Written by

The same rookie mistake I made on my transformation journey into marathoning is one that I see a lot of organizations make on their Agile journey: not taking the time to find the right shoes. Let me explain.

Me with some of the tools that set my foundation to become a marathoner.

“Doing” agile is not enough

I thought I had a solid start on my transformation from couch potato to marathoner by focusing first on the routines and habits of runners. I felt like I was a runner because I was DOING the things runners do, like running 5-days a week, eating healthier, and strength training. Many organizations fall into the same trap. They think they’re agile because they’re going through the same motions and copying best practices. But then my mother saw me running out in the neighborhood and pointed out something that changed everything. She gave me the same perspective that I’ve given clients looking to become agile, and it blew my mind. 

(more…)
Written by

My client is still happy. 

My goal is to coach myself through a transformation from couch potato to marathoner (well, a half-marathon). It’s been life-changing. 

Behavior science is the secret sauce

The barriers and obstacles I experience with “becoming a marathoner” are similar to those experienced by organizations wanting to “become agile”. The secret sauce lies in behavior science. Through this marathoning process, I’ve uncovered my own behavior-based twist of the Deming cycle and Lean Startup and am using them to inspire a Lean Performance Management model for teams and organizations. It’s always fun when personal and professional worlds collide!

The Behavior-Change Cycle

Below is the Behavior-Change Cycle I created for myself inspired by the Deming Cycle and how behavior scientists approach organizational change:

The Behavior Change Cycle I created for my transformation
(more…)
Written by

– And why on earth am I even doing this???

I just took on the most challenging client–MYSELF.

Inspired by friends who are marathoners, I decided to cultivate what I’m calling a Marathon Mindset. I’m coaching myself towards achieving increased flow in the presence of variability. My aspiration is to emerge from this COVID-19 crisis a better person. Through this process, which involves training for an actual marathon, I’m learning that my own barriers and obstacles to “become a marathoner” are similar to those experienced by organizations wanting to “become agile”. This aha moment was unexpected, but transformative as an Agile Coach. I now believe the Marathon Mindset is the Agile Mindset because it simultaneously fosters both stability and agility through continuous and incremental evolution instead of a big bang transformation. Below I share some insights into what I’m learning for the benefit of Agile change agents everywhere.

This is me trying on my brand new Stockholm Half Marathon t-shirt. Cool, huh?
(more…)
Written by

Vad är VUCA egentligen och vad betyder Agilt för rekrytering? Det och mycket mer diskuterar vi i det senaste avsnittet av Agila HR-podden med Frida Mangen. Jag med som en av gästerna tillsammans med de andra bakom vår senaste poster Agile Recruiting in a Nutshell.

Vi hade mycket spännande diskussioner tillsammans under själva framtagandet av postern, och så även här i studion – och vi är inte alltid helt överens 🙂 Jag delar med mig av lite av mina tankar kring hur man kan arbeta med rekrytering på ett Agilt sätt och hur man kan rekrytera för en Agil organisation.

Lyssna här på avsnittet “Rekrytering i en VUCA-värld” här >


Written by

The recruiting and onboarding process is something that often has to be adapted when organizations “go Agile”. We were curious about what can be done to adapt the process for the people working with recruiting, what it would mean for the candidate, and how and what to look for when hiring for Agility. So we got together as a cross-functional team to look at this with our different perspectives, Frida Mangen, known from the popular pod Agila HR-podden, Thomas Eklöf, and Nils Hallén, both experts on recruiting and authors of books like “Innovative Recruiting (in Swedish), Björn Sandberg Agile HR and transformation expert at Dandy, and myself, to see if we could create a poster as a first step. The work of creating the poster started in October 2019 and was paused a bit during COVID19. Now we are so happy to be able to share it with you after 8 months!

Free Download of the Poster

Free Download of the Agile Recruiting in a Nutshell poster here (PDF) >

Modern Agile Recruiting Principles

You can think of these principles as a lighthouse. If you are in sight of the light you are on the right path, but if you lose sight of it then you are probably off course.

Learning
Dare to experiment! Test new ideas, gather data, learn, and improve! Beware that you still need to treat your candidates equally to sustain a reliable process.

