This is the fifteenth and last posting of our Agile Leadership & Management Series.
Organizations are complex adaptive systems, which means we can not with precision anticipate all possible impacts changing one part of the organization will have on another. And, we cannot anticipate how the organization will evolve in the future and what strategies will emerge. Success, therefore, requires that we make small continuous changes as a natural part of running the business.
Having a clear understanding of how the organization is working from different perspectives is critical when moving from traditional to more Agile structures and ways of working. One way is to look at the organization from different perspectives and they will shed light on what’s holding it back and what can be done to move it forward.
At Dandy People, we have created an organizational analysis model in 9-Dimensions of Organizational Change (TM) that gives a holistic perspective and connects the dots across the organization. This is the best way, we have found so far, to create and sustain a Learning Organization. The model is based on the 6-Boxes Model by Carl Binder.
This is the fourteenth episode of our Agile Leadership & Management Series.
During my years working mainly with team, leadership and organizational development, I have experienced so many organizations lacking skills to both find and use the power that comes out of learning. We just tend to study what we already know, where we already are. But that does not lead us anywhere new. We need to learn from other people and in other areas to move forward.
Continuous learning is one of the keystones to be thriving in whatever environment and/or task you set out for. Learning is at its best when it flows through all levels of the organization, from the individual, to the teams/groups and, all the way out through the different parts of the organization. And many organizations struggle to find ways to set this up to work in a successful way and make it fluent in everyday work. So here are some really great tips and tools to get your learning organization up and running.
Becoming a Learning Organization starts with empowerment, e.g., alignment and autonomy, which creates an environment where game-changing strategies can emerge from people at the operational levels.
So, what are the prerequisites for this to happen?
Check out the graphic below to find the prerequisites to uncover 7 proven strategies for embedding learning into your organization.
This is the thirteenth episode of the Agile Leadership & Management Series.
A core function of Agile leadership’s management work is to develop organizations into what is called learning organizations, a term coined by MIT’s Peter Senge, which are organizations that facilitate the learning of its members and continuously transform themselves. Such organizations possess the capability to survive and thrive in the midst of rapid change and high complexity.
Learning organizations are one of the best ways to create a flexible organization that can handle VUCA in a good way. The idea for a learning organization is that people identify needs so that strategy emerges from the accumulated activities of peoples and teams. It emerges within the overall vision of the organization’s future so innovation and improvements add to the organization’s whole.
This is the twelfth posting in the Agile Leadership & Management Series.
I have worked with many leaders in several different organizations over the years, and have come to learn that often times leaders struggle with finding out which role to play in an Agile organization.
Old school leadership was a lot about managing people to fit into your old way of doing things in your organization. A more modern (and Agile!) approach to leadership is to unleash the power that resides in your organization, by focusing your leadership skills on building structures and systems that enable the people’s skills to deliver high value at the right time. Here I have collected some of my learnings that I hope can help you on your journey.
This is the eleventh episode in the Agile Leadership & Management Series
Agile leadership is a transformative, development-oriented leadership style and it is the natural next-step to traditional leadership styles based for example on command and control or on carrot and stick.
Agile leaders are known for their ability to create the conditions required for unleashing the knowledge, motivation, initiative, and team collaboration needed for achieving organizational goals; and stay healthy as teams and people.
Management is a natural part of leadership because the system (not the people) needs to be managed.
When Agile leaders have strong management skills, they become known for their situational awareness, forethought, initiative, willingness to grant autonomy, responsibility, and ability to demonstrate flexibility and build trust as well.
In Agile organizations, each leader is responsible for managing one domain: either people, product, technology, or process. The interplay between these domains is where the functions of leadership and management coexist. Therefore, to enable Agility within an organization, it’s critical that management practices used within each domain support the Agile principles!
This is the ninth posting in the Agile Leadership & Management Series
Leaders play an important role in Agile organizations, as they give direction to the organization, manage the structures around the Agile teams, act as sponsors, empower both teams as well as individuals and, perhaps most importantly, foster a culture of psychological safety.
In Agile organizations, a leader is responsible only in one area. Either PEOPLE, PRODUCT, TECHNOLOGY, or PROCESS. The Agile Coaches coach the people in all processes and areas to improve the value and flow continuously. This is the core of an Agile Leadership team, also for the executives.
