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  1. 1. Kevin Callahan Agile Coach kevin.callahan@codegenesys.com ENGAGEMENT, LEADERSHIP, QUALITY
  2. 2. WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TONIGHT •  A journey through little “a” agile, not big “A” Agile in 3 parts: engagement, leadership, and a bit on quality. •  A perspective that is biased toward the human element of organizations. •  Possibly to challenge your own internal status quo. •  To connect a few dots in a vast ocean of ideas and information. •  A bit of a firehose; listen for the ideas you need to hear. •  Strive for 4 20-minute timeboxes. •  First, a couple short videos…
  3. 3. THE WORLD HAS CHANGED •  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOJbM0aXZp0
  4. 4. A CLOSER LOOK •  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfAIvXzRXPc
  5. 5. WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT REDBULL’S F1 TEAM •  Won four consecutive world titles for both the car and driver 2010-2013. •  Pit crew set and broke world record for tire changes 5 times; currently under 2 seconds. •  Seek to make racing fun again! •  Even before they were winning, when they couldn’t even finish races! •  Has struggled to regain dominance after new engine regulations. •  Staying on top, even for the best in the world, is extremely tenuous and risky!
  7. 7. THERE ARE NO NEW IDEAS “Your firms are built on the Taylor model. Even worse so are your heads. With your bosses doing the thinking while workers wield the screwdrivers, you’re convinced deep down that is the right way to run a business. For the essence of management is getting the ideas out of the heads of the bosses and into the heads of labour. “We are beyond your mindset. Business, we know, is now so complex and difficult, the survival of firms so hazardous in an environment increasingly unpredictable, competitive and fraught with danger, that their continued existence depends on the day-to-day mobilisation of every ounce of intelligence.” - Konosuke Matsushita
  8. 8. YOUR TURN! •  Stand up! •  Think back to a time when you were deeply, highly engaged. A time when time fell away, when every ounce of your intelligence was mobilized. It could be any context; work, school, community service, family, etc. •  Turn to someone next to you and share your experiences; 2 minutes each! •  We already know what engagement feels like! •  Stay standing if you’ve been highly engaged at work in the last year…
  9. 9. THERE IS AN ENGAGEMENT CRISIS •  Gallup and others peg employee engagement in the US at around 30% •  So what? •  “Employee engagement drives the bottom line” – Teresa Amabile •  So how to increase engagement? •  Measurable daily progress against meaningful goals. •  Rich inner life. source: Amabile, Teresa and Kramer, Steven. The Progress Principle. 2011. Harvard Business School Press, Boston
  10. 10. A BRIEF THOUGHT EXPERIMENT •  There are multiple perspectives on opportunity for change: •  individual •  cultural •  output/behavior/product •  systems/tools/process. •  These are all critical; none are more important than others, though depending on context, relevancy, and efficacy can drive a choice! •  Let’s run 4 scenarios; fist of 5 voting source: Spayd, Michael. Downloading the Integral Operating System.
  11. 11. PROCESS/TOOLS PERSPECTIVE •  Imagine an organization that has identified highly optimized systems, processes, and tools. •  And overlays this onto its existing structure of ~70% disengaged employees. •  To what degree is that change effort likely to achieve desired outcomes (be effective)?
  12. 12. BEHAVIOR/OUTPUT/PRODUCT PERSPECTIVE •  Take that same organization and create explicit, detailed expectations of behavior and output at an individual, team, etc levels. These are posted around the space, communicated across multiple channels, and given by managers to direct reports as instructions. •  Overlaid onto an organization of 70% disengagement. •  What degree of that change effort is likely to be effective?
  13. 13. CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE •  Cultural change is incredibly difficult, which is one reason so many organizations and consultants focus on objective contexts. •  Imagine you could change the shared belief of how things are done in an organization to adopt the together we can accomplish more, better, faster than alone. •  Overlaid onto an organization of 70% disengagement. •  What degree of that change effort is likely to be effective?
  14. 14. INDIVIDUAL PERSPECTIVE •  Imagine that an organization focuses on each person, supporting him or her understanding the purpose he or she fulfills. That the work done every day matters. That the work is moving them toward the person they want to be and connected to the organization’s larger purpose. •  Overlaid onto an organization of 70% disengagement(?!) •  What degree of that change effort is likely to be effective?
