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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) >

Download in Italian >

Download in French >

Download in Spanish >

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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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 >

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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) >

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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”.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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


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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…)

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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.


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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.

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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.


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I was so happy this morning when I found this article in my favourite magazine, the Harvard Business Review. As always all articles are based on research and as many times before I see a strong connection to my work with Agile organization, teams and innovation.

In the fresh research done by ADP research Institute 2019 on employee engagement and published in the Harvard Business Review they discovered the power of well functioning teams and trust to engage employees.

The sad state of Employee Engagement in organizations today where the vast majority of employees globally aren’t fully engaged in their work. This research concludes just as many other before that the engagement level generally is alarmingly low in most organizations – only 16% feel fully engaged in their work and 84% are just coming to work to get their pay check.

The researchers also concludes that the share of employees who are fully engaged more than doubles if they are on teams, and not just any teams but well functioning teams.

The power of trust. As noted the share of employees who are fully engaged more than doubles if they are on a team, and it MORE DOUBLES AGAIN if they strongly trust the team leader.

These are the powerful questions asked in the research

  1. I am really enthusiastic about the mission of my company.
  2. At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me.
  3. In my team, I am surrounded by people who share my values.
  4. I have the chance to use my strengths every day at work.
  5. My teammates have my back.
  6. I know I will be recognized for excellent work.
  7. I have great confidence in my company’s future.
  8. In my work, I am always challenged to grow.


ADP research Institute 2019 and published in the Harvard Business Review. Read the article on HBR here >


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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.


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Avanza is a tech company with bank licence (you can call them a bank) here in Stockholm. A few years back they started their journey from a traditional silos based organization to a cross functional product organization organized around the customer journey – IT, Product, Marketing and Operations working as one. Here we want to share their own story in the video they recorded at their Avanza Tech Meetup – and as a Case Study.


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Why Agile – in a Nutshell Video

This video covers the value of working agile, some of the differences between the traditional plan driven ways of working and Agile as well as key principles. All this to make your organization adapt quickly to meet new customer needs.

The content of this video is part of the poster “Agile in a Nutshell” which you can download for free and use in your daily work. The poster has been translated to many different languages and has now over 45.000 downloads.

Ways of Working Agile – in a Nutshell Video

This video covers some of the key koncepts of ways of working agile as presented in the Agile in a Nutshell poster. Why competences are more important than traditional roles, the concept of T-shape and how it helps the team collaborate and build innovative and high quality solutions, how we find value together in a x-functional team as well as key principles och Lean UX and Modern Agile. All this to make your organization adapt quickly to meet new customer needs. The content of this video is part of the poster “Agile in a Nutshell” which you can download for free and use in your daily work. The poster has been translated to many different languages and has now over 45.000 downloads.


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This years State of Agile Report from Version One is out!

The report is based on over 1.300 answers 17% Version One customers. New for this year is that cost reduction is primary driver for Agile change and that respondents are clear on that Dev Ops is VERY important as well as investment is vital for success in scaling Agile.

Biggest obstacles for adopting Agile 2019

  • Organizational culture at odds with Agile values
  • Organizational resistance to to change
  • Inadequate management support and sponsorship

Investment is vital for success in scaling Agile

When asked what has been the most valuable in helping to scale Agile practices the top three responses were “Internal Agile coaches”, “Executive sponsorship”, and “Company-provided training”. All three of these point to a commitment to invest in success. In last years survey, Executive sponsorship ranked fifth, and company provided training did not rank in the top 5.

Version one state of agile report

Looking for a shift towards engagement and empowerment as a driver

I personally hope that moving forward transformation to Agile will be the long term strategy for organizations that want to empower their people and reach really high employee engagement and customer happiness – instead of cost reduction. Two sides of the same coin of course, one long term and one short term. To make this happen we need to support the managers to find the way to create safe environments, restructure the system to create flow and connect people with the purpose enabling them to succeed. If this is what you are looking for in your organization we are happy to join forces with you and support you on this journey as partners.