The Agile Leadership Flower
The cross-functional Agile Leadership Team works together on moving the organization forward while working within each area supporting their people at operational and tactical as well as strategic level.
The Main Mission for the Agile Leadership Team is to improve structures and increase the outcome of the organization.
This is the seventh post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
The Strategic Leadership Room visualizes what we are doing in the organization, what we think we should be doing, and how things are going. It is a great way to enable a shared understanding and make strategic decisions together on what is needed, and when it is needed.
The Agile Leadership Team needs to facilitate this and invite the right people to make well-informed decisions. When the executives are invited to see what is going on with updates from the teams on both impediments, speed of flow, quality, how the teams are doing – and how the customer experience is, how the delivery of value is going and how the investments are going, they can support new strategic decisions if needed.
This is the sixth post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
Research has shown that new teams face significant struggles with coordinating their efforts, are more prone to making mistakes, and are less likely to catch and correct those mistakes in real-time. The reason is that almost none of the conditions required for team effectiveness are in place.
Harvard researchers Ruth Wageman and J. Richard Hackman has used the conditions required for effective teaming to create a 10-minute teaming process that helps new teams get on a strong positive trajectory and overcome the liabilities that could sabotage their success. This process has been shown to radically decrease the number of mistakes made by the team, catch and fix errors in real-time, and create the psychological safety required for everyone to speak up and create a shared understanding of how to accomplish the team purpose.
This is the fifth post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
So, now the time has come to look into a number of setups and activities that you can use to help get your Agile Leadership Team up and running and, continuously use for effectiveness and smoothness in their daily work.
This is the fourth post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
When forming Agile Leadership Teams we have found some mistakes to be common within many different organizations and through different types of businesses. Here they are compiled in a list to make it easy for you to study before you form your leadership team, and come back to on a regular basis.
This is the third post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
As an Agile Leadership Team, regardless of the four Leadership team hats you find yourself wearing, there are certain conditions that dramatically increase the chances that a group of leaders will develop into an effective team.
This is the second post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
With the Agile Leadership Team Bingo, you can gamify your work with your leadership- and management improvements for yourself and your leadership team. Challenge each other to see how many “BINGO” you can get in a day, week, or month?
Print it out, or use it digitally and bring it to your next leadership team meeting together with scissors and glue and we can guarantee that it will be one of the most fun and engaging leadership team meetings ever 🙂
This is the first post in the November Agile Leadership and Management Series.
Leadership today is a team sport. The emphasis is no longer on the skills, characteristics, and traits of a single, all-powerful person with the designation of “leader”. Leadership has evolved to be a collective endeavor that leads to the betterment of all involved and looks different depending on the context.
Over the summer, the Dandy People team put together an Agile Leadership Team poster. The poster introduces 7 powerful Agile Leadership Principles designed to help leaders create a focus on what will help increase the business outcome of the organization. If the members of an Agile Leadership team agree upon strives to move towards these principles, collaboration and exploration can be enabled and strengthened!
As Leaders, We Always Strive to:
1. Keep a transparent strategy and facilitate a pull-based backlog for teams to self-organize around value – NOT pushing things to the teams, or micromanaging
2. Give a clear direction and share WHY we are doing things to enable new learnings to impact the WHAT – NOT deciding on a solution.
3. Managing structures around the teams so that they can make quick and smart decisions – NOT managing the people.
4. Acts as sponsors by asking “What do you need to succeed?” and actively remove impediments – NOT acting as a steering group and only following up results (or making decisions on the team’s behalf).
5. Empower the people and foster a culture of psychological safety to enable initiative, experimentation, and problem-solving together – NOT stepping in to solve every day, low-risk problems so teams can become increasingly mature.
6. Empower teams and individuals to build the capabilities needed to take responsibility for delivering value continuously – NOT taking the responsibility from them, and not only optimizing for short-term goals.
7. Lead with vision, practice what we preach, and actively encourage a spirit of joy and responsibility – NOT keeping old structures and practices in place that reinforce ineffective behaviors.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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
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.
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.
