Leadership Series: Wake Up With A Sense Of Purpose

This is one of my core principles. Everyday I work hard to ensure that members of my team can wake up with a sense of purpose. It sounds easy, but like most things in leadership – it’s difficult.

It’s a big goal to set. I try and achieve it every day – and to be honest I don’t always succeed. That’s why this is a team task. During the retros and during my walks and conversations with people, I ask and collect information that will help me work out how to make everyone ‘wake up with a sense of purpose’.

This is how we put a bounce in our team mates step, how we make them want to jump out of bed in the morning and how we inspire them to bring their best to work.

Continue reading Leadership Series: Wake Up With A Sense Of Purpose

Leadership Tip: 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. Continue reading Leadership Tip: Inspiring Your Team

How to get people to innovate

My plane from Sydney has just been delayed 4 hours.  I’ve just finished up facilitating a day long workshop with a high energy client.  My brain is alive with ideas, i’m pumped, so what better time to write a blog on innovation.

Ok, i’m going to correct myself right here.  You don’t GET people to innovate.  As a leader you create an environment where innovation, ideas and suggestions are the norm.  Then, using the right ‘tools’ you stimulate and capture innovation.

Innovation, sadly its a term that has been used to death, but I hope that it never loses its importance in peoples priorities.

The days of having an idea then milking the market for 20 years with the same idea are all-but-gone.  Companies, and now Governments need to continually be coming up with better ways to do what they do, continually changing what they do, testing, ditching the failures, leveraging the wins and trying again.

… but how to do embed a culture of innovation through our your team, your department, division or enterprise?

I have implemented what I call the ‘Innovation To Implementation Cycle’ which has consistently shown great results – it is not easy to implement, but if you don’t…

I’m going to put some Continue reading How to get people to innovate

Executive support is mandatory for agile

Over the past 25 years of delivering solutions in multiple countries and multiple organisations I have never had the support from exec like I do from my current client.  From the board, to the CEO to the executive directors, to the business… we are backed and supported.

This stacks the odds of makes top down, bottom up change, success heavily in our favor.

It is common for the CEO to walk into the program room, sit down with me and ask Continue reading Executive support is mandatory for agile

Leadership Tips (series) Wake up!

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.

One philosophy I try to embed is Continue reading Leadership Tips (series) Wake up!

How Spotify Do It – Part 2 of 2

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.

Watch and enjoy!

Continue reading How Spotify Do It – Part 2 of 2

How To Run A Company (or Team) With (Almost) No Rules

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…

Continue reading How To Run A Company (or Team) With (Almost) No Rules

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

4 Easy Ways To Inspire Performance & Creativity On Your Project

Want to inspire a high performance team?  Want to inspire creativity on your project? You need to create an environment that is so ‘awesome’, creativity and productivity is never an issue.  Here’s some ideas to get started…

Here is a short list of simple ways to inspire your teams creativity and get them cranking out the productivity and creativity…

DO A SETH AND BUILD TRIBES

People want to belong to tribes.

I remember taking over a troubled project for a company in the UK.  The moral of the team was shot to pieces, the output non-existent, the budget exceeded.

I started on the Monday.

On the previous Friday the company had made the team sit through a ‘we value our employees’ presentation… then fired them all!  Go figure…

I walked in on the Monday… to only 1 team member.  My boss thought he was helping me, when what he had just done is thrown the baby out with the bath water.  After a rather uncomfortable conversation with him I was able to call the guys back in for a chat. Continue reading 4 Easy Ways To Inspire Performance & Creativity On Your Project

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