Last week I presented a talk on Co-creation at Agile2013. It was well received and at least for me, made it clear that co-creation is a challenging topic that requires intestinal fortitude to execute successfully.
Given the blistering rate of change, increasingly savvy consumers, and a noisy market, businesses must change the way they engage customers, particularly for new product innovation. Here, the requirements are nebulous, ever-evolving, and customers have as vague a notion of what they really need as their suppliers do. There are tools for navigating this grey-zone of ambiguity. One of them is co-creation. Continue reading →
Only one in five employees are fully engaged. (Deloitte’s Center for the Edge: The Shift Index).
I personally view this video as a warning; the perils of over-rotating on a left-brained, rational approach to life, which removes context, meaning, and the big WHY of what we do. Passion and vision are largely missing in the world of work, and when they do exist in doses that are sufficient to stir our emotions, we often fail to realize their potential. We don’t connect the WHY with the HOW and the WHAT.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift…and the rational mind is a faithful servant. – Albert Einstein.
Last week I had the opportunity to present at Agile2011, which was attended by 1604 registered participants and over 250 talks. The conference was a wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones.
The talk, titled Cultural Architecture was about how culture influences the way we work and interact differently depending on our cultural biases, rules and filters. Each culture presents unique challenges, and as change leaders, coaches, and practitioners, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves on how cultures influence what people do, why they do it, and how. As teams become increasingly cross-cultural and global, cultural knowledge becomes more important than ever.
I’ve been reading “Implementing Beyond Budgeting” by Bjarte Bogsnes. Finance is sometimes a neglected area in terms of Agile Transformation and Bogsnes’s book offers rock-solid advice. The first element is the set of leadership and process principles.There are 6 of each:
Customers. Focus everyone on improving customer outcomes, not on hierarchical relationships.
Organization. Organize as a network of lean, accountable teams, not around centralized functions.
Responsibility. Enable everyone to act and think like a leader, not merely follow the plan.
Autonomy. Give teams the freedom and capability to act; do not micromanage them.
Values. Govern through a few clear values, goals, and boundaries, not detailed rules and budgets.
Goals. Set relative goals for continuous improvement; do not negotiate fixed performance contracts.
Rewards. Reward shared success based on relative performance, not in meeting fixed targets.
Planning. Make planning a continuous and inclusive process, not a top-down annual event.
Controls. Base controls on relative indicators and trends, not on variances against the plan.
Resources. Make resources available as needed, not through annual budget allocations.
Coordination. Coordinate interactions dynamically, not through annual planning cycles.
These are difficult principles to live by without trust, transparency and simplicity in your organization. Adopting these principles takes time and effort, and a rather gargantuan mind shift. Eventually you’d want them all, but if you had to start somewhere, which principles would start acting on tomorrow?
Can we apply Pareto to the budgeting process, focusing on the top 20% of financial decisions and issues aligned with the Product Backlog?
Decisions on what to STOP doing are as important as the decision on what to START doing. Are you making the hard calls? Can you apply Pareto to both decision types? What will we fund? What will we kill?
Moving from a system designed for robustness to one that supports resilience represents a significant strategic shift. Whilst systems have commonly been designed to be robust – systems which are designed to prevent failure – increasing complexity and the difficulty it poses to fail-proof planning have made a shift to “resilience” strategically imperative. A resilient system on the other hand accepts that failure is inevitable and focuses instead on early discovery and fast recovery from failure.