  15. 15. EFFECTIVE CHANGE STARTS WITH PEOPLE •  Motivated, engaged people will quite simply bend the organizational fabric toward effectiveness, if not outright reconstruct it. •  They will choose better tools, create better metrics, make better decisions. •  Scientific management (the Taylor model) is a paradigm that cannot hold this. •  It’s the rider, not the bike, though the other contexts QUICKLY become highly relevant! Individuals and Interactions over Process and Tools
  16. 16. UNLOCKING MOTIVATION •  Engagement is closely related to motivation •  Motivation is intrinsic and internal; carrots and sticks don’t work •  “Motivating people” is an oxymoron •  Our internal motivation activates in knowledge work when: •  Enough money to take money off the table •  Autonomy •  Mastery •  Purpose (meaningful work) source: Pink, Daniel. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Riverhead Books, New York
  17. 17. SOUNDS A LOT LIKE “FLOW” Challenge Mastery “The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi source: Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper & Row
  18. 18. ENGAGEMENT IS A CONVERSATION •  Organizations and managers have a tremendous responsibility to foster engagement; individuals do, too. •  People MUST be willing to choose to take responsibility; most will, though sadly some will not. •  Engaged people will make sub-par tools and processes work more effectively than disengaged people will make top-quality tools and processes work. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need to get the job done. source: www.agilemanifesto.org/principles.html
  19. 19. LEADERSHIP
  20. 20. WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW •  Think back to a leader you worked with whom you would never work with again. •  What did they do? •  How did they make you feel? •  What were you able to accomplish? •  Now think back to a leader you worked for or followed whom you would jump at the opportunity to join again. •  What did they do? •  How did they make you feel? •  What were you able to accomplish? source: Boyatzis, Richard and McKee, Annie (2005). Resonant Leadership. Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston.
  22. 22. LEADERSHIP != MANAGEMENT •  If you are a manager take a deep breath ;) •  Much of management behavior is based on the assumption that human beings need to be managed. •  There is growing evidence that we don’t need to be managed! •  As a responsible adult, where else in your life are you managed besides work? •  Some organizations have already figured this out; it is a difficult path. •  Manage systems; lead people! The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. sources: Laloux, Frederick (2014). Reinventing Organizations. Nelson Parker, Belgium. and http://www.agilemanifesto.org/principles.html
  23. 23. ON HEROICS •  Heroic leadership •  is a paradigm that puts the leader at the center •  is a natural step in the progression of learning effective leadership •  can be effective in specific situations •  quickly breaks down in complexity •  Heroic leaders believe their influence and authority stem from their expertise; the right answers must come from them. •  Believe the burden of the organization’s effectiveness is on them. •  Is common when highly effective individual contributors are selected/promoted into formal leadership positions with little support. •  ~70% of managers in the US rely predominantly on heroic stances! source: Joiner, William and Josephs, Stephen (2007). Leadership Agility: Five Levels of Mastery For Anticipating and Leading Change. Jossey- Boss, San Francisco.
  24. 24. LEADERSHIP: HOW WE SERVE OTHERS A real leader is somebody who is able to inspire people. A real leader can somehow get us to do certain things that deep down we think are good and want to be able to do but usually can’t get ourselves to do on our own. It’s a mysterious quality, hard to define, but we always know it when we see it. A leader’s real “authority” is a power you voluntarily give him, and you grant him this authority not with resentment or resignation but happily; it feels right. Deep down, you almost always like how a real leader makes you feel, the way you find yourself working harder and pushing yourself and thinking in ways you couldn’t ever get to on your own. – David Foster Wallace source: Wallace, David F. (2005). Consider the Lobster.
  25. 25. ASSERTIONS •  Human beings are emotional creatures. •  Emotional and social intelligences are far more indicative of leadership effectiveness than intelligence or technical aptitude. •  Great leaders aren’t just “born that way,” they learn it. Leadership is a choice. A choice to look after the person to the left of you and look after the person to the right of you. If you commit, every single day, to helping them succeed, you become a leader. - Simon Sinek sources: Sinek, Simon. http://99u.com/videos/20272/simon-sinek-why-leaders-eat-last and Boyatzis, Richard and McKee, Annie (2005). Resonant Leadership. Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston.
