Lean Thinking

Written by Published in Agile

Hi Folks. Back for a new year. I'll be kicking off the year with something I talked about at the end of last year - an in-depth look at my views on what an agile culture looks like. If you can cast your minds all the way back to 2018, I posted an overview of 5 things that I feel are the foundations of a good agile culture. To refresh everyone's memories (including mine) after the holiday season, here they are again -

  • Supportive leadership
  • Strive for quality
  • Learning organisation
  • Enable people 
  • Enhance safety

Today I'll be looking at the first one - supportive leadership. Agile folks talk about this all the time by different names. Servant leadership, supportive leadership, people-focused leadership, and a host of others. We all mean the same thing. The trouble is, when we are asked "well, what exactly does that mean, we generally aren't very good at defining it, and are even worse at giving leaders real, practical guidance on what to do to become a supportive/servant/people focused leader. So here is my attempt.

25 December 2018

Happy Holidays

Written by Published in Blog

Hi Folks

This is a really quick post to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and my best wishes for the year ahead.

I'll be taking my usual holiday blog break this year so I'll see you all again in Feb 2019.

Cheers

Dave

Written by Published in Agile

Hi Folks. I know I'm supposed to start my series on agile culture today but I'll be taking my regular holiday blog break very soon and I'd rather not start the series then have a long break between posts. So, I'll start that series in the new year and drop in a quick post that has been inspired by an ongoing discussion at work. The discussion is around coaching approach - do we coach practices or do we coach mindset?

As context, we are in a large organisation and, as most agile programs do, have started by coaching largely around practices. The discussion is around whether we should switch from practices coaching to mindset coaching. One of the coaches posted a picture on our coaching WhatsApp group (apologies for the quality, I don't have an original source) -behaviour, perspective, mindset cycle image

The comment was "it's time to move from behaviour to mindset". Let's unpack that a little.

27 November 2018

Agility Culture

Written by Published in Agile

Over the last few posts we have looked at the four key things that organisations need to do in order to become agile - Distributed Decision Making, Execution Efficiency, Measure what Matters, Inspect and Adapt. In each of those I make brief mention of an "agile culture" that enables them. It's now time to take a deeper look at that agile culture and see what it is.

What is an agile culture? To me the culture is a set of organisational behaviours that enable agility to flourish. If you think about two garden beds - one has poor soil, little sun and get no attention. The other has good soil, plenty of water and lots of sun. If you plant identical plants into each bed, which one will do better (and it's probably best not to ask my wife about flannel flowers at this point - a lovely Australian native plant that flourishes on neglect in rocks by the side of the road but curls up its toes and dies when lovingly tended in our garden)? Agile culture is the well tended garden bed that lets agility thrive. All too often we see agility struggling - thin and weedy, straggly yellow leaves. That's because the culture wasn't there to support it.

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