Sound Familiar?

Comments: 0 Filed Under: Leadership Gender

In our local daily newspaper for September 5th (yes, the actual hold-it-in-your-hand variety), a small article caught my eye. The First Lady of Japan says she has such a busy schedule that sometimes it is up to the prime minister to wash the dishes or take out the garbage.

Akie Abe is a big supporter of the “womenomics” policy of promoting women’s advancement. She says Japan needs this policy because women are under-represented in senior-level positions in companies, government, and universities. She contends that Japanese women have long been discriminated against in salary and promotion decisions.

Sound familiar? It should...

Join the Agile Fluency Project Community

Author: Staff Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Developing People Leadership

Are you managing Agile teams? Are you wondering how to offer the best guidance so teams reach their highest possible performance? Is maximum team productivity on your mind? Are your team members telling you they need additional support to deliver the most productivity?

Here at FutureWorks Consulting, Sharon, Diana, and our network of experienced colleagues continually look for ways to help leaders like you. We offer ideas, services and opportunities to strengthen business agility, build resilience for yourself and others, and improve how you work with Agile teams and organizations. We’ve written before about the Agile Fluency™ model developed by Diana and James Shore, and now we bring you the chance to move the model from idea to implementation, through the Agile Fluency Project.

Storytelling

Comments: 0 Filed Under: Coaching Leadership

“I don’t want her/him/them to make the same mistakes I made!”

“I hope you learn from my experience!”

“See what happened to him/them?!”

“If you knew what I’ve been through, you wouldn’t do that!”

“We tried that once and it didn’t work.”

Sound familiar?

When this sage advice is unappreciated or ignored, it’s followed closely by, “I guess everyone has to make his/her own mistakes.” Or the dreaded rebuke,“I told you so!”

Trying to save others from the discomfort we’ve experienced is a worthy impulse. When the pain we are trying to help them avoid is embarrassment, physical harm, disappointment or a lot of wasted effort, we...

Now What?

Comments: 0 Filed Under: Leadership Human Systems Dynamics

Kevin, the COO of a medium-sized Oregon food company and a long time client of ours, called recently sounding frazzled.

Given that Kevin is usually so affable, his tone of voice immediately signaled that something was up. A few days later we met him at our favorite coffee shop where he explained that he simply had “no bandwidth,” as he put it, to respond to his board’s request for a new 3-5 year strategic plan reflecting current market conditions.

“I know my board members feel anxious about the market, we all do. But how can I confidently predict how things might change...

Building in the Jungle of Complexity

Comments: 0 Filed Under: Leadership Human Systems Dynamics

In today’s faster paced and technologically advanced world, organizations have become emergent, complex systems. If they ever seemed simple, none of us can think of them as static or simple these days. Things change. Fast. Organizations, and individuals within them, must respond. But how? Our old ideas about change no longer apply. In a fantasy future, a leader like Jean-Luc Picard (Captain, Starship Enterprise) could say, “Make it so!” and walk away. In our real future, things aren’t so easily accomplished in a single step.


We used to view organizational change management as a linear, predictable process to be managed...

The Art of Agile: NYC

Author: Staff Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Developing People Leadership

Take your Agile knowledge to the next level and learn how to effectively implement Agile methods to make ‘good’ teams brilliant.

Join industry experts, James Shore and Diana Larsen, for an in-depth immersion into real-world Agile development. Learn how to plan and deliver Agile projects and practice doing so in real teams delivering working software. The training emphasizes real-word experiences and promotes a hands-on approach for students.

Teamwork Required

Author: Staff Comments: 0 Filed Under: Agile Teams Developing People Leadership Culture and Change

Our experience thus far has been that while self-organizing teams may enable the organization to operate from day to day without active management, a more integrated organization and more productive teams make the value-add of managers highly transparent and place a premium on specific leadership skills.

From Adam Light, Chris Vike and Diana Larsen. "Teamwork Required: Managing Agile Application Delivery in a Matrix Organization", Cutter Agile Product & Project Management Executive Update, Vol. 12, No. 19. October 2011.

For a free download of the article pdf, register at the Cutter site. You can also order reprints from Cutter to use...

Agile 2010 & the Flood

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 0 Filed Under: Leadership People & Places

When the rains came down and the flood waters rose in Nashville TN one month ago, it became clear the Agile Alliance would have to “respond to change” rather than “following the plan” for our annual Agile 2010 conference—with the conference scheduled to open in only 14 weeks.

LoC & Mary Parker Follet

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 3 Filed Under: Agile Leadership

While in Washington D.C. last month, for the first time I visited the U.S. Library of Congress. Guided by writer and experienced LoC researcher David Schmaltz, I received a temporary library card to research early management thought.

In the glorious reading room under its amazing dome, I held two precious books. One, an (out of print) copy of Mary Parker Follett’s Creative Experience is so old it didn’t have publication date or place data printed in it. However, a little diligent searching told me the edition I held was published in 1924. The book contains ideas offered...

Feeding each other

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 1 Filed Under: Teams Leadership

I’ve been fortunate to have experienced many great team building moments, activities and events on several great teams. One of the best, involved feeding each other.

In Fearless Change, Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising counsel that a pattern called "Do Food" "makes an ordinary gathering a special event" and reference Christopher Alexander’s pattern "Communal Eating." Linda and Mary Lynn note, "sharing food plays a vital role in almost all human societies to bind people together and increase the feeling of group membership." Eating together has a long and documented history in building shared culture.

Personal Retrospectives

Author: Diana Larsen Comments: 2 Filed Under: Retrospectives Leadership

Agile retrospectives aren’t just for teams or organizations. Individuals (like you and me) also use them as a way of taking stock and choosing how to move forward—reflecting, inspecting, and adapting to the changing conditions in our lives. Chronological milestones serve as a great prompts for a personal retrospective (e.g., year’s-end, birthday, anniversary, solstice, etc.).

We find ourselves at the end of 2009, looking toward 2010 with eager anticipation and/or reluctant anxiety. What a great time to retrospect!

First, plan your retrospective.

Where will you focus? Choose a focus or theme for the retrospective that holds meaning for...