Agility is about adapting and delivering value. More and more organisations are discovering that they either need to get on the agile train or fall hopelessly behind.
Many of them turn to frameworks to adapt agile ways of working. But what they get is another framework that will sit on top of the others and cause more confusion and frustration. What they need is to focus on the real problems like organisation, leadership and culture. I’m going to use SAFe as an example in this text (there are other frameworks trying to solve this out there but I know more about SAFe).
A framework with a clear hierarchical role chart, process arrows, planning cycles and new roles is a way of satisfying the controlling part of an organisation. And it is exactly this part that we need to remove, if we want to be truly agile. To dare go down the agile road you need trust from leaders and in many organisations that is the exact thing they are lacking. So their own fear of losing control drives them to turn to things their recognize, roles and hierarchy, processes and planning, things that are feeding the controlling needs and is satisfying their own fears.
When introducing a framework like SAFe you are forced to focus on roles and planning cycles instead of culture, organisation and leadership. To get the right people in these roles is not an easy task an one that is impossible if there are no people with an agile mindset in the organisation. When people without agile mindset take on these roles what we get is another gant chart and detailed planning that will not adapt to the changing needs of the customer.
When using the word resources, what do you think of? I think of nature’s resources and the money I have in the bank. Resources is by definition: means, a stock or supply of money, materials and other assets. How in any aspekt can people be considered resources?
The allocation of resources is a key element in traditional project management. Resource allocation takes no considerations to human needs or changes. For that you will require a separate risk analysis and change management process. I think you understand where I’m going with this.
One of my agile coach friends started repeating to the managers in the organisation we were coaching ”People are not resources” ”People are people that have capacity to do things”. And this stuck.
We can not continue treating humans as numbers in a excel sheet if we want to accelerate our businesses. We have to start talking about them as people, humans, employees. Today I correct and repeat. And I use the words that the organisation often have as well, the co-worker, the clients, the employees. It just has to be a word that describes the people for all our qualities and not just the number of hours we can produce.
We are exposed to an incredible number of impressions in one day. We are met by advertising on the way to work, pictures on instagrams and ads on facebook, emails about fantastic offers and news from all over the world. At work, we are often met by policies, attitudes, expectations of others and performance reviews. Not being able to sort in this and finding your own meaning and purpose can create stress, uncertainty and a feeling of being overwhelmed. The importance of being able to lead yourself, and others, to create a sustainable lifestyle has never been as big as now.
Your values and your why
I see the personal leadership as something that needs to grow when you find your own values and purpose. “Start with why” was founded by Simon Sinek, he says that organizations need to start by establishing why they exist before they can start talking about how and what they do. It is fully applicable to the personal leadership as well, you need to find your own “WHY” before you know what to do and how.
To find your own WHY, you first need to know your values. What is most important to me? You can do this by listening inwards, by turning off all impressions and expectations from the outside world. To ignore the template that society is trying to put us all into and listen to yourself. There is much talk about meditation and that it is the only way to listen inward, but I think that when you do something that you love, whether it is to meditate, yoga, paint, walk your dog, ride or run, it is your opportunity to hear your inner voice . The one who says what you really like and value. The key is to listen and above all to trust what that voice is saying. Trust yourself, that you know best what is right for you.
Based on your values, the why is easier to find. My WHY statement is: “I empower myself and the people around me so we can become the best people that we can be”.
Exercise WHY statement
To write your WHY statement, follow these guidelines:
Simple and clear
Only one sentence
Language you use yourself
Work both at work and in private
Write several until you find the right one
Safety and learning
To feel that your purpose is being fulfilled and developed, our sense of security and learning is important. The human instincts are the same today as they were in the stone-age and our brain is divided into three motivational systems. The model created by Paul Gilbert consists of the red threat system, the blue drive system and the green soothing system.
Les équipes multidisciplinaires sont des équipes avec toutes les expertises néecessaires pour créer un produit et le mettre en production. Cependant, il ne suffit pas de rassembler un groupe de personnes différentes et de s’attendre à ce qu’elles agissent en équipe. Ce jeu essaie de montrer les conséquences du maintien d’une expertise et d’un rôle unique par les membres d’une équipe.