Psychological Safety
Human relations before processes and tools. Consider how you can create an environment where the candidate experiences psychological safety. This will help you to assess how the candidate behaves in a normal setting, otherwise, you risk just assess their behavior under stress.

Potential
Potential eat experience for breakfast! Potential is critical for your future success. Rather than looking for readiness, i.e. previous experience, look for the right traits, motivators, capabilities, and behaviors.

Creating Value
Adopt a dynamic mindset for recruiting. Evolve the way you work with recruitment by continuously improving yourself and your processes.

We all love how Modern Agile supports everyone thinking and acting in ways that support Agility, that is why we created a version of the Modern Agile by Joshua Kerievsky specifically for Agile recruiting.

(more…)
Written by

We asked Paolo Damelio, one of our experienced Agile coaches at Dandy People, to share some of his best tips and tools on how to maintain sustainable and High Performing Teams, now that many of the team members are working from home.

Hi Paolo! What are your thoughts on the situation right now?

This is a challenging time for everyone. For us as individuals, for organizations and for the collaboration inside teams as well as cross-team and cross-organization. And it is a challenge that, I believe, will take us to a place we only could have dreamed of just a few months ago. There is no going back to where we were before.

(more…)
Written by

The need for adaptability and innovation have probably never been bigger, and we need to use the force from our employees. We need to connect the people in our organization using new formats, perhaps being forced into some of them. Also, the distancing has affected all of us, some are suffering more than others. The need for us as human beings to maintain and build trustworthy relationships is being put to test now that we have replaced the small talk by the coffee machine with Zoom meetings. 

We are perhaps seeing the world through new eyes, and maybe even reevaluate our business as well? Can we continue as we did before and still survive? Or, are there ways to move us forward and actually help us be better? And, can the use of a Buddy System be the help we need to help us do this?

Adapt and Excel – it´s All About the People 

To be able to survive in today’s business climate our focus needs to be on our ability to adapt – and to act fast. But that is not enough. Our organizations have to continue to grow and excel to stay alive, and not standstill.

A prerequisite for us to adapt and move fast is to secure that people are responsible for workflows, decisions, actions, and have the authority to make the rapid changes needed.  The type of organization that meets these demands best is a learning organization where it is possible to create endurance and the speed needed in a complex (VUCA) world.

Learning Organization. For many, the traditional top-down management organization has reached its maximum capacity and is unable to obtain, plan, develop, implement and follow up its operations at the pace needed in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

(more…)
Written by

In this webinar we share our own story of what Agile has meant for u as individuals and our career. We talk about why Agility is needed today, and what a Learning Organization is and how it can support Business Agility. We also share some tips and tools you can use in your work as well as a glimpse of what it means to be an Agile Team and how you can become an Agile Transformational Leader. You will also gain an understanding of the content of the Online Agile Trainings from Dandy People.

A new live session of this webinar will come, but until then you can enjoy the recorded version here.

You will also gain an understanding of the content of the Online Agile Trainings from Dandy People.

Visit our online training center here to access the online trainings that are part of the webinar: https://www.agileonlinetrainings.com/

Written by

In this webinar, Mia will share ideas and examples that enable Agile change and Agile ways of working, making any organization high performing by removing hindering structures and empowering the employees to deliver customer- and employee value.

In the world of today speed and flexibility is even more important than ever before. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what our organizations have been constructed for.

(more…)
Written by

In this blog post, I would like to share my overall learnings and 7 key takeaways, from an HR perspective, one of the largest and successful Agile transformations that I have taken part in at the Telecom Company Ericsson. I would love to listen in to your reflections too, so please feel free to share your thoughts, challenges, and experiences in the comments below.

Background

The part of Ericsson where I worked, had a need to improve the quality, drastically shorten the lead time for delivery and increase customer value within the same, or even shrinking, budget. After searching both internally and externally for “best of breed” in terms of product development, we decided to go the Lean & Agile way. 

During this period, I was an HR Business Partner for 2 units, each one of them was + 1800 people. This was combined with the role of Lean & Agile HR Driver for the business unit (BU) and People Strategy Driver, which in turn led to the role of HR representative in the BU Lean & Agile change program, basically a project office for the transformation.

(more…)
Written by

Det här är en inspelning av det webinar som vi höll den 2a april med ca 75 deltagare.

