I’m an expert in organizational dynamics and a leading thinker in bringing agility to organizations, management, and teams.

How your company’s values are reflected in your environment, your culture and organizational dynamics, directly determines the quality and level of your success. When your company environment, culture and organizational dynamics are positive, mutually receptive and reinforcing, your people and teams have the capacity to achieve great things.

I help your teams and management understand what’s working and where there are contradictions that sap productivity and stifle innovation. We explore how best to maximize your capacity for achievement by eliminating wasted effort, politics, cynicism, and fear. Together, we achieve a holistic view of your organization, and design your environment to directly enable, support and sustain your agile success, now and into the future.

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I started my career as a programmer, and over the years I’ve worn many hats, including business owner, internal consultant and manager. From all these perspectives, one thing became clear: our level of individual, team and company success was deeply impacted by our work environment and organizational dynamics. As a result, I have spent the last twenty-five years helping companies design their environment, culture, and human dynamics for optimum success.

I’ve written over 100 articles, and co-authored two books–Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great and Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management. I write about management, leadership, collaboration, organizations and change (or another topic I’m currently exploring).

If you’d like to get a taste of how I approach things call me at +1 612 239 1214 or email me for a free mini consultation.

I teach workshops and speak to groups all over the world. I’ve taught in the US, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, France, England, Germany, China, India, and New Zealand.

I’m an original founder of the Scrum Alliance and the AYE Conference, and I have served two terms on the Board of Directors for the Agile Alliance.

I’ve learned a lot about how organizations work through observation and action research.  I also hold an MA in Organizational Leadership and a certificate in Human System Dynamics.

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To help get started here are a few selected articles from my best posts.

Click the image to download the file.  Click “Continue Reading” to read the rest of the post.

 

Agile Blindside

THE AGILE BLINDSIDE

Agile project management depends on transparency and feedback. Visibility into the product and process is built in with iteration reviews and retrospectives. Task walls and Kanban boards make progress (or lack of it) and bottlenecks obvious. Stand-up meetings seek to raise impediments to management attention. But are managers ready to hear about these problems?  Continue reading

 

 

Appreciations

APPRECIATIONS

Given the high cost of replacing knowledge workers, reducing the number-one reason for turnover seems like a good investment. And when you consider that this investment doesn’t cost a dime, why not eliminate the appreciation gap? Continue reading

 

 

 

Motivation Misfires

MOTIVATION MISFIRES

Many managers ask me, How can I motivate my team? I’ve certainly seen many efforts to motivate teams. Contests, prizes, pep talks, badges, points, canned thank you notes, and recognition events. Most of this comes down to using rewards to motivate people to continue certain behavior.

Consider these attempts at motivation. Continue reading

 

 

EMPOWERING LEADERSHIP

Some pundits proclaim that leadership rests on charisma, the ability to create a vision, or “presence.” Teams do need a vision and a compelling goal. But do teams need one charismatic leader? No.Teams need leaders of a different sort. Teams need leaders who don’t need to be out in front, who are able to work quietly, creating an environment where everyone on the team is empowered. Such leaders–empowering leaders—may not get the glory.  Continue reading…  ‎

 

 

7 Lesons From a Top Down ChangeSEVEN LESSONS FROM A TOP DOWN CHANGE

You’d think that since I’m president of a one-person company, I could change anything in my office in a snap. But a recent incident reminded me that change is always a process. My dog, Pudge, comes to the office with me every day. Until recently, she spent her day on a blanket by the door where she chewed her on her bone between naps. When she wasn’t chewing or napping, she tugged the blanket around the floor. So I decided to replace it.  Continue reading

 

 

Entering Groups

ENTERING GROUPS

Most of the time, people integrate into groups well enough that we don’t really notice how it happens. But a recent rocky experience got me noticing.  Looking back over several teams I’ve observed and groups I’ve been part of, here are three (rather spectacular) examples of a newcomer failing to integrate.  Continue reading