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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.

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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.

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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) >

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Join our online training based on this poster

If you are interested in learning more about the content in this poster or to becoming a Transformational leader in an Agile environment you are welcome to join our online training in Agile Leadership which is based on this poster. 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. 

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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.

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