Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

When I feel empowered, I can….

May 8th, 2013

In one of my AYE sessions, we started by completing a sentence: Read this aloud. Feel it. Is this the way you’d like to work?

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Agile and The Chasm

June 4th, 2012

Someone posed the question:  Has Agile Crossed the Chasm?, a reference to Moore’s work on marketing. Agile is no longer the prevue of pioneers and visionaries.  Agile shows up in the popular business press. PMI is all over it.   The big accounting/consulting firms are marketing agile. Clearly (at least the term) agile is reaching

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Lessons in Self-Organizing Social Systems

May 21st, 2012

Last week, I had a chance to reflect on eleven years of the Retrospective Facilitators Gathering. A bit of background on RFG: I started the Gathering in 2002 with Diana Larsen and Norm Kerth.  Each year, the different set of volunteers organize the Gathering.  Continuity comes from linking the immediate past organizer, the current year

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The Elements of Improvement

May 14th, 2012

Improvement requires three factors: Information. People need information about the context and how their work fits into the big picture. They need information from the work so they can self-correct. Without this information, systematic improvement is impossible. A desire to improve. Most people want to do their best and learn to do better–until that impulse

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Self-Awareness Matters: Finding Your Filters

May 3rd, 2012

I remember sitting in a project meeting back when I worked for a Big Company. The project manager, Ted, announced the top three priorities.  When I offered a different view point, Ted declared, “You’re wrong. We decided on these priorities yesterday.”  He didn’t notice six out of eight people at the table  shaking their heads

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Alternatives to bureaucratic hierarchy

April 23rd, 2012

I don’t doubt that its possible to have an organization with out traditional managers. I’ve read about Semco and Morningstar Farms. I’ve talked to people who work at Gore. My husband works for a less well know firm that doesn’t have traditional managers. But those companies didn’t get there by happenstance. They got there by

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What do middle managers do?

April 16th, 2012

Last week, someone tweeted that the C-suite “gets agile,” but middle managers “resist” it. I also saw a tweet that the C-suite doesn’t get agile, but middle management does. I don’t doubt the observations of either of these tweeters. I have observed situations where both senior and middle managers saw the value in moving towards

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Hiring is a Team Activity

April 9th, 2012

In an earlier article, I said, “Hiring new people for a team should always be a joint decision that involves team members.” After all, who has more at stake than the people who will work with the new person day in and day out? Consider what happened when a well-intentioned manager decided to hire without

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The Costs of a Struggling Team

March 27th, 2012

Last week, I posted a mind map that shows the benefits of the team effect.  But what about the costs of a team that is not doing well?  A team that isn’t working well doesn’t have a neutral effect. A struggling team costs the people and the organization in engagement, quality, and money.

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The Team Effect

March 22nd, 2012

A while back, I posted a little mind map about business costs of a struggling team.  But what about the benefits of the team effect?  What does a business gain when teams thrive?

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