April 15 I will do this webinar in English too, please join that here if you are interested >

In this presentation, Mia will share ideas and examples that enable Agile change and Agile ways of working, making any organization high performing by removing hindering structures and empowering the employees to deliver customer- and employee value.

In the world of today speed and flexibility is even more important than ever before. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what our organizations have been constructed for.

(more…)
Written by

Ofta när jag kommer in som agil coach för att stödja i en agil transformation har organisationen så fullt upp med det dagliga arbetet att man knappt mäktar med att tänka förändring. Förhoppningen är att den agila coachen gör förändringen åt organisationen, men om så skulle vara fallet så försvinner ju också förändringen när den agila coachen försvinner. Ett annat sätt att jobba är att göra förändringen i befintliga roller. Under åren  som jag jobbade med agila transformationer som anställd, hade jag en chefsroll som plattform för förändringsarbetet. Jag experimenterade med nya former, utmanade mina kollegor, coachade mina team och utbildade både mig själv och organisationerna i det agila mindsetet. Samtidigt skedde förändringen. 

-Management teamet som tog sig från att jobba med sina egna agendor till gemensam tavla med backlogg, retrospektiv och självorganisering utan avdelningschef.

-De individuella utvecklingssamtalen, som efter ett antal iterationer skedde gemensamt i teamen med respekt för både teamets uppgift och individens utveckling.

-Organisationens gemensamma dag i varje sprint där alla la tid på lärande och utveckling, antingen genom att lära sig själv eller lära ut till andra.

Att engagera mig som interimschef innebär alltså att jag tar på mig samma operativa arbetsuppgifter som ordinarie chef skulle ha haft. När jag satt mig in i det dagliga, ser jag snabbt var det skaver och vilka experiment som skull kunna provas för att ta ett steg i utvecklingen mot en mer agil organisation. Jag är då med och tar ansvar för de möjligheter till lärande experimentet medför och gemensamt tar vi sedan även nästa steg. Så småningom när transformationen har stabiliserats och förändring har blivit en del av den dagliga rytmen är det också dags för mig att kliva av interimstjänsten. När det tillfället blir kommer att visa sig, kanske faller det sig naturligt att ha en chefstjänst mindre då. 🙂

Written by

Many organizations are in need of leveraging Agile across the organization to improve collaboration, shorten lead times and improve quality. One great way to do that is to use Agile online trainings and facilitate the learning journey in different ways and embedding learning in your every-day work.

Since we will only get the impact of doing trainings when people actually use their learnings, starting to act and think differently all online trainings should focusing on driving curiosity, shared learnings and action.

To support organizations in tactics on how to engage and activate people through online trainings we created this poster that shows some ideas on how you can enable continuous learning and growth.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Download the Continuous Learning poster in High Resolution (PDF)

Strategies of how to enable continuous learning in the organization

(more…)
Written by

Webinar med Joaquim Linder från MittMedia/Bonnier News och Mia Kolmodin som facilititator.

Själva webinaret startar 09:00

BAKGRUND & INNEHÅLL
I många organisationer är det svårt och stökigt att jobba med KPIer på ett effektivt sätt. Känner du igen dig i att olika delar av organisationen har olika KPIer (Key Performance Indicators), som ofta mäter det som ”ser bra ut” i stället för vad som egentligen är viktigt, som kanske drar åt olika håll, och ingen agerar på vad de visar?

Om man har ambitionen att skapa en Agil organisation så kan det här vara en viktig systemförändring som behöver ske för att låsa upp organisationen ur dödläget som ofta finns och möjliggöra samarbete och iterativt arbete tvärs över hela organisationen. Välkommen på en djupdykning in i mätbarhetens härliga värld. Lär dig hur rätt KPIer kan hjälpa er att nå visionen genom att möjliggöra effektiva leveranser på strategin.

JOAKIM LINDER
Joaquim Linder är ansvarig på MittMedia för att tydliggöra strategier och göra dem tydliga och möjliga att agera på för de Agila teamen. Hans passion för att leverera kund- och affärsnytta har lett honom till att lära sig allt om hypotesdriven utveckling, KPIer och experimenterande i stället för att leverera lätta men ineffektiva lösningar. I den här sessionen kommer Joaquim att dela med sig av lärdomar, tankesätt och metoder som du själv kan använda för att aligna organisationen, se sanningen och leverera det som skapar värde tillsammans.