Vous avez besoin de 48 morceaux de lego par jeu et par équipe, et ils doivent être dans 4 couleurs différentes, jaune, blanc, rouge et bleu. (more…)
As leaders in the fast paced complex world of today you need to become a facilitators of growth. The ikigai canvas is such a tool that can be used to enable growth of people and in teams. It helps us see what makes us feel happy and what makes us grow as individuals, and if it is being done as a team activity, it helps us relate and understand others. When I created it I had in mind that it could be used in our professional life to coach people in their personal growth at work – and specifically to make them feel happy. Perhaps you can use it in your Agile team to facilitate this process, instead of having your yearly performance review 🙂
I love when I get a new issue of the Harvard Business Review magazine, always inspiring and interesting, there is always lots of articles that grows my mind and gives me new perspectives. In the beginning of the summer, the issue focused on “When work has meaning”. One of the articles there made my brain think of the ikigai diagram that has been interesting me now the past 12 months or something. This connection in my brain made me starting to sketch on a canvas for personal development – perhaps something I could use for my self, as well as for us to use at Dandy People? (more…)
T-shape is about growing skills in people that might not be in within their core expert competence area. When coaching leaders, teams and organizations we’ve noticed that building T-shape is often a game changer that makes a big impact – but it might sometimes be more tricky than you think.
When transforming to an Agile organization we often move from expert teams to cross functional teams. Growing t-shape is a way to enable the cross functional team to collaborate better and it helps them to work as a team instead of a group, meaning solving problems together instead of working as a mini-waterfall within the team. This helps the team become high performance and enables them to innovate and create better solutions.
Resistance to sharing competence and what to do about it
My experience is that organizations that have a strong expert culture may have more difficulties to become T-shape. Since you then might also need to change the culture from a hero culture to a team-playing culture, it can take some time. People might also struggle to keep their expert role since it makes them feel safe and perhaps it has also previously been the only way to make a career, get higher pay as well as also informal power. Changes might then be needed in how the structures are set up around roles and responsibilities before you start the coaching around T-shape.
In many organizations who want to enable high performance teams and T-shape, titels and roles are changed to simply “team members”, and instead we talk about competences, which is your T-shape. As a leader, you could support by help showing how the skill and performance of the team is more important than the expertise of individuals by perhaps celebrating as one team instead of highlighting individual performance.
Different leadership styles for developing skills in employees
In the Harvard Business Review I found this article that describes the research done on leaders and how they grow competence. According to their research there are 4 different leadership styles for developing skills in employees.
Our popular free Pattern Cards for successful Agile Change are now updated with 5 more patterns, totally 27 cards.
So far over 500 downloads + handouts of 400 physical printed cards and reports from people using them shows they bring value and enable structured conversations in leadership teams no matter what type of organization.
Idag på Valborgsmässoafton är det tradition att bränna upp det gamla och välkomna in det nya!
Det är i den andan jag själv vill se den artikel som Catrin Brodin tillsammans med ett tjugotal av oss som arbetar med förändringsledning har skrivit. Du hittar artikeln här. Vi sätter sökarljuset på vad som fungerar inom förändringsledning och vad som inte gör det – och helst borde ha slängts på valborgsbrasan redan för många år sen! Några konstigheter är det inte: Bristande stöd från ledningen, otydligt syfte och mål samt underskattning av hur stor insats det krävs för att förändra. Dessa fel återkommer lika envist som Valborgsafton självt.
Även i andra länder där det istället heter Walpurgisnacht eller Saint Walburga’s Eve hittar vi dessa problem. Två internationella undersökningar visar att nyckelfaktorerna för framgångsrik förändringsledning inte skiljer sig åt mycket eftersom det är samma utmaningar vi alla behöver hantera. IBM’s egen undersökning här ovan belyser vikten av ledarskap från de som sponsrar en förändring och en vision som delas av de som påverkas av en förändring. PROSCI som släppt sin Executive Summary of Best Practices – 2018 berättar att det nu är tionde undersökningen i rad där aktivt och synligt stöd för förändring från högsta ledningens sida toppar listan av framgångsfaktorer.
