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One of the conditions of a Team is continuous coaching. This is to enable the team to become high-performing and well functioning. Without putting time and effort into team coaching it is very hard to become high-performing as a team, and most teams need experts to support in the beginning to move beyond friction and into the phase of the structure.

The 5 Stages of a Team

1. Inclusion

The team meets and learns about the work that needs to be done and what’s expected of them. Members avoid disagreement because they fear rejection at this stage, making the leader a central role providing
direction. There is a desire for order, roles, and structure.

The need of the team: All team members understand the purpose of the team and want to be part of it. Team members know and accept each other and feel accepted as a member of the team.

The leaders role: Provide structure. Make sure everyone is included. Initiate open discussions of values & goals.

Common leadership pitfalls: Analysis paralysis / Not daring to make decisions. Thinking the leader need to have all answers.


2. Friction

The team starts challenging the defined boundaries, such as process and working agreements and voice differences in individual working styles and behaviors. Team members challenge each other. Some question the team’s goals altogether. Typically, this will be a challenging phase.

The need of the team: Understanding of each other’s behavioral style and intention. Improved ability to resolve disagreement effectively. 

The leaders role: Support, coach & train the team in how to keep an open dialogue. Help solve conflicts. Build trust.

Common leadership pitfalls: Picking on individuals – stay focused on ideas, not personalities. A leader that’s unwilling to compromise. A belief that the team needs conflict to advance from this stage – allow disagreement but don’t foster conflict.


3. Structure

The team has the ability to resolve disagreement and integrates their personal differences. They revisit goals and objectives and redefine structures, working agreements, roles, and processes to support them.

The need of the team: Time to work out structures within the team such as processes, goals, roles, and working agreements. Everyone feels that issues regarding ways of working that are important to them have been discussed.

The leaders role: Act as consultants when needed. Support by removing impediments outside of the team.

Common leadership pitfalls: Not taking the time to make sure everyone’s perspective is represented. Trying to get everyone to conform to the same values. Trying to find the perfect solution.


4. Performing

The team have agreement on goals and objectives and work towards them together. The team is competent in decision making and conflict resolution with minimal or no supervision. The team rapidly gains important knowledge through knowledge sharing – there’s no information hoarding. Relationships and results are equally important.

The need of the team: The team is self-managed and continuously evaluate their own performance.

The leaders role: Share responsibilities with the team. Reward initiative. Coach & facilitate individual development.

Leadership pitfalls: Expecting to not have to further improve and still maintaining high performance.

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For good or bad, the pandemic, has transformed the way teams work around the world. Only a fraction of organizations has all employees back at their offices, while the biggest part is either having employees back in the office a few days a week or having them work remotely 100%. Some have even decided to expand their recruitment abroad. The positive side is that we are now more used to remote working and we have a broader toolbox to make us feel closer despite the distance. But on the flip side, we now have to face a new set of challenges both from the long-term remote working and the mix of onsite and remote work… How can we get the same ownership, engagement, team bonding, and awareness while working from our bedrooms or maybe from the other side of the globe?

The purpose of this poster is to create more awareness of those challenges and enable some reflections in the form of simple tips to try. After all, there is no solution that fits all and the effects are very different from team to team or company to company.

Download the Hybrid Agile Teams Poster for Free Here (PDF) >

French: Download the poster for free here >

What is a Hybrid Team?

Hybrid Teams are those teams that are either fully remote team, or that work sometimes in the same office and sometimes remotely. It is very important to separate the “types” of those hybrid teams because they have different characteristics and their setup creates different needs and challenges.

Distributed sub-teams are those where we have people working in different offices, say for example a team that is divided between 2 locations, like half the team in Sweden and the other half in Germany. This is challenging for team growth as the team will naturally split into sub-teams and might never feel like one entity. It is important to focus on team-building activities and even sharing working work across sub-teams.

Partially dispersed teams are those where the main team is working from the same location but perhaps one or two people are working from some where else. This is not the best setup as it can make those people feel as if they are outsiders, and the level of inclusion will drastically reduce. In this case, it is important to balance the participation and contribution of everybody to make sure that even those joining remotely can feel part of the team.

Fully dispersed teams are those teams with people joining from different locations. Even if it might seem the most challenging setup, this is actually better than the others types of hybrid teams when it comes to team development and team dynamics, because everybody is sharing the same situation. It is, of course, challenging to create that deep trust and deep bonding as the members do not have usually many chances to meet us.

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När vi som agila coacher blir tillfrågade om hur vi jobbar, blir det lätt en berättelse om vad vi gör på dagarna. Då blir det fokus på aktiviteter och metoder, men det är ju inte kärnan av det vi vill uppnå. Sedan pratar vi om det agila mindsetet och dess principer, men det blir inte så begripligt det heller. För hur jobbar vi egentligen? Så nu när vi, Bodil och Cecilia,  jobbat tillsammans i nästan ett år så satte vi oss ner för att beskriva hur och varför vi egentligen gör som vi gör. Vi hoppas det kan inspirera er! 

Bild 1: Önskat läge

Vårt önskade läge, bild 1, utgår från att lyssnaren ska få den bästa upplevelsen. Syftet med teknik- och utvecklingsverksamheten är att ta fram bästa möjliga produkter för lyssnare och användare. Det är teamen som gör arbetet. Vi vill därför ge varje team de bästa förutsättningarna och sätter dem i centrum. Scrum master och produktägare finns där för att stödja teamen och bevaka deras och produktens gemensamma intressen.