Written by

2009, when Lehman Brothers went into bankruptcy, Scania was one of the affected companies. Instead of firing people, the company together with the employees decided to pay 90% of the salary, have a working week of 4 days and 60% of the time in production was spent on education. That gave Scania a stronger position when the recession was over. The employees were more loyal than ever, better educated and ready to ramp up long before the competitors that needed to spend time and money on recruitment and onboarding. 

 At that time, this was an unexpected solution. Today, when hotels and restaurants are empty due to the Corona outbreak, the state is offering a similar solution to restaurants and hotels. The employer will give a short-time layoff to the employees to hopefully be ready to get back to employment when the situation has changed.  

In agile we assume that the reality will change. Methods, principles, the whole mindset is built for an unpredictable future. So let´s use the possibility we have now when we are exposed to so much uncertainty. We can learn more about how we can take new steps of experiment, evaluate, learn, adapt and find a new hypothesis to experiment around. We do already have good examples, stores are offering home-deliveries and companies are redirecting their manufacturing to produce healthcare. Absolut Vodka will produce ethanol for hand sanitizer and flight crew are educated in healthcare. This will give us new experiences and learnings, and give us a better position towards our competitors after the recession period is over. 

(more…)
Written by

To handle the speed of change, complexity, and ambiguity in this challenging situation with the COVID-19 outbreak many of us are in now, we believe an Agile mindset can help us find new innovative solutions together.

Our mission at Dandy People is to support individuals, teams, organizations and societies to overcome challenges and become better together every day. This is why we decided to pre-launch our Agile Online Trainings, before we have all trainings on the platform. So, during this time we offer a 30% rebate to anyone of you who are interested in learning how to enable Agility, plan for the unknown and work and deliver in an Agile way.

Please use the code: PRELAUNCH (valid until March 31st) to get the 30% rebate.

Visit the Agile Learning Center here >

The Agile Online Trainings you can access now are:

  • Agile in a Nutshell – Live
  • Agile Team in a Nutshell – Live
  • Agile Leadership in a Nutshell – Coming soon

These trainings contain videos, infographics, games, interviews, business cases, canvases, workshops, articles and lots of material free to download. Everything to support you in your personal learning journey to leverage Agility. Understanding what it is when it is needed and get you started to work as an Agile team – or improve your existing team, to deliver awesome results together.

We are also moving our live events to an online webinar format, and continuing to building our online Dandy Community

Visit the Agile Learning Center here >

Please use the code: PRELAUNCH (valid until March 31st) to get the 30% rebate.

We have been able to create these trainings with support from the Agile global community and we are so happy to be able to give back to you all in times like this. Thank you so much to everyone involved <3

Written by

For the first time in modern history, most of us have to learn how to work remotely and collaborate online to continue with business as usual and not close down the business just because we close down the office. This is a huge experiment and we should look at it as an opportunity to adapt and learn how to handle the unexpected.

Working remotely from home with kids dressed up for work 🙂

We need to explore how can we run our business just as before, or even better. How can we make people feel like we are sitting and working together with our peers and teammates and do what we usually do to get stuff done, focus, enjoy our workday, have fun and deliver together?

Don’t forget, to get started quickly, try something out and improve from that is way much better than making the perfect plan, and never get started. Just make it good enough for now, and safe enough to try.

Here are some tips on how to do just that based on learnings from the Dandy People-team.

Top 5 Digital Tools that get you started Working Remotely

When making big changes in your ways of working and context it is wise to shorten the feedback loops and focus on making smaller improvements more often. Support your teams in whatever they might need and give them access to tools and coaching in the beginning, but let it be up to them to decide HOW to do the work. If you prioritize feedback and improvements you minimize the risk of disturbing the pace and quality of work and you can more easily adjust to what is happening.

(more…)
Written by

We are living in a world with a higher pace of change and complexity than ever before. Our conventional ways of leading and organizing are struggling hard to stay relevant in this new environment. Therefore, there is a need to think differently and structure ourselves differently to meet the needs of today.

We need to be more flexible with short lead times and able to make quick decisions at the right level, where they have the latest and most relevant information. In this leadership poster, we have captured Transformative Leadership which is a type of leadership that enables Agility in the organization.