Kan en orsakerna bakom att det ändå brister vara att man underskattar komplexiteten i förändring och tror att det från ledningens sida räcker med att visa sitt stöd vid kick-off? Alla ni som använder agil metodik vet att det är ett ständigt utforskande och omprövande vartefter man lär sig nya saker. Kan det vara bra att ha ledningens stöd även längs med denna krokiga väg och inte bara i början? Dela gärna med dig dina tankar här nedan. Kom gärna och diskutera på något av våra gratis frukostseminarium om Agil Förändringsledning.
I was very happy to get invited to Agile Days Istanbul as a speaker by my friend Ilyas Varol. The topic for the conference was Agile Leadership, and 500 curious participants joined.
Ilyas har previously translated my Agile in a Nutshell to Turkish, and he told me he has during his trainings and talks here in Turkey probably been giving away hundreds of copies of the poster, making me a little bit famous i the Turkish Agile community… and making me just a little bit nervous 🙂
It was a great day with lots of interesting speakers and topics, as well as many great discussions. The conference had 3 tracks with both International speakers like Tom Gilb, Joanne Perold and my self, and Turkish speakers. Turkcell with tales from their scaling adventure, with Chian Yildiz, Digital disruption & Leadership, with Gizem Moral Kunter and Assess your Leadership Mindset with Ilker Demirel to mention a few.
Organizations today need to find new ways to organize to faster deliver customer and business value. In this presentation I share with you some of the symptoms you might see if your’e not organized for complexity and without a customer focus, why this happens and what you can do about it.
Discover how you can get organized around customer value instead of in silos and around systems and how much more value and happiness you will get from this.
I also share some examples of activities and results from the clients we at Dandy People have been coaching the past years to do this transformation.
Target group: Curious Leaders, Management and Change Makers
This presentation in English was originally held at Agile Days Istanbul, April 2018, but its based on a Swedish presentation first presented at Sundsvall 42 in September 2017.
There is a an increasing trend in big companies and organizations to go Agile, and of course that is awesome in my opinion. What is really confusing though, is that many of the same companies and organizations also decide to change to activity based seating. This is really confusing in many ways, since it will bring contradictory behaviors than what you are looking for when working Agile, and in the short – and long run, make the company fail to go agile.
The only conclusion I can do, is that there is not enough knowledge around how Agile seatings need to be – nor what the consequences of not being Agile when trying will be (costly and frustrating). Or perhaps it’s that the people that do the work (and know about this) and the people making these decisions are too far away from each other and don’t communicate in a good way. Either way, it’s a huge waste – and so unnecessary.
I have several times been contacted by people working in organizations where they have had Agile teams sitting and working together with good results – and out of the blue, usually over a weekend or over a holiday, their office space was changed in to activity based seating with clean desk – and clean wall policy. The team shows up on a Monday finding all their stuff that was put up on the walls in a cardboard box and their 2-3 computer screens gone… These people tell tales about how their colleagues went home after that day, refused to come back in weeks. Their delivery pace went down with below 50% of normal and quality of work and innovation went down the drain totally. Everything the team had fought for to build up was erased over night.
Flexibility in Agile and Activity based offices must be a perfect fit – or does it?
Organizations that decide to go with activity based offices probably have the best of intentions. I’m sure of that, people usually do. But I’m also sure they need better advisory. It might look as if the flexibility in both agile and activity based office works really well together (and this is an argument I’ve heard sales people for these solution use). And it might look like you will save a lot of money, not having as many seatings as before, and it might look like people will get to know each other a lot better when they move around every day, and you might think they will love their new updated beautiful workplace with special designed chairs for people who like to sit alone not seeing or being seen by any one else. But it´s all wrong – so wrong – at least if you want collaboration, innovation and high speed in your organization and culture. Flexibility is not always what you need after all. (more…)
Many times while coaching people we want to be able to quickly give people new perspectives, food for thought and bring people together around shared understandings and common goals. Thats why we created these pattern cards for successful Agile transformation, to enable engaging discussions. Please feel free to download and use them you too if you feel they can help you to create valuable dialogues too.
The different cards are visualizing patterns that we have seen to be the most important to succeed with Agile transformation and scaling Agile organizations.
Suggestion of how to use the pattern cards
You can probably use them in many different ways. Here is how we have used them with leadership teams most of the times.