  26. 26. LEADERS •  Draw out the best of us. •  Inspire us to do bigger things than we thought we could. •  Are courageous enough to not only seek to see the world as it is, though to seek the impacts they have on it. A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, they fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say: ‘we did this ourselves.’ – Lao Tzu Source: Tzu, Lao (1990). Tao Te Ching. (J.C. Wu, Trans.) Boston: Shambhala
  27. 27. SPECIFICALLY, LEADERSHIP •  Is situational •  Situational Awareness (SA) is our ability to accurately perceive events in the world in real-time and maintain mental models that are as close to that reality as possible. •  Is resonant •  Human beings are only partially rational and largely emotional. •  Effective leaders understand how to assess a context and choose an appropriate approach; more so they are able to evaluate in real time the effectiveness of that approach and can improvise accordingly.
  28. 28. RESONANT LEADERSHIP •  Aware of the emotional context and foster positive emotions! •  6 leadership stances; 4 resonant, 2 dissonant •  Resonant •  Visionary •  Coaching •  Affiliative •  Democratic •  Dissonant •  Commanding •  Pace-Setting Source: Goleman, Daniel, Boyatzis, Richard, McKee, Anniw (2001). Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver or Great Performance. Harvard Business School Press
  29. 29. A BIGGER “YES” •  Effective, sustainable change occurs when we reach for something we want, and we are able to attain it. •  So often our default reaction to change is to instead be drawn to problems and blockers, or a sense of obligation; should/ought. •  Leaders articulate a bigger, desirable identity that can be grown into; both for ourselves (placebo) and others (pygmalion). •  Leaders formulate powerful questions that can only be answered from this new self. What is your relationship to this place, to the edge a bigger yes calls you to, where the ground turns to ocean? source: Whyte, David (2015). Private Lecture.
  30. 30. If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  31. 31. QUALITY
  32. 32. FIRST, WHAT DO WE MEAN? •  Quality in software is twofold •  Perceived: the right thing •  Conceptual: built right •  We need to know what customers value to benchmark quality!
  33. 33. A NOTE ON OBJECTIVE PERSPECTIVES •  While focus on people will light a fire, without corresponding tools, that fire will go out. •  There is likely a positive feedback loop between enabling systems, tools, and processes, and engagement. •  There is likely a damping effect on problematic systems, tools, and processes, and engagement.
  34. 34. A QUICK SURVEY •  What do we believe the relationship is between engagement, leadership, and quality? •  How likely are highly engaged people to create high quality, high value outcomes? To maximize tools and processes? •  How likely are effective leaders to support discovery and implementation of those outcomes? •  How likely is an organization with 30% engagement and heroic leadership to support those outcomes? •  NUMMI: New United Motor Manufacturing Incorporated Source: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/403/nummi
  35. 35. WRAP
  36. 36. THE TL;DR •  Engagement is fostered by doing meaningful work in a supportive context. •  Effective leaders learn how to harness emotional intelligence to increase engagement and ignite intrinsic motivation. •  Effective tools and processes need to be available. •  These set the stage for amazing value inside and outside the organization.
  37. 37. WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT ALL? •  Be curious, be inquisitive; ignite a sense of wonder; tourist for a day. •  Determine and clarify what you want. •  Accurately assess where you currently are. •  Identify strengths and gaps. •  Experiment with behaviors to close the gaps. •  Foster a network of supportive relationships that will enable what you are working toward.
  38. 38. POSSIBLE FIRST STEPS •  Renew •  Formulate a personal vision and take steps to live it •  Find a coach or a partner-in-change •  Choose to take responsibility for your inner state; foster SA •  Sleep enough •  Eat relatively well •  Exercise, best outside! •  Learn *something* •  Actively seek states of flow •  Create
  39. 39. MOST IMPORTANTLY: START The courageous conversation is the one you don’t want to have…start close in. Don’t take the second step, or the third. Start with the first thing, close in; the step you don’t want to take. – David Whyte
  40. 40. Kevin Callahan Agile Coach kevin.callahan@codegenesys.com THANK YOU