FREE Download of the Agile Transformational Leadership poster (PDF) >

Download in Italian >

Download in French >

Join our Training based on this Poster

If you are interested in becoming a Transformational leader in an Agile environment you are welcome to join our one-day Agile Transformational Leadership training. At this moment only in Swedish, but we’d love to run it in English too in your city or company. Teachers are Mia Kolmodin and Björn Sandberg.

Learning Organization

A learning organization is the best way we know to meet these demands and to handle the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) of the world of today and tomorrow.

A way to handle this is by task management and developing the organization to be a true learning organization. Start with the prerequisite for empowerment and gradually start to work with emergent strategies. 

The foundation for making this possible is a leadership based on the understanding of motivation.

Theory X and Y Leadership

Agile Leadership is characterized by the understanding that people are more motivated by intrinsic motivation compared to extrinsic motivation. This is also closely related to the X and Y leadership theory by Douglas McGregor. 

Theory X – extrinsic motivation – emphasizes the importance of strict monitoring, external rewards, and even punishment.
Theory Y – intrinsic motivation – highlights well-being and encourages people to approach tasks without direct supervision.

In the Leadership Shift model below you will find where X-leadership and Y-leadership lives.

A leadership shift is needed

The Leadership shift happens when we shift gear from conventional leadership, which many times has served us well, to transformational leadership, to secure the organizational result in a fast-changing and highly complex world.

The Leadership Shift Model illustrates and maps common leadership styles and the effect they have on the organizational result. 

(more…)
Written by

This is a way to use Cynefin in the team to support their planning and everyday work to foster a culture of innovation. 

The Cynefin Sense-Making Story can be used instead of regular user stories and together with the Cynefin Context Cards.

Download & Print the Cynefin Sense-Making Story for FREE (PDF) >

Make sure to have the Product Owner and everyone in the team in the room when the team pulls in new work to the sprint. First, ask them to name what it is, and talk about what the outcome would be – what should change? What are the details, ask them to describe it. 

Then you can ask the team in what domain of complexity the works are, obvious, complicated or complex, and mark it on the card. Then depending on the domain ask them to agree on a story points, size or timebox and mark that. And then what capabilities would be needed to do the story. 

When this is done ask the team to write down what needs to be done to deliver the story, these are your tasks – and the team can get started to collaborate and deliver innovation

Here you find all the content we have on using Cynefin >

Written by

The Cynefin Context Cards have helped many teams get started to work cross-functional doing both discovery and delivery in the teams. This is a version of the deck of cards with fewer cards, still keeping the same functionality to make it easy to print and use them. If you prefer to have the regular decks you can still buy them in our online store >

Free download of the Cynefin Context Card Mini Printout (PDF) >

All the needed information on how to use the cards is included in the printout file.

(more…)
Written by

Stress blocks the pathways in the brain that need to be open for effective action, decision-making, and learning.

In a knowledge-intensive work life, we have to be careful with increasing the pressure, so that it doesn’t switch to stress. It is counterproductive because it reduces the intellectual capacity that we need as much as possible to cooperate, solve problems and innovate.

This means that the leadership must be a safe haven for development and achievement, not a source of stress.

Free download of the Stress in a Nutshell Poster (PDF) >

The cause of stress – Stressors

Examples of causes that can lead to stress in individuals, that in turn form teams, which can lead to stressed organizations.

(more…)
Written by

Conflict or friction is natural when we grow and develop who we are. It is often a combination of two or more types of conflicts. Make sure to identify which, and if possible choose collaboration as your solution style. When transforming to an Agile organization with teams and a new type of management processes and governance we often have to handle a lot of conflicts. It is important to understand that conflicts not necessarily is a bad thing, it is a natural part of becoming a high performing team and organization.

FREE Download of poster for Conflict resolution (PDF) >

To be able to improve and change, conflicts need to be resolved by the people in the conflict and perhaps support to facilitate the process is needed. Often just a reminder that this is a natural part of improving, so let’s move on and find out what we can do to improve together.

This poster was created to support smooth handling of conflicts everywhere in the organization.

(more…)
Written by

This poster was created to cater to the need we see in many organizations today to create a shared understanding of what a well-functioning Agile team is and how you can build that team to get the value you expect from an Agile organization.