Group people in smaller groups, 3-5 people. Give them a time box of 10-15 min to prioritize the 5 cards they find would bring the most value to focus on in the next period (3 – 6 months perhaps). (more…)
When Agile becomes something for the whole organization leadership needs to adapt to support Agile values and principles. Let the new year give energy to grow a leadership that supports an organization fit for the future. Let’s build an Agile Mindset that can change how leaders act in their daily activities, how they lead people and business, form organizations and governance.
EDIT 18/1: The poster is now updated to ver 1.1 with some spelling correction and some other great improvements. Thanks to all of you who contributed 😀
This poster is for me a way to visualize key concepts for how to lead with an Agile Mindset. At Dandy People we use it in our Agile coaching and training. We hope you as well can have use for it in your work. Please let us know if you have any feedback or questions on this poster.
To Lead in Complexity
The basis for Agile leadership is that we need to have a leadership that works in complexity – that support flexibility, transparency, collaboration and authonomy to enable the “workers” to make smart tactical and operative decisions to reach well defined impact goals. There are several common leadership concepts that support this kind of leadership;
Three leadership Styles
In the poster there are three leadership styles visualized;
Catalyst Leadership (Best for Agile)
The infographic contains numerous of illustrations to visualize some of the behaviours of each leadership style. I believe (without perhaps any support from research) that you can change leadership style to become a Catalyst Leader if you make this decision, practice and work on it. I also believe that the environment we live and act in shapes how we behave and what we might see as good leadership.
Agile Mindset and what it might mean in Reality
When you understand that Agile actually is a way of thinking, a mindset, and not a process ot tools, it usually unlocks the “next level” in your game. But many leaders might find it quite difficult to put the Agile mindset to practice in reality. What does it really mean for governance? How do we build organizations, create good salary models, plan our projects, grow our staffs knowledge, build teams…? I have covered just a tiny part of that in this poster, the list could go on forever I know.
Need Coaching and Training for Agile Leadership?
If you need help to reshape the leadership in your organization to support your Agile journey, let us know and we’ll happily join forces with you to coach and train your managers and every one else who can become leaders. (more…)
Last blog I wrote about how we coached and supported the management group to identify next steps in their agile transformation. One of the actions was to change the teams to become Feature teams. Teams who have all needed competences to deliver end customer value. This blog I will describe how I facilitated the Feature team self selection workshop.
Overall agenda for the workshop
Each step of the workshop is described in a few more words under each heading in the blogpost. I described the overall workshop process with a flip chart that you can see below to make the workshop process easy to understand for all participants.
Presentation of Self selection boundaries
Product Owner present example deliveries from the backlog
All prepare their own “avatar” with skills
Collaboration and self selection
Each new team validate towards boundaries
Each team identify concerns with their team setup
Repeat 4-7 until we reach our goal “Good enough for now, Safe enough to try”
Presentation of Self Selection boundaries
We had a few rules to guide them in their self selection and collaboration efforts to identify Feature teams.;
Do what is best for the company
Go for teams that is close to equal in size, experience and competence
We want self managing teams able to deliver on the example backlog items
We want teams who learn how to collaborate and share knowledge to develop as a team over time
For all Leaders interested in building an Agile mindset and enable organizations fit for complexity and innovation.
Are you a Curious Leader?
During the fall of 2017 we at Dandy People have set up a series of seminars and meetups for Curious Leaders, exploring different areas of interests in what an Agile mindset and an Agile Transformation could mean in other areas than what usually might be perceived as Agile by many mainly involving IT and development teams.
We call this series “Curious Leaders” and we invite all leaders who’s interested in growing that Agile mindset and finding new ways of building strong and flexible teams and organizations fit for humans that can manage complexity and enable every day innovation and quality. This applies in any business or service who are digitized within the organization and sell digital services or products.
What does this really mean for leadership, organization, recruiting, procurement, business strategies, marketing, projects, deliveries and our ways of working and processes?
Don´t miss this great opportunity to learn from the best and become an organization for the future!
