our delivery on quarterly goals from 30% to 90% in a span of two quarters. 

In this talk, I will share my learnings with the process of embedding broken down into stages. For each stage, I will describe the focus areas, key relationships to build and nurture, outcomes to anticipate and finally how to unembed, making the team self-sufficient and self-confident in their ability to deliver. Leading with empathy is the central theme of my talk; how you can mold yourself to get the best out of each individual, and grow the team to deliver. As the team grows in confidence, I will go over how you can step back but also weave a safety net to ensure you are there to catch them if they fall. Finally, how you can be unembedded from the team as they transition to a healthy state. This talk will build on the basis of an article that is scheduled to be published with LeadDev.