English: Download the Agile Team in a Nutshell Poster (PDF) >
Italian: Download the Agile Team in a Nutshell Poster (PDF) >

What is a team and how do you become high performing?

Is your team even a team?
There are two things needed for a group of people to be able to become a team. Without them, the group can never be a team. The two things are: 

  • A common goal
  • Needing each other

Stable Teams

Keeping teams stable overtime is needed to become and stay well-functioning and high-performing teams where smooth collaboration and innovation take place. Any change in the team setup may cause the team to go back to where they were as newly formed. Teams of 5-7 people who are kept together and get to high-performance are 100% faster.

(more…)
Written by

Some months ago we had a meeting at Dandy trying to figure out and agree on who should be responsible for what, and how to divide our internal work in a better way. We needed to find a way to scale sustainably and figure out what capabilities we were looking for to expand our team in a good way also for the future.

We started to map the work we do and group it in different ways. But whatever we did we seemed to end up in traditional boxes, “this is marketing stuff, this is sales, this is finance, this is HR”… And then fighting over what the difference was between sales, marketing and finance… Everyone with their own ideas on what was right or wrong. That was of course not what we needed, another silos-based and ineffective organization :o)

Download the Cynefin Decision-Making Board (PDF) >

(more…)
Written by

Why we do things is the underlying foundation of our motivation and development. And when you work in an organization and in a team you need to feel that the organization’s and team’s purpose, vision, values, and mission is connected to your own foundation. “My leadership canvas” is a way to see if this is aligned and act as guidance in your personal development. 

Download the canvas here

WHY statement

To resonate further with your purpose in everything you do you can start by formulating your own WHY statement. The method is from Simon Sinek’s book “Start with why” where you can get deeper into the significance of starting with why.

To find your WHY statement you can follow these guidelines:

  • Simple and clear
  • Only one sentence
  • Languages ​​that resonate with you
  • Resonate both with work- and private life
  • Write several until you find the right one

As an example, my WHY statement is: “I empower myself and the people around me so we can become the best people that we can be”.

(more…)
Written by

Andreas Nordlund who is an Agile Coach at the payment provider iZettle came by the Dandy office to buy the Cynefin Context Cards to his team. I was curious and asked if he would like to share how he was planning on using the cards.

This picture is from another company using the cards.

Mia: How come you want to try the Cynefin Context Cards?
Andreas: We are a group of Agile Coaches at iZettle who meet and share learnings and tips. Some of the other coaches have been using the cards and said they were good. I just got back from a training with Dave Snowden in Berlin in how to use the Cynefin Sense-Making Framework and I felt I wanted to try the cards.

Mia: What purpose do you see that the cards will serve?
Andreas: We often talk about the work we do as if we are in the complicated domain, but often realize that we are in the complex domain. I want to help my team to put words on that, to facilitate that discussion in a structured way. Support the team to more easily come to the conclusion experiments are needed when they are in the complex domain.

(more…)
Written by

In the IT department of the telecom company 3 of around 200 people, we worked with improvements on team-level and had a forum for improving the whole, but the overall improvements had come to an end after we met our previous change goal. Since we believe in experimentation, we decided to try Objectives and Key Results, OKRs, as a model to set the objectives.

Johan Hjort presenting the new OKRs for the Journey to Awesome for the people involved in creating them.

How do you create a change journey that matters? That involves the people in the organization in the why, what and how? That goes beyond the teams for long term agility and continuous improvement? This was something we needed to figure out, and we found a pretty cool way to do it that served us well, perhaps it can inspire you too to try something different.

The use of OKRs started in the ’70s in Intel, in 1999 Google was introduced to OKRs by John Doerr, and it’s still a key in how they run the business.

Before starting the work with the OKRs, we had created a common vision of how it would feel to work with digital services and products at 3 in about 5 years, a description embracing change and innovation,  awesome collaboration on all levels, and IT stack that enables business value with short time to market and most important, high customer focus. 

(more…)
Written by

When the pace has been picked up and everyday life spins at its highest pace the increase of sick leave caused by stress will increase. And those affected are your most valuable loyal employees that turn themselves inside out to deliver at work and in their private lives.

Sick leave due to stress of unhealthy work environments has increased to the double in the past ten years and is now the most common reason for sick leave in Sweden, and women are overrepresented in the statistics.