Free Seminars and Meetups for Curious Leaders
December 7 – Next Session
For Curious Leaders – Beyond Budgeting
With Bjarte Bogsnes, Senior Adviser at Statoil
Bjarte Bogsnes has a long international career, both in Finance and HR, and has been heading up the implementation of Beyond Budgeting at Statoil. Bjarte is Chairman of Beyond Budgeting Round Table (BBRT).
We welcome curious leaders to this exciting seminar in Beyond Budgeting! The well known speaker, author & teacher Bjarte Bogsnes, Senior Advisor at Statoil, shares his insights in dynamic forecasting, no traditional budgets, the KPI trap & Statoil’s “Ambition to Action” model. Beyond Budgeting is also known as “Agile Budgeting”. (more…)
This is a story how we used a two day workshop with a management group to help them find out next steps needed in their Agile Transformation.
We knew the client well and had been working with them for some time. It was now time to discuss their progress and potential next steps.
They had Scrum teams up and running, each team with their own product owner. Each team covering one part of their product. Earlier they had discussed and identified their challenges and problems so they where known and a good input to the workshop.
To be able to stay focused on what really matters you need to have a clear strategy. When companies are small it is not always easy to have a clear strategy and act on it, but it is usually a lot easier than in big companies. To be able to do innovation and also stay customer focused even in big organisations a clear vision and strategy is essential. And every one in the organisation needs to understand the strategy.
There is a research done by Harvard Business School saying only 5% of the employees know about their business strategy. This is really scary for anyone running a business, and something everyone in a position to make strategic decisions needs to take really seriously. If people in the organisation don’t know about, or understand the vision or the strategy, how can they then make tactical and operational smart decisions making the business go in the right direction? There is only one answer to that question, they cant.
A Collaboration and Visualization tool to make Strategy Transparent
This fall I’ve been doing a talk around the topic “Customer Focused with an Agile Mindset” where I talk about how leaders of organizations need to grow an Agile mindset and make a strategic decision to become customer focused to be able to survive in the fast moving complex world of today, and how that can be done. The Innovation Map is one of the slides of my talk and I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback on it. Something many people feel is missing today is a holistic overview of the different strategies the organization have, and to be able to use it in their daily work making sure they are on the right track.
The Innovation Map is a great tool to be able to visualize what strategic initiatives the organisation have, or perhaps don’t have. Also it can be used to visualize the initiatives TOGETHER, ACROSS the organization. In this way when involving more people we can easier see the full picture of where we are going, and what we can do about it. By involving the people working front line with the customers knowing about their needs as well as those that can create the solutions to help the customers and not only management, you grow both an understanding of what the business strategy is – AND – you get their valuable knowledge of what the customer needs are and what can actually be possible to do or not do today and in the future. Then it will be up to management to prioritize the strategy based on different business scenarios.
I veckan hade vi vårt första öppna kvällsevent på Dandy People med temat “Agil transformation utanför IT”. Ämnet engagerade många och platserna fylldes snabbt upp.
Gemensamt utforskade vi vad det innebär att vara Agil och när man har nytta av att agera Agilt. I små grupper fick deltagarna sedan bläddra i kortleken vi har skapat med mönster (patterns) för lyckat Agil transformation och välja de 5 som man trodde skulle skapa mest effekt i den egna organisationen. Det var inte helt lätt att välja bland de 20-tal korten, många reflekterade över hur olika dom hade valt, att det kunde skilja så mycket mellan olika bolag vad som behövde komma till för att möjliggöra ett Agilt arbetssätt.
Som avslutning diskuterade vi deltagarnas egna frågeställningar i en Lean Coffee och efter det gemensamt mingel. Det blev många givande och spännande diskussioner.
Stort tack alla som deltog och delade med sig av sina erfarenheter och frågeställningar. Vi hoppas vi ses på nästa event igen under hösten 🙂
This Friday we had our first “Dandy Friday” with our team, continuing to build the best possible place to work together. We talked about our company culture and did an assessment together, finding out who we are and discussing how we feel about that. We have a human, collaboratively culture as well as a creative and innovative culture. We are fast in adapting to new things and external factors like our clients is equally important to us as how our employees are feeling and doing. We also have a start up culture and we want to go fast.