Read the full report on the State of Agile from Version One here >

Next time you need to reorganize, consider this:

  • Be super clear on why the reorg is needed and what you hope to achieve with it – it makes everyone more motivated
  • Be available for questions – it makes everyone more comfortable
  • Involve team members as much as possible, for example in a self-selection workshop – it makes everyone more committed

In this weeks episode of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, me and Vasco Duarte discuss self-selection of teams, how I did it in a distributed team and what the benefits were.

Listen to the episode here:



You will find all the episodes here:


Have you ever heard someone in a team say:

“Nah, it’s not even worth it for me to look into that bug. Maria is back on Monday, she will fix it super fast then.”

In this weeks episode of Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, me and Vasco Duarte discuss the “hero” anti-pattern, how it works against being a team, how to recognize it and how to get rid of it.

Listen to the episode here:



You will find all the episodes here:


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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.


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design principles for agile office spaces
At Spotify they did an analysis of all Spotifys RnD offices, how the people move, sit, collaborate and what they like or not.  The analysis has been used to build and renovate all Spotifys new offices.


Here are some of the key takeaways I have made from visiting Spotify and talking to them about their RnD office space and what it means to them and how they are looking to redesign the BJG RnD office in Stockholm. This is my interpretation of their thinking expressed in 10 Agile design principles for office spaces to allow aligned autonomy. You can read more about that visit in this post >


If you have Agile teams in your organization, or if you are planning to evolve in to an Agile learning organization, these design principles are for you to use to create an environment where Agile teams can thrive.

These are the 10 key design principles for Agile office spaces inspired by Spotify

  • No walls between teams – Instead they use string walls which has become a signature design for the Spotify spaces, allowing the teams to feel just enough separated but still getting the benefit of viewing and listening in to conversations – or they use sofa areas as natural separators. Also the string walls gives the possibility to put up work or fun stuff which makes the space even more personal and visual.
  • Only one coffee machine and kitchen per floor – so that people meet and interact with others outside of their squad (team) and tribe (teams).
  • Every employee should have their own desk – people tend to be very attached to their desks. Especially the developers that have several screens or people with a lot of other equipment or personal features.
  • Desks should be big enough for two people – this is to cater for easy access to pair work, wether it’s pair design or pair programming. High performing Agile teams do this a lot.
  • Sofa area in every squad area – it’s a great place to sit and discuss, and anyone can join in if they have a solution or more information. People also love to lie down and work by them selves during the day. Also they act as separators of space in a nice way.
  • Meeting rooms included in all squad areas – it’s one of the keys to efficient team work at Spotify to never have to book a meeting room to collaborate with people within the team. At Spotify squads have a 2 people meeting room to talk with someone face to face in private, a full squad meeting room – and in the new renovated space they will also have meeting rooms for 4 people.
  • As  much whiteboards as possible – it should be possible to collaborative and brainstorm and leave stuff on the walls on as many places as possible near the squads, but also in collaboration areas. It can never be too many whiteboards in an Agile organization.
  • Big screens accessible in all squad areas and meeting rooms – to make daily meetings efficient all squads have their own screens to use for meetings – and others to use to visualize their data.
  • Video conference equipment in all meeting rooms and squad spaces – it should always be possible to dial in to an office and join an conversation in a good way.
  • Space for fun and relaxation – strive for that everyone should feel at home and that they can find spaces to relax and have fun in, also in their spare time. Invite employees to come to the office with friends on weekends and of course to bring their kids.


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A few weeks ago me and Frida Mangen did a talk on Activity Based Seating for Agile teams for the WE network, Workplace Evolutionaries. Afterwards we invited them for a visit to the old Spotify BJG RnD office to experience and learn more about the mindset of Agile organizations and how the interiors can support high performance teams and aligned autonomy.

The group visiting Spotify consisted of office interior experts off different kinds, designers, architects, scientist and change makers. We met up outside the office at Birgerjarlsgatan. We were warmly welcomed by Zuza Majkowska who was acting as our guide for the tour, and at the end of the tour also Becca who is a team engeneering manager and part of the renovation committee also joins and tells us more about the teams perspective and their work with the ongoing renovation.
This post is mostly a transcription of these conversations during the viewing.


The Spotify building consists of 11 floors, and Spotify are renting all floors but one. The tour started in a common space in one of the few big meeting rooms where the group of 22 ppl squeezed in to learn more about Spotify first before viewing the space.


