Thriving Through Change: Leading Through Uncertainty

Navigating change and building resilient teams is a complex challenge that many organizations face. Times of change can lead to uncertainty, disagreement, and a breakdown in trust. These challenges can have a cumulative effect, creating a negative feedback loop that leads to a downward spiral in team performance making it difficult to recover and achieve desired outcomes.

In this talk, I will share my people-centric approach to navigating change and building teams that can overcome challenges and deliver value sustainably. I will provide practical advice based on my real-world experience on how to build and sustain high-performing teams by exploring strategies to: 

  • Facilitate functional leadership

  • Maintain healthy conflict

  • Identify and measure meaningful metrics 

  • Create an environment that engages, connects, and supports people

What's the focus of your work these days?

I lead a team within DevRel that sustains the platform that empowers the larger Google Cloud organization to build, run, distribute and support the open source sample code that helps Google Cloud developers succeed. We have many cross-functional stakeholders inside and outside the company.  

What's the motivation for your talk at QCon London 2024?

The industry is undergoing momentous change, and a balance between supporting the individuals and achieving team cohesion is critical. Hopefully, I can provide some new insights and framing of the problems we face to spark some conversations on sustainable work practices.

How would you describe your main persona and target audience for this session?

This talk is mainly geared towards managers and technical leads looking to optimize and align their team efforts though it can be helpful to anyone who is trying to figure out how to recognize and navigate ambiguity in their environment. 

Is there anything specific that you'd like people to walk away with after watching your session?

The biggest lesson that I hope people are able to take away from this talk is that while there is no one path that leads to a high-performing team, there are different approaches to enhance team collaboration and enable a culture of continuous improvement. I hope we continue the conversations in the conference hallway track and through the DORA community.


Jennifer Davis

Engineering Manager @Google, Previously @Microsoft and @Chef, Author of "Effective DevOps" and "Modern System Administration"

Jennifer Davis is an Engineering Manager at Google, systems engineer, public speaker, and author. She is committed to building high-performance teams, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and building communities. With over two decades of experience, Jennifer brings a wealth of expertise in systems engineering with a focus on operability and reliability. Her background in systems, agile, and DevOps enables her to guide teams in building robust systems while empowering engineers to reach their full potential in a sustainable manner.

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Tuesday Apr 9 / 05:05PM BST ( 50 minutes )


Mountbatten (6th Fl.)


DevOps DevEx Patterns for Scale Leading staff+


Slides are not available


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