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TED (conference)

WHY ?

By | Agile, Communication, Customers, Development, Disruption, Lean, People, Strategy | No Comments

At various times I’ve heard Fiona, Nigel and myself telling people “If you only adopt one Agile practice make it the retrospectives” … But why ?

The boards are useful, but they are really just give you a prompt when you talk at your stand ups, and those are just an efficient way to make sure everyone is communicating.  While the demos and showcases give some social incentive to produce real things and check your progress over a useful timeframe (weeks not months or years).  But … The retrospectives (or reviews), that for me is where the real magic happens.  If you never stop to check, to ask how things are going and question why things are the way they are, why you are doing things and what you should do next in response then you risk having  the veneer of an Agile process which is either just micromanagement on the wall, Waterfall or perhaps worst of all, no real plan at all.

Being Agile isn’t enough.  Being Lean isn’t enough.

It’s all to easy to build and do the wrong things very well and very quickly using these techniques.  Perhaps the single most important thing is that your CEO, your leaders, your product people and you need to understand, ask and articulate is WHY you’re doing things.

If it’s a statement about profit and growth, start running. The powerful WHYs come from passion and insights from your customer (or potential customers if you’re doing something new).

WHY –> WHAT –> HOW … Simon Sinek

There are two standout statements in Simon’s TED talk.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

“There are leaders and there are those that lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead – inspire us. We follow those who lead not because we have to but because we want to, we follow those who lead not for them but for ourselves.”

Too many companies and individuals talk about what they are doing, the great ones talk about why.

Dan Pink – The Genius Hour

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

It would be fair to say Nigel and I are pretty big Dan Pink fans (ok fanboys) – His articulation of what motivates people is a constant reference and reminder, both personally and one we often recommend to others.  It’s HERE  from TED and HERE as a clever cartoon in case you have been under a rock and missed it.

We are also massive fans of Hack-A-Thons, Fed-Ex days, 20% time etc – but it is always a challenge to introduce to organisations.  Today he reports on a great little innovation by Jen Shefner, the Genius Hour – 60mins each week where she (the boss) does her employees job to give them 60min to be autonomous and awesome.

Maybe you can’t get a whole day out with your team, but surely you can find everyone an hour.  When you empower your team they will surprise and delight.

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