Category Archives: leadership

Managing self-organizing teams

How do we suggest that managers …well… manage self-organizing teams? By self-organizing, I also mean self-managing.  Let’s assume that not all ‘self-organizing teams’ will self-organize or self-manage effectively. So, a few suggestions. 1. Get rid of almost all the old stuff. I really want you to think about getting rid of it all.  I cannot […]

Change: “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

This is a quote by Wayne Gretzky. I am flying to Canada now. And I like hockey. Today the quote reminds me of how hard change is. To make any change happen in an organization is hard.  It takes a lot of energy.  It takes a willingness to miss a shot, to make a mistake, […]

Radical Management

Steve Denning has written a great agile book for managers, called The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management. Here are the five principles: A shift in the goal of making money for shareholders to delighting customers through continuous innovation. A shift in the role of managers from controlling individuals to enabling self-organizing teams. A shift in […]

6 Myths of Product Development

This is a very useful article in the HBR, by Stefan Thomke and Donald Reinertson.  Reinertson is well known in the lean-agile community.  It is excellent.  Go here to buy it for $6.  Well worth it. Here are the myths or fallacies they mention: 1. High utilization of resources will improve performance. By ‘resources’ they […]

We want a Stable Team

I think our work generally is about knowledge creation.  And specifically, your business is about knowledge creation. (Knowledge creation is key for almost all people who attend my courses and workshops.) It is about innovation, creativity, and inventiveness. It is about cool solutions to hard business-technology problems.  It is about some sort of intersection between […]

What to do with managers?

First, unlike some in the agile community, I think managers can be and even are useful in lean-agile-scrum.  Even essential. The first problem is that we do not explain to them how things have changed, and how they can be effective in the new environment. Still, there is a lot of evidence, on many levels […]

John Kotter Explains the 8 Steps to Create Successful Change

Here is a slide show and voice over by John Kotter (our best expert on change) talking about how to get organizations to change.  Watch and listen here.  [This was a link, and it is broken now.]  About 7 minutes. [We can send you now to the 8 steps page at Kotter International.] Here is […]

Leaning in, Leaning back

Some of you may know of my dance theory of human relationships.  It is a simple theory, and like many simple things, true at least some of the time. It says that if you want someone to come closer, you must move backwards, as most any pair dancer will tell you.  That of course assumes […]

“Leader’s Guide to Radical Management”

I just got a copy of “The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management” by Stephen Denning. I recommend it. It is not so hard to learn Scrum and apply it to one team, but I always hear that, in any large-ish organization, “We need to change the culture.” OK then, one way is to read and […]

Leadership – 2

“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!’” — Lao-Tsu […]