Facts from Försäkringskassan:

  • Sick leave due to stress has increased by 359% in the years 2010-2017
  • 25% of those that have been burned out is at risk of relapse, which means that 1 in 4 people fall back into sick leave
  • 10% of elite athletes are on sick leave due to stress
  • Stress-related illness costs Sweden 70 billion in socio-economic losses every year
Isabelle Svärd talking at Agila Sverige about her own signs of stress in 2017 and how she used agile tools as a tactics when returning to work life.
Video can be found here. (In swedish)

Once a person has been burned out, it can take up to 10 years to recover, it is one of the longest recovery periods, even longer than some cancer diagnoses. Therefore, it is extremely important to detect and slow down this development in time. As a fellow human being and as a leader, it is important that you see signs of unhealthy stress.

These are some examples of signs of unhealthy stress.

Aggressive tone and behavior
Aggressiveness and short tone are signs that the brain has turned on its flight and fight behavior, to protect against dangers, and should be taken seriously. Sit down in a quiet room alone with the person and describe how you experience their behavior, without judging it, and then ask how the person is feeling.

Sleep problems
If a person repeatedly shares that they have slept poorly, have difficulty falling asleep or wake up very early in the morning and cannot fall back asleep, these are signs that the stress has gone way to far. When a person doesn’t sleep, it  means our natural recovery system has stopped working.

Stomach problems, weight gain or weight loss
When flight and figh behavior is activated, several of our physical functions are turned off. Including the stomach and metabolism. If a person complains of stomach problems or has increased or decreased weight quickly, it may be due to prolonged stress.

Concentration problems
Just like above, the brain’s capacity will be gradually reduced. One behavior that can be noticed is if someone starts to forget about meetings, tasks or doesn’t contribute in the same way as before.

(more…)
Written by

Many organizations right now are moving from viewing the organizations as a machine to a people first culture,  enabling valuable collaborations, strategic flexibility and customer focus. The Stairway to Business Agility can be used as a tool for self- and shared reflection. It is based on experiences from many different organizations and their journey towards a well functioning and high performing organizations. You might have totally different experiences, and thats fine too.

Where are you and your organization today?
Are you doing Agile – or being Agile, and what is your ambition? You will probably find that you partly might be on different steps at the same time, in different parts of the organization, and that you might have done some things that in this visualization “belongs” on another step. That is not wrong, we should work in parallells and not in a waterfall implementation manner. Perhaps you can find even more things that you can do to enable business Agility by looking at this as inspiration and take some time to reflect together. Please skip the steps in the bottom now that you know they don’t bring the value we usually are looking for when going Agile.

stairway to business agility

Download the Stairway to Business Agility as high resolution PDF here >

Let’s start at the bottom of the stairs where we are non Agile.

1. Big projects and command & control

Resource optimization and command and control. Everyone focuses on optimizing their own part of the process, running bigger and bigger projects and making sure everyone is as occupied as possible. Complexity grows, you are hiring more people – but it takes longer and longer while you deliver even less with worse quality. We suffer badly from decision latency and can no longer meet the customers’ needs. The management models that have served the organization well the past 100 years is no longer giving us what we need and we are starting to feel the pain of it.

2. The machine – doing Agile

(more…)

Written by

We believe in visual models that support common views, transparency and collaboration, that helps us as individuals and teams shift towards a growth mindset.

The system shift poster was initially created due to our need within Dandy People to find common ways to think about and work with Agile transformations without getting fixed to specific frameworks – and also in an efficient way communicate how we work towards our customers.

The poster is our combined experience within the team at Dandy People, condensed into one page of goodies.

Questions we wanted to answer in this poster

  • What are the different choices we have on where to start?
  • What structured ways of moving towards Agility do we see?
  • What type of leadership is needed to enable an Agile organization?
  • Why do we start with structures and not just training?
  • How do we enable sustainability in change that never ends?

the system shift in a nutshell
Download the System shift in a Nutshell poster for free here (PDF) >

What are the different choices we have on where to start? – Holistic view to achieve Business Agility

We have seen many organizations start their agile journey within one part of the existing organization, mostly within IT (component teams). For traditional organizations to become more innovative, have shorter time to market and stay relevant as employees and for their customers, that is no longer enough. We suggest that you work “bottom up” – and “top down”, and that you create cross functional feature teams on both operational level AND on leadership level, as far up in the hierarchy as possible. A cross functional leadership team is needed to give focus to the organization and to remove impediments from the operational teams as quickly as possible. Traditional structures are too slow and will not suffice.

holistic view for business agility

What structured ways of moving towards Agility do we see? – The Agile Transformation Ladder

The ladder is helping us see the necessary steps that traditional organization need to move through to become flexible and highly efficient.

