People, System, Culture: Where Leadership Thrives

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If, as Jerry Weinberg points, leadership is a process of creating an environment where people become empowered let’s focus on how we create and evolve environments we work at.

One thing is how we build our teams. If we focus only on technical skills we won’t cover the leadership gap.

Another issue is the system. As W. Edwards Deming famously said, a bad system will defeat a good person every time. If we hire great people but put them in highly constrained environment they won’t thrive.

Lastly, we have an organizational culture, which is a steering force behind everyday leadership acts or lack of them. It is also one of the main reasons why many transformations fail.

I will show how all these areas are inseparably interconnected and how we need to change all three to evolve toward participatory leadership. The end result is that every team member overtakes a role of a leader dynamically, depending on the context.

Research on collective intelligence shows how flawed our recruitment approaches are. Experience of system thinkers suggests how much potential is hidden in improving the system. Finally, an organizational culture is what adds meaning to our actions thus is a crucial enabler of change of our behaviors. These are building blocks of the participatory leadership approach.

This isn’t just a theory. In Lunar Logic we’ve put this theory into practice. You will learn our story along with why we believe it works. Even though some of the ideas shared during the session may sound counter-intuitive or even radical we are the living proof that it can be done.

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People, System, Culture: Where Leadership Thrives

  1. 1. Pawel Brodzinski @pawelbrodzinski People, System, Culture: Where Leadership Thrives
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Pawel Lunar Logic http://lunarlogic.io Blog http://brodzinski.com Twitter @pawelbrodzinski
  3. 3. Leadership is the process of creating an environment in which people become empowered Gerald Weinberg Source: G. Weinberg: Becoming a Technical Leader: An Organic Problem-Solving Approach
  4. 4. Empowerment
  5. 5. Systems Thinking
  6. 6. 95% of performance is attributable to the system
  7. 7. Performance or performance variability?
  8. 8. Is variability bad?
  9. 9. Development of software products is a betting business
  10. 10. In business, to be a success, you only have to be right once Mark Cuban Source: G. http://blogmaverick.com/2005/05/30/success- and-motivation-you-only-have-to-be-right-once/
  11. 11. The system in knowledge work
  12. 12. People and the system is a symbiotic relationship. One doesn't govern the other. Jim Benson
  13. 13. People versus system is a false dichotomy
  14. 14. Ad-hoc teams
  15. 15. Emergent practices
  16. 16. Autonomy
  17. 17. A system is not a sum of behaviors of its parts; it's a product of their interactions Russel Ackoff
  18. 18. What makes one a great candidate?
  19. 19. Technical skills?
  20. 20. Craftsmanship?
  21. 21. Communication skills?
  22. 22. Learning?
  23. 23. Superhero
  24. 24. in·tel·li·gence noun in-ˈte-lə-jən(t)s (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : reason; also : the skilled use of reason (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests) Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intelligence
  25. 25. A system is not a sum of behaviors of its parts; it's a product of their interactions Russel Ackoff
  26. 26. Intelligence versus Collective Intelligence
  27. 27. How are individual and collective intellingece correlated?
  28. 28. There’s no connection between individual intelligence and collective intelligence Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  29. 29. Collective intelligence trumps individual intelligence
  30. 30. Collective intelligence was much more predictive in terms of succeeding in complex tasks than average individual intelligence or maximal individual intelligence Anita Woolley
  31. 31. Indicators of collective intelligence Social perceptiveness Evenness of communication Moderate cognitive style diversity Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  32. 32. How would you feel about working with women in your team?
  33. 33. The more women the better collective intelligence* Source: Anita Woolley: Collective Intelligence in Human Groups
  34. 34. Understanding team dynamics
  35. 35. Sofware development is a team sport
  36. 36. Optimizing for collaboration
  37. 37. Software development business?
  38. 38. Two days of my work was summarized by a commit that adds five lines of code and removes two Marcin Kostrzewa, Lunar Logic
  39. 39. Happiness business!
  40. 40. 40% women
  41. 41. Not enough women in the industry?
  42. 42. No formal leadership Emergent, contextual leadership
  43. 43. Empathy catalyzes everyone’s development
  44. 44. A bad system will defeat a good person every time W. Edwards Deming
  45. 45. organizational culture the behavior of humans who are part of an organization and the meanings that the people react to their actions includes the organization values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs, and habits Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizational_culture
  46. 46. Mission Statements
  47. 47. Leadership is the process of creating an environment in which people become empowered Gerald Weinberg Source: G. Weinberg: Becoming a Technical Leader: An Organic Problem-Solving Approach
  48. 48. How far can people go changing the system?
  49. 49. It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission Grace Hopper
  50. 50. Respect for people does not mean, you have to like them, agree with them or fail to challenge any half baked ideas you hear from them Stephen Parry
  51. 51. How new hires infuence organizational culture?
  52. 52. Hiring for cultural fit
  53. 53. groupthink psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink
  54. 54. What would happen if we tore down existing hierarchies?
  55. 55. #NoManagement
  56. 56. Emergent values
  57. 57. Participation in strategy creation
  58. 58. If you don’t like something…
  59. 59. If you don’t know what to tell, tell the truth
  60. 60. Optimize for clients’ happiness
  61. 61. CEO role
  62. 62. Cultural fit
  63. 63. Let misfits go
  64. 64. lead·er·ship noun ˈliːdəʃɪp (1) : The action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this (2) : The state or position of being a leader Source: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/leadership
  65. 65. How we design and evolve the system
  66. 66. Who is capable of leading
  67. 67. How leadership skills are used
  68. 68. What kind of stuff people can influence
  69. 69. Participatory leadership
  70. 70. The ultimate goal: everyone is a leader
  71. 71. Thank you Pawel Brodzinski brodzinski.com lunarlogic.io @pawelbrodzinski

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