Striving for aligned autonomy in everything – also in the office space

Zuza: We are always striving for aligned autonomy at Spotify in everything they do, also in the space of our office.


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I´m so happy to share the Agile Coaching in a Nutshell poster also with all the Russians 🙂 Thank you so much to the wonderful Anton Serzhantov who has translated this poster.

This poster is aiming ro visualize the different perspectives, ways of working and competences in the role of an Agile Coach. feel free to download it and use it to develop yourself or others, increase collaboration and collective outcome or to help others understand what we can help with 🙂

FREE DOWNLOAD: Here you can download it for free in high resolution (PDF)

Agile Коучинг В двух словах


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This is a canvas you can use with your team to visualize some of the key concepts, facts about the team – but it is also a part of the process to build a high performance team to do the activities needed to fill out the canvas with the team. Keep it visual by the team and bring it with you on important team meetings.

Download the Team Canvas for free in high resolution (PDF) >
team canvas 1

Team Name
It is always great for the team spirit to come up with a nice and cool or funny name by them selves, don’t let any one else set it for them.

Purpose or Mission
It is crucial for the team to set a clear mission to enable them to focus and give clarity. It should be in connection with user- and business strategy and it is usually a job for the Product Owner if the team has one. What the team delivers and prioritizes depends on their mission. (more…)

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Business Performance TeamMost CEO’s today say Business Agility is important to them. It´s becoming more and more clear that organizations that enable their employees to find the best solutions to important problems outperform their competitors. To do this we many times need to take a very different perspective on how to manage our companies than what we have been used to. Old leadership principles and management practices don´t give the support or control they used to – they are instead actively hindering the organization from acting on new knowledge and doing whats best for the company and the customers.

How to create human and flexible organizations for more value

In this poster we cover the combination of the people perspective and the business perspective and how new perspectives and ways of working can enable business agility. Only once these two perspectives are in sync we can truly empower people and build learning organizations that not just handle complexity better – but even uses it as a business advantage.

To create this poster I have worked with two of the front runners within both of the areas (together with Managers) that most of all have to change to enable Business Agility, Bjarte Bogsnes within Finance and Pia-Maria Thorén within HR.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Here you can download the Enabling Business Agility Poster for free (PDF) >

FREE DOWNLOAD: Portuguese >

Enabling Business Agility

Pia-Maria Thorén - Inspiration Director at Agile People and Bjarte Bogsnes - Chairman Beyond Budgeting Roundtable. Björn Sandberg has also contributed with his elegant model for learning organizations.

TRAINING: Don´t miss learning all about how to do this at the awesome training “Enabling Business Agility” with Pia-Maria and Bjarte Bogsnes at Dandy People in Stockholm!

Beyond Budgeting Principles
Beyond Budgeting principles

Separating Business processes to enable Business Agility

Separate conflicting purposes into different processes and then improve each one

People Perspective – Theory X and Y

If we have an X view on people we believe they are lazy and don’t want to do a good job. They need to be managed and controlled to do their work and have very little creativity. This is reflecting how traditional management processes are set up.

If we have an Y view on people we believe that under the right conditions people like to work and that they are creative. People are motivated when they take ownership and set their own goals. This is a modern management view for the knowledge era of today.

Free to download, use and share


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Once again a big thank you to the crew at Adaptworks and Amanda da Rocha Reis for your effort to translate also this poster to Portuguese 🙂 As always, please feel free to use in your works it and share it as you like.

Here you can download the original poster in English >

DOWNLOAD: Here you can download the Portuguese Agile Coaching in a Nutshell poster for free (PDF) >

agile coaching poster portuguese

Free to download, use and share


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We are so happy to be able to share another of our Agile posters translated to Portuguese! Thank you so much AdaptworksFREE DOWNLOAD IN PORTUGUESE: the Propriedade de Produto Ágil as high resolution PDF >

Here you find the original English poster >

Propriedade de Produto Ágil


Free to download, use and share

The posters is published under Creative Commons License, so please use it and share it as you like. If you are interested in doing a translation to any other languages please let me know and I will help you with the file and publish it here in the blog as well.