The change process happens in 4 dimensions:

    • Individual
    • Team
    • Organization
    • Leadership

Visualized in the ladder you can see that leadership runs like a red thread from the bottom to the top. Leaders need to go first to act as a role model and enable improvements of the system. You will be able to read more about the ladder in an upcoming post.

Agile Transformation Ladder by Dandy People, inspired by Agile Fluency Model, Copyright by James Shore & Diana Larsen. 

What type of leadership is needed to enable an Agile organization? – the Leadership Shift Model

The Leadership Shift Model shows the paradigm shift in leadership today where new leadership behaviours are needed in a VUCA-world to be able to improve business. Instead of traditional ways that focus on managing people we need to shift towards growing people to enable business growth. Traditional conventional leadership focuses on striving for agreements and to make interventions if needed, and if even further down the use of “carrot and stick”, reward and punishment and being over controlling is common. These conventional leadership styles (and systems) are holding people back as well as holding their ability to innovate and solve real customer problems. In the short term it might look as your organization is delivering, but long term your business will suffer.

the leadership shift model (more…)

Written by

Our health is the most important thing we have. Our health is something that we as people, leaders, colleagues, employees and employers should hold as our highest priority. It is not enough to offer a wellness allowance, there must be room for wellness, reflection and recovery during work hours.

My work causes me both stress, anxiety and feelings of not being enough. And how is it right that I need my private time to compensate for that? I believe that my work hours should include everything I need to be able to do my job in the best possible way. For me, this means that I need space between meetings to process what has been said and time to prepare for the next meeting. I need time alone for my thoughts and reflections to be able to work out the best solution to a problem, create a good setup for the next meeting, or think about how to handle a situation.

As a leader, I owe those that follow me to think before I act. I owe them to be prepared for a meeting, to reflect on situations before I make decisions and think trough how I will handle a conflict. I also need space to learn new things, to read about research and new methods of leadership, team and psychological safety. This is important for me to be able to do my job, in the way that I want to do it.

I also need time when the brain can recover and turn off all impressions and thoughts. Where I have the opportunity to connect to my body that carries me through my work day. For me, it is yoga, which I often practice at lunchtime or before I go home. For you it might be a walk in the park, a horse back ride, a run around the nearby lake or to walk your dog. The important thing is that you know exactly what you need to have a sustainable work situation. Regardless, we all need recovery as part of our work day to be able to get through it, and the next day, and the next.

(more…)

Written by

This spring I had the great pleasure to jon the ACE! 2019 conference in Cracow as one of the speakers. It was the 10th anniversary of the conference with over 500 people joining from many different countries. This is a true role model for modern conferences where they have focused on diversity and customer experience in many different ways. They are supporting all speakers paying their travel and hotel costs if their companies does not – or you can choose to pay for your self and become a sponsor for the conference, what a great idea! I bring with me their truly inspiring and nice way to handle these things. As a speaker it was also amazing to meet the other speakers, organizers and visitors in the different socializing activities they had planned. One of the fun activities except for the actual conference it self was the open “dinner with friends” that they had arranged where anyone who wanted could join in at different restaurants each night.

My talk “Customer focus and Agile Mindset”

With customer expectation changing rapidly and an increasing demand for better digital products and services organizations need to find new ways to work an organize them self to be able to deliver customer value more frequently. To manage this, there is need for change in mindset in management and a strategic leadership decision. This seminar is directed to curious leaders who want to support customer focus. I will talk you through trends and strategies in how to organize and lead customer focused product organizations in a way to enable brain power in cross functional and autonomous teams that faster can deliver products and services that creates expected business impact.

I will also show models for how organizations can work structured with innovation and customer focus to choose to become a shark and not a snail, and real examples from this type of transformation from different type of businesses and organization.