Recently I am being asked a lot of questions around leadership. It is inspiring that so many managers are now become interested in leadership and even more inspiring that a few are understanding the difference between the two.
… so I thought I would start a series so I can capture my thoughts in one place. I hope you find something that inspires and helps.
As a leader I believe that your role is to achieve a better outcome from your team, compared to if you weren’t there. Now don’t laugh, I have met more managers than I could count that made no difference at all (or worse… they had a negative impact) on the output of their teams. Some managers are reporters, others are enforcers, the a few are leaders.
Managing should be an invisible, yet a productive force.
So, how do you improve the efficiency of the human-side of Organizations needed for the future success of a business?
Everything to do with work can be changed for the better, if only Management today is comfortable with simply pointing out where the business needs to go and how it intends getting there. Then letting go, and being flexible enough to adapt and evolve as that future unfolds with all of its uncertainties.
We definitely, need another measure of people performance other than by their economic contribution, which is often not within the control of the individual. We need to measure their commitment and leadership to the well-being of the Organization.
To achieve this we need to make work something worth committing to.
As new beliefs clash with the old, ‘fast change’ has come to mean must change, and with it has come disposable skills, the loss of feeling valued and stable, and a lack of leadership and mentors. This has resulted in not only a knowledge deficiency within our Organizations but also, a shift in the centre of energy of these Organizations.
This disruption has become so much part of our lives (there is just too much to take in… so much to know, understand, think about and consider) that we are in danger of our minds suffering from sensory as well as information overload and burnout. Stress, bewilderment, helplessness, tension, anxiety disorder is on the increase, and it is showing up as unreasonable behavior and even mindlessness within our Organizations’. Its showing up through lower than expected results.
People no longer know how to behave, how they work is how they have always worked. Many don’t know how to change. Speed has turned into haste as organizations fight for a credible future.
Everytime I watch this series… yep, I watch them regularly… hey why not learn from the very best(!) I learn something new.
As your level of agile maturity grows you will face issues. Architecture, design, fit into assurance frameworks in large organisations, skill set sharing etc. Spotify seem to have faced them all… and found sweet solutions.
Those of you who know me, know that I am a raving fan of Spotify and their Agile culture.
Spotify is an amazing free, legal online music streaming service check out their product here (https://www.spotify.com/au/)
You see spotify have engaged the Agile philosophy properly. Agile is about trying, measuring, then retrospectively looking at what worked well, didn’t work so well, and well… what totally ballsed up.
Lets be honest here… every project has its issues. Any project worth is weight has to solve a problem that hasn’t been solved before, so it will come across some stumbling block. People will make mistakes. That’s normal and that’s ok with me. Its how we learn, its how we innovate. If we never try anything new, we wont create anything new.
Have you ever sat in a meeting and thought “OMG… when will this end?… I’ve gotta get out and get xyz done.” You didn’t feel engaged, you didn’t feel valued.
A silly question I know, of course you have!
Sadly meetings like this are common place. It’s how most meetings around the world are run… and they kill productivity and collaboration.
I’ll let you in on a secret… If I have to sit through another rambling meeting… one that I cant add any value too, I’ll lose the will to live.
Recently I was having a coffee with a friend and this topic came up. He started telling me about the Lean Coffee framework and how it had transformed his company. Ummm… no… it’s not a skinny coffee as the name might lead you to believe. It’s actually a framework for running lean meetings.
Here’s a thought… If Ricardo can run a successful multi-billion dollar group of companies using his version of Agile, then we should all be striving to instill this mindset into our teams and departments.
What’s exciting is that its not just us dev types who are rethinking better ways of working.
What do Ricardo’s principles and Agile have in common? Well, if I was to pick a commonality I would have to say this…
I talk to a lot of project managers and they always have the same question for me…
“What is my role in an agile organization?”
They see the scrum roles of scrum master, product owner and scrum team member and they say, “Wait a second, there is no role for a project manager in there. Do I even have a place in an agile organization?”
Well the answer to that is an emphatic yes.
I think that most project managers have a skill set that transfers over very well to scrum, but the key is understanding which skills do transfer over well and which ones are going to have to adjust.
This is the best video I have watch in a long time. This is how all leaders should be striving to lead. It wont take you long to realise that I am a big fan of Vishen Lakhiani and his leadership ideas… they fit with Agile so well.
In 2009 Vishen Lakhiani was asked to speak at Engage Today in Calgary along with such luminaries as Sir Richard Branson, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Stephen Covey, Nobel Prize Winner F.W De Klerk, Tony Hsieh, the founder of