Eftersom det är flera och komplexa produkter i en föränderlig värld räcker det inte med ett team utan det behövs många team som också kommer ha beroenden till varandra. Så långt som möjligt ska de vara självgående och kunna arbeta oberoende av varandra. Oftast  behöver vi acceptera vissa beroenden som inte går att komma undan. 

Som en bas och stöd, har vi ledningen. Ledningen skapar förutsättningar för teamen så att de kan koncentrera sig på produkterna, dess utveckling och kontakten mot användare. 

Ledningen identifierar och tydliggör det långsiktiga perspektivet i form av mål, vision och strategi. Det skapar tydlighet och lugn i prioriteringar och kontinuerliga förändringar som behöver göras. Ledningen ansvarar även för att vi håller oss till lagar och förordningar samt har arbetsgivaransvar och ekonomiska ansvaret. I ett önskat läge är det här frågor som kontinuerligt justeras och kommuniceras för att skapa förutsägbarhet i organisationen och därmed inte påverkar teamens kapacitet nämnvärt.

Det här är optimerat utifrån att teamen skall få de bästa förutsättningarna för att kunna koncentrera sig på att utveckla de bästa produkterna för användarna. 

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In this episode of Dandy Conversations our founder and CEO Mia Kolmodin met up with the founder and CEO of Adventures with Agile (AWA) Simon Powers to talk about the values and purposes that drives their companies. It is a close and warm conversation about changing mindsets, making people flourish and become their best and how we can support our customers to meet their goals and visions.

Check out our upcoming trainings with AWA:

Agile Team Coach, Certification (ICP-ACC) – Online (Several dates)

Agile Team Facilitator (ICP-ATF) – Online (Several dates)

Enterprise Agile Coach Bootcamp with Certifications (ICP-ENT & ICP-CAT) 7-11 November, Stockholm

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MAINSTREAM MODELS MAY NOT BE CUTTING IT

Mainstream coaching models don’t fully account for the unique processing styles that are prevalent in the systemic thinkers that organizations rely upon for creativity and innovation. As a result, we’re not tapping into and releasing the remarkable creative and innovative potential of today’s talent in roles involving creative knowledge work. Moreover, research suggests that many of these systemic thinkers often have attributes of ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s, or other atypical ways of thinking. Given that everyone falls somewhere on the ADD, ADHD, and Asperger’s spectrum, we posit that unleashing creativity and innovation in today’s workplace requires a coaching model that accounts for multiple processing styles. We all think differently, and we need a coaching model that fits everyone.

In this blog post, we present a model designed to leverage the processing strengths and mobilize the brainpower of today’s entire (organizational) collective, which we’re currently calling the Grow/Plow Coaching Model.

POPULAR COACHING MODELS

All the mainstream coaching models we’ve come across are variants of the popular GROW model, which involves establishing a Goal, examining current Reality, exploring Options, and determining what Will happen next: 

The GROW Coaching Model

Such approaches presuppose that the coachee’s processing style prefers to start with concepts, such as goals or the big-picture aspirations often discussed while coaching, before diving into the details. This processing style is known as top-down processing and accounts for how most people think. Top-down thinking is driven by cognition where the brain applies what it knows from experience and what it expects to perceive and “fills in the blanks”. 

SYSTEMIC THINKERS THINK DIFFERENTLY

Systemic thinkers, on the other hand, often have neurobiological and cognitive attributes that result in a bottom-up processing style that prefers details before concepts. A bombardment of sensory information comes in and their brain takes in these details before moving into conceptualization. This processing style is often connected to what’s known as the Weak Central Coherence deficit. In our experience, such thinkers prefer using problem-solving approaches to coaching that welcome the sensory details underpinning the need for change early in the process where the desired future state can be emergent and shaped by data rather than presupposed at the onset. 

THE “PLOW” PROCESS

We took the basic steps involved in problem-solving to create an acronym we call PLOW. The PLOW process involves defining the Problem (i.e., state the problem as clearly as possible and be specific about the situation, behavior, circumstances, and timing that make it a problem); Learning as much as possible about the problem (which includes gathering data like facts, feelings, and opinions); exploring Options; and determining what Will happen next:

The PLOW Process, which can be thought of as a generalized 4-step problem solving model
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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
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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 förhållningssättet. Samtidigt skedde förändringen. 

Några nyckelfaktorer som gjorde att vi lyckades

-Management teamet som tog sig från att jobba med sina egna agendor till gemensam tavla med backlogg, retrospektiv och självorganisering utan avdelningschef. Magin började hända när alla tog in sitt individuella arbeta på den gemensamma tavlan.

-De individuella utvecklingssamtalen, som efter ett antal iterationer skedde gemensamt i teamen med respekt för både teamets uppgift och individens utveckling. Att koppla individens motivation till teamets syfte gjorde att vi kunde hitta kompetensutvecklande arbetssätt i teamen.

-Den individuellt styrda ledningen (performance management) med individuella mål och uppdrag som i stället övergick till mål för teamen, både utvecklingsteam och ledningsteam, och gemensamt ansvar för uppgiften.

-Organisationens gemensamma dag för lärande i varje sprint där alla la tid på lärande och utveckling, antingen genom att lära sig själv eller lära ut till andra. Vi hade som mål att lägga en halv dag varje vecka på lärande vilket gjorde att vi kunde ta oss framåt fortare tillsammans.

Inget av detta var lätt, det krävdes mod av oss som chefer att testa att leda på ett nytt sätt genom att ständigt justera det befintliga systemet, att centrera oss och arbeta med det mellanmänskliga för att växa individer och relationer mellan individer och lära oss att experimentera och värdera lärandet högre än det kortsiktiga resultatet.

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 skulle 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. 🙂

https://dandypeople.com/our-servies/agile-manager-interim/
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