We also watched the Ted Talk (illustrated) with David Marquet, “Turning the ship around” and reflecting about leadership and how to become a Catalyst Leader. Catalyst Leader is a role at Dandy People since we want to mobilize brainpower in our Dandys and we want every one to grow and become leaders them selves, just like we want to help our clients in the same way. Only someone who are an Catalyst Leader can get the role.
Our strategy is to create the best culture possible. No other strategy is needed 🙂
If you haven’t watched the movie you should.
Here you can read about what we did at our conference using the Business Strategy & Tactics Dialogue Board:
While many change management methodologies contain proven methods based on substantial experience and research, not enough is done to cater for the highly complex nature of change where you can’t simply “plan-and-execute” and get it right the first time. An iterative approach with rapid feedback and gradual learning is therefore suggested here.
Similarly, lean or agile methods risk being not deep enough if only focusing on basic PDCA. We want to include best practice in defining the problem to be solved together with assessment of the change capability of the people and organization going through the change. To assert that improvement has happened beyond a shadow of a doubt in a high-variation environments, statistical significance between baseline and new performance data should be established.
At Dandy People we have therefore combined the best parts of both approaches into what we label Agile Change Management and condensed it into one poster. At the center is the Agile Change Process which is made up of an outer circle representing a change that is needed. It contains both a people track and a systemtrack as both dimensions are needed for change to happen quickly and ensure return on investment. The inner circle is the iterative discovery of what actually works in terms of bringing people and system to work in a new and improved way. The poster is based on concepts from Lean, Agile, DMAIC and the Standard by ACMP.
This is a dialogue board, created to facilitate good discussions around business strategy and tactics in a startup. At Dandy People we are using it to start up our consulting business, but it can be used by any type of organisation, or part of an organisation that wants to improve their customer focus, culture, leadership and take action as a team.
At Dandy people we like to build our new business in a way that involves and inspires the people in our organization. To facilitate the discussions we wanted to have on our first mini-conference 2 months after starting up our shop, and after hiring 2 new people, I did this Lean Business Strategy & Tactics Dialogue Board. Off course we had already done som strategy and tactics work already before we started our company, but we felt that we wanted to be transparent and bring our new Dandys onboard with the idea of the company to enable them to feel as involved and motivated as possible. And off course, they are smart and experienced people, so why shouldn’t they be able to help us improve and grow? And I can just say that it worked like a charm 😀
Den 21a februari höll vi vår andra konferens, “Lyckade upphandlingar” för att sprida ljus över hur vi kan upphandla Agil utveckling även inom LOU. Förra våren anordnade vi (agilakontrakt.se) en konferens i Köpenhamn och nu var vi i Stockholm. Vi blev ganska precis 50 taggade personer, både jurister, kunder i offentlig sektor, folk från upphandlingsmyndigheten (yes!), leverantörer och konsulter som hade samlats för att bli inspirerade, dela med sig och ta del av erfarenheter och kunskap kring Agil upphandling.
Först vill jag bara säga att anledningen till att jag engagerar mig i den här frågan inte alls är att jag kan upphandling – eller LOU, men däremot har jag lång erfarenhet av hur man med Lean UX och Agil metodik skapar digitala tjänster och produkter som löser riktiga problem, och det är den möjligheten jag vill skapa – speciellt när det gäller stora komplexa lösningar där det verkar omöjligt för många i dag att göra rätt. Jag ser år ut och år in alldeles för många upphandlingar göras i dag i Sverige där man inte ger projektet eller programmet den möjligheten, möjligheten att hitta och förstå vad de verkliga behoven och problemen är och tillsammans lösa dom. Jag har själv blivit drabbad av den typen av projekt, även lyckats vända ett par av dom till att faktiskt få arbeta Agilt och leverera värde. Men det är frustrerande, väldigt frustrerande, och väldigt, väldigt kostsamt och onödigt. (more…)
På grund av att många försöker få med “allt” I en IT-upphandling, är det endast 40% av det som byggs som gör nytta i digitala tjänster och produkter. Lean UX hjälper oss att bara bygga de 40% i stället för allt.
Att arbeta med Lean UX är ett bra sätt att kunna identifiera vad vi behöver bygga, och prioritera rätt löpande. Men hur funkar det egentligen med Lean UX och Agila team?