You are free to:

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
This license is acceptable for Free Cultural Works.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Under the following terms:

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Here you find all the other posters in the series that are now translated to 14 languages and downloaded over 70.000 times world wide.



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The speed of change today is extremely high as well as complexity, but our organizations and the way we manage it was invented for very different times – 100 years ago. The performance of traditional organizations are decreasing dramatically due to this discrepancy. For organizations to be able to adapt and find new flexible ways of thinking and working to deliver value a human view is key. To enable this HR and Finance must join forces and work in collaboration to change the system dramatically. Only then will organizations survive.

Don’t miss this new unique and important workshop
In the workshop you will learn how to enable business Agility through HR and Finance. This workshop is both inspirational with a lot of new thinking and cases, but you will also get to do hands on practical exercises on how to change the system together.

Join us in Stockholm at Dandy People on February 20 or April 11! Sign up and read more here >

Interview about how to enable Business Agility through HR and Finance (18 min)

This video is a short walkthrough of some of the core concepts behind the work Pia-Mia, Inspiration Director and Agile People Coach at Agile People and Bjarte Bogsnes, Chairman of the Beyond Budgeting Round Table, are doing and also part of the 1 day Workshop “Enabling Business Agility through Finance and HR” that you can read more about here >

You should join
Any Manager, Finance and HR people, as well as Agile Coaches or Change Leaders.


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We’re so happy to be able to present the Agile HR in a Nutshell poster in Spanish! Thank you so much Pablo Riviera  and Matias Fourment  for the awesome work with the translation!

Estamos descubriendo mejores maneras de desarrollar una cultura del trabajo comprometida, haciendo y ayudando a otros a hacerlo.
A través de este trabajo hemos llegado a valorar:

  • Redes colaborativas por sobre las estructuras jerárquicas
  • Transparencia por sobre los secretos
  • Adaptabilidad por sobre la prescriptividad
  • Inspiración y compromiso por sobre el management y la retención
  • Motivación intrínseca por sobre las recompensas extrínsecas
  • La ambición por sobre la obligación

Here you can download the Spanish poster for free – Agile HR en pocas palabras >

Agile HR en pocas palabras

Free to download, use and share


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This is a visualization of what we as Agile Coaches do and what competences we have. The purpose of this poster is to create a common understanding of this new role(s) and function for the rest of the organization – but also a way for us as Agile Coaches to use for growing our competences in a strategic way and building cross functional Agile Coaching teams.

At Dandy People we work as Agile Coaches at our customers and support them in Agile transformations over time. I started to create this poster to create a common understanding at our clients, and within the new Agile Coaching group that we build. I have already used it (the first version) a couple of times with great success, the confusion of what we do is gone in minutes and we can get started to bring value to people! This version of the poster is even better. It is a collaboration with the experienced Agile leader Frank Olsen who is Chief Agile Coach at Simcorp, leading their LACE team. Thank you Frank for awesome collaboration!

FREE DOWNLOAD ENGLISH: Here you can download the Agile Coaching in a Nutshell poster for free in high resolution (PDF) >

FREE DOWNLOAD PORTUGUESE: Here you can download the poster in Portuguese >

FREE DOWNLOAD RUSSIAN: Here you can download the poster in Russian >

FREE DOWNLOAD TURKISH: Here you can download the poster in Turkish >

FREE DOWNLOAD SPANISH: Here you can download the poster in Spanish >

Free Download in Simplified Chinese: Here you can download the poster in Simplified Chinese >

agile coach in a nutshell

Are you interested in becoming an Agile Coach? Here you find our trainings for Agile Coach and Enterprise Agile Coach.

The content of the Agile Coaching in a Nutshell poster

The Agile Coaching Competency Framework
The framework that I find best describe the complexity of the role in a great way is the Agile Coaching Competency Framework by Lyssa Adkins and Michale Spayd at agile Coaching Institute. I have tweaked it a bit  to be able to use it on a broader perspective then within software development. My hope is that it can be used by Agile Coaches across the organization. The way they explain it is that every Agile Coach should master at least one area within the 4 main areas. (more…)

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