Leadership Tip (series) Inspiring Your Team

I was working with a client the other day and was asked how we attract such great talent to our projects.  “Steve, you always seem to have the motivated team, the stars… that makes delivery easy”

Whilst attracting bright talent is a focus of mine (who doesn’t want to work with bright people?), we work hard at it, we also work hard at keeping them and maintaining the motivation.

Our underlying philosophy is pretty simple and is broken down into three points that anyone can use.

  1. How do you make your team members wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose?
  2. You can’t manage people.  You manage tasks and inspire people to achieve those tasks. How do you inspire?
  3. How do you ensure your team members go home with a sense of achievement?

These three questions are answered at the start of every engagement and to ensure they remain efficient, are built into our retrospectives, which are held every two weeks.  The team are heavily engaged, we spend a lot of time talking about these points and adjusting team culture and actions to ensure we deliver on them.

Take these questions to your team and see what answers you get.  How can you implement them, and more importantly, how do you maintain them?

Great people are the result of inspired people.

Hope that helps.

 

How Spotify Do It (Is this Agile at its best?) Part 1 of 2

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.

The video below, with a huge thanks to Spotify who made it available, explains their engineering philosophy so well that I thought I’d use it here.
Continue reading How Spotify Do It (Is this Agile at its best?) Part 1 of 2

Welcome To Agile Espresso For Highly Collaborative Meetings

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.

Driven by the fear of another life-sucking-meeting Continue reading Welcome To Agile Espresso For Highly Collaborative Meetings

Steve Ranked #10 in Top 25 Agile Evangelists On LinkedIn

Today I received an email from linked in telling me that I am ranked #10 on their worldwide list of Agile Evangelists.  I have to say I am pretty pleased with this info!

Me being me I had to check this so off to google I went and yep sure enough, there I am.  Woohoo!

Continue reading Steve Ranked #10 in Top 25 Agile Evangelists On LinkedIn

How To Put The ‘Fun’ Into Work Environments

So you have, or you are implemented Agile in some form, Scrum, Kanban, SAFe…  These are both exciting and scary times.  You’ve convinced your boss that this is a better way to create software, to create and deliver business value earlier, quicker and to build an amazing team.  You have told your boss you can take him or her to management utopia!  Well now it’s time to deliver…

So, why is it then that some many companies that I see have made this massive paradigm shift in thinking, expect their team members to do the same… even though they are still in a work environment that was, to be quite frank, devised in the late 1800’s.

Agile + Fun = Management Utopia
(Massive results, happy staff and happy bosses!)

Continue reading How To Put The ‘Fun’ Into Work Environments

The $1,000,000 Hackathon – Watch!

A colleague just send me a link to this youtube video and I just had to share it.

Why did you share this with me Steve?  What has this go to do with Agile?… a lot actually…

It is a good question tho.  Well you see I started my career as a developer… creating software is in my blood and I think this type of event is really cool… and very Agile.

These guys pump out two weeks or more worth of work in two days.  Sure they work like mad dogs, and have a great team around them, but this is very Agile… here’s why…

Continue reading The $1,000,000 Hackathon – Watch!

Why Happiness Is The New Productivity

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

Continue reading Why Happiness Is The New Productivity