About Michael Merrill

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So far Michael Merrill has created 21 blog entries.

Helen Chiang of Mojang Studios (Makers of Minecraft)

In this episode, Kenning Partner Daryl Ogden speaks with Helen Chiang, head of Mojang Studios. Daryl and Helen’s relationship goes back many years, to the integration of Mojang, the Swedish creator of Minecraft, into the world of Microsoft’s Xbox. Despite the troubling reality of most acquisitions, they talk about how Helen and her team ensured continued growth and player satisfaction.  

Helen Chiang of Mojang Studios (Makers of Minecraft)2023-06-20T10:39:47-04:00

Women in Tech: Abby Kearns, advisor and investor

In this installment of our Women in Tech Series, Kenning Partner Cathy Boeckmann talks with Abby Kearns. Abby is a C-level business and technology executive who has held top roles at Puppet, Cloud Foundry Foundation, and Pivotal Software, to name just a few of the influential organizations she’s been a part of. She talks about how two roles – project manager and product manager – opened her eyes to the world of tech and inspired her strategic style as a leader. She shares her passion for enterprise infrastructure and for being a part of the open-source movement. Focused on the challenges of scale and complexity, Abby offers an inspiring take on how all of us, and women in particular, can look for ways to get more comfortable with risk. 

Women in Tech: Abby Kearns, advisor and investor2023-04-04T17:00:28-04:00

“Thrive With a Hybrid Workplace” with Felice Ekelman & Julie Kantor

Kenning partner Cathy Boeckmann talks with Julie Kantor, a business psychologist, and Felice Ekelman, an employment attorney, about their new book, Thrive With a Hybrid Workplace: Step-by-Step Guidance from the Experts.In this conversation, Julie and Felice describe what makes their book unique: a dual focus on both the “institutional” challenges of flexible work, like setting fair and clear policies, and the need to face up to fundamental leadership imperatives like ensuring good communication and fostering connection across a hybrid workforce.

“Thrive With a Hybrid Workplace” with Felice Ekelman & Julie Kantor2023-02-15T20:17:42-05:00

Philip Holt of Undead Labs

Kenning Partner Daryl Ogden speaks with Philip Holt, head of Undead Labs, about his experiences running a gaming studio within the Xbox empire.  Philip explains his unusual introduction to the business of gaming, and why he found joining Undead to replace a charismatic founder both challenging and rewarding.  Daryl and Philip explore the deeper meaning of “State of Decay”, and how it might reflect on our own pandemic world.

Philip Holt of Undead Labs2023-01-18T11:37:54-05:00

Effective Business Communications in a World of Distraction

Join Kenning Partners Cathy Boeckmann and Jerry Stauduhar as they speak with Mike Merrill about the challenges facing strategic business communicators today. Despite a wealth of data–or maybe even because it is so plentiful–drawing out the “so what” and generating business insights seems ever more difficult.

Effective Business Communications in a World of Distraction2023-10-06T01:30:10-04:00

Coach Ron Adams on Coaching Across the Generations

Continuing our series with Assistant Coach Ron Adams of the Golden State Warriors, Kenning Partner Daryl Ogden talks with Ron about coaching across the generations.  A collegiate and professional coach for over 50 years, Ron has seen a lot of changes, but as he tells Daryl, he’s had to adapt himself in order to “stay in the game.”

Coach Ron Adams on Coaching Across the Generations2022-12-15T18:22:42-05:00

Coach Ron Adams on Working with Superstars

“The Guru of NBA Defense” is how Raptors coach Nick Nurse recently referred to Ron Adams, assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors whose time with the franchise has included 3 NBA championships.  Ron has coached not only Steph Curry and Kevin Garnett, but David Robinson, Ray Allen, and James Harden. In this wide-reaching conversation, Ron discusses with Kenning Partner Daryl Ogden how he builds rapport with players, especially superstars.

Coach Ron Adams on Working with Superstars2022-12-15T18:28:28-05:00

Gaining Competitive Advantage through 360° Feedback

Conventionally, we think of feedback as something we get from our immediate supervisor. But Kenning Partner Laurie Burkland Waller explains to Mike Merrill how we can use 360° feedback to broaden our perspective and ultimately provide us a competitive advantage.

Gaining Competitive Advantage through 360° Feedback2022-12-15T18:34:08-05:00

Time-travelling the Leadership Continuum

How is leadership like time travel?  Kenning Partner Daryl Ogden explains to Mike Merrill an important tool he employs in his coaching practice:  “The Leadership Continuum”.  In this framework, Leadership is composed of three elements, all intrinsically associated with a facet of time:  Administration, with the past; Management, with the present; and Vision, with the future.  

Time-travelling the Leadership Continuum2022-12-15T18:37:03-05:00

Shannon Loftis of Xbox Studios

On the eve of her announced retirement from Xbox Game Studios, longtime Microsoft veteran Shannon Loftis met with Kenning Partner Daryl Ogden to discuss her storied career.  Shannon talks about the early days of gaming at Microsoft, and what it was like to be a woman in that hard-driving environment.  She explains how Microsoft’s culture has changed in the intervening years, and how she has as well.  A timely talk by Melinda French Gates provided some rules to live by for Shannon, guidelines she still shares with the women she supports today.

Shannon Loftis of Xbox Studios2022-12-15T18:55:44-05:00
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