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Get those managers out of my way! #ManagersAreIndividualsToo

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Talk conducted by Antoinette Coetzee and Judith Mills at Agile2018

Abstract:
How often have you heard agilists say managers "don't get Agile"? At the same time not a lot of agilists have been in management roles, so could we also say "Agile coaches don't get management"?
Let's face it, agilists and traditional management look at the world very differently. Yet if we as coaches want to help create agile enterprises we not only have to understand the world a manager lives in, we need to develop compassion with them as individuals.
If you are keen to develop your ability to support managers on their Agile journey, join Judith and Antoinette, two Agile coaches who have been in management positions themselves. Let's look at our own biases around power and authority and how that influences our interactions. Expect to walk away with a deeper understanding of the specific challenges managers face when transitioning to an Agile way of working, increased compassion for managers and a coaching approach to truly meet them where they are.

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Get those managers out of my way! #ManagersAreIndividualsToo

  1. 1. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 GET THOSE MANAGERS OUT OF MY WAY! #ManagersAreIndividualsToo
  2. 2. SOLO WORK Think about a manager that is currently frustration you in your Agile endeavours. What is the main reason you feel blocked by them? Write down one or two words on an index card. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  3. 3. WALKING A MILE IN THEIR MOCCASINS @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  4. 4. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 Leadership Personal responsibility Rank Change resilience Career ambition Purpose Personal satisfaction MINDSET& ENGAGEMENT "I" INTEGRAL AGILE Inspired by Michael K. Spayd’s work applying Integral Theory to Agile
  5. 5. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 Team culture and spirit Cohesiveness TEAM CULTURE & RELATIONSHIP "WE" INTEGRAL AGILE Inspired by Michael K. Spayd’s work applying Integral Theory to Agile
  6. 6. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 INTEGRAL AGILE Inspired by Michael K. Spayd’s work applying Integral Theory to Agile COMPETENCIES, PRACTICES, PRODUCTS "IT" Skills Techniques Roles Technical practices Product focus
  7. 7. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 Company culture Organisational altitude Value Streams Organisation structure Governance HR practices INTEGRAL AGILE Inspired by Michael K. Spayd’s work applying Integral Theory to Agile ORGANISATIONAL ARCHITECTURE & ENVIRONMENT "ITS"
  8. 8. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 Leadership Personal responsibility Rank Change resilience Career ambition Purpose Personal satisfaction MINDSET& ENGAGEMENT I Team culture and spirit Cohesiveness TEAM CULTURE & RELATIONSHIP WE Company culture Organisational altitude Value Streams Organisation structure Governance HR practices INTEGRAL AGILE Inspired by Michael K. Spayd’s work applying Integral Theory to Agile COMPETENCIES, PRACTICES, PRODUCTS ORGANISATIONAL ARCHITECTURE & ENVIRONMENT ITS IT Skills Techniques Roles Technical practices Product focus
  9. 9. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 PETER BLOCK “Resistance is an unskillful expression of a valid concern”
  10. 10. PAIR WORK Swop your card with your buddy. If you had to put yourself in this manager’s shoes, what do you think is the valid concern behind the block? Consider all 4 Integral quadrants. As the listener, be open, listen with curiosity, don’t justify or respond, ask only clarifying questions. Partner 2 repeats @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  11. 11. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 HOW DO WE CONTAMINATE THE SITUATION?
  12. 12. “We are both hard-wired and socialized to be acutely sensitive to power and hierarchy” AMY EDMONDSON HOW POWER INFLUENCES PEOPLE @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  13. 13. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 PRIVILEGE AND RANK
  14. 14. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 “Privilege is, by definition, a blindspot” FAITH FULLER
  15. 15. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 SOCIAL RANK Skin colour Gender Economic class Age Sexual orientation Nationality Source: Arnold Mindell
  16. 16. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 Source: Arnold Mindell LOCAL / SITUATIONAL RANK Limited to a specific situation e.g. position in a company hierarchy
  17. 17. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 Source: Arnold Mindell PSYCHOLOGICAL / SPIRITUAL RANK Overcoming and surviving difficult life situations Relationship to something divine or transcendent
  18. 18. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 SOCIAL RANK Skin colour Gender Economic class Age Sexual orientation Nationality Source: Arnold Mindell LOCAL / SITUATIONAL RANK PSYCHOLOGICAL / SPIRITUAL RANK Limited to a specific situation e.g. position in a company hierarchy Overcoming and surviving difficult life situations Relationship to something divine or transcendent
  19. 19. “If you use rank consciously, it is medicine. Otherwise it’s poison” ARNOLD MINDELL @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  20. 20. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 THE NEUROSCIENCE OF POWER
  21. 21. TABLE DISCUSSION How do agilists outrank managers? What about the other way round? OR As a community, what views do we hold around authority that are standing in the way of an empathic relationship? @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  22. 22. MEETING MANAGERS WHERE THEY ARE @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  23. 23. WHAT A MANAGER DOES • Shares and clarifies vision, direction and strategic objectives • Clears roadblocks • Monitors deadlines • Mentors and coaches • Manages administration around contractors as well as personnel • Provides leadership and guidance around processes and architecture • Training • Manages budgets • Assigns tasks @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  24. 24. WHAT A MANAGER DOES • Shares and clarifies vision, direction and strategic objectives • Clears roadblocks • Monitors deadlines • Mentors and coaches • Manages administration around contractors as well as personnel • Provides leadership and guidance around processes and architecture • Training • Manages budgets @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  25. 25. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 EDGE THEORY Source: CRR Global - O R S C
  26. 26. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 HELPING PEOPLE CROSS AN EDGE What works? What does he/she value? Current painpoints? HONOUR THE FAMILIAR NEW INFORMATION What now? Concerns? Next steps? Be curious and meet them where they are. COACH WHAT ARISES How the new role supports what they value, strengthens what works and addresses what doesn't. Be authentic! Source: Lyssa Adkins et al :“Coaching Agile Teams” course
  27. 27. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 1 Given your frozen manager and the valid concern he has, what are the positives of his/her current position? 2 What can you see as the negatives? 3 What about their new role will enhance the positives and diminish the negatives? PAIR WORK
  28. 28. SOLO WORK Given everything we have spoken about today, what is the one thing you can add to your stance to enhance success with managers? @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018
  29. 29. @AntoinetteCoet | @JudithMills #ManagersAreIndividualsToo #Agile2018 THANK YOU #ManagersAreIndividualsToo

Editor's Notes

  • Hi everyone, I want to know who of you are struggling with managers that are not “getting” Agile? And who of you are managers yourself? Wouldn’t it be great If we could all just be on the same page and get on with it?

    So here is my journey: I was an agile team member for a long time. Then I started working as mentor and coach with teams. And I would get a team up and running, excited and enthusiastic, only to find them a year later all discouraged because of the bigger organisation. So I went up a level to work with leaders and the bigger organisation. And I learnt a few things…. As a coach of coaches I would like to share my insight about what works to shift people with you. And also what it is like to be one of those managers… Are you ready to do some work? 6 pm on the evening of a long weekend??? My gosh, what a bunch of overachievers! LOL! My name is Antoinette, I thank you for being here and I hope to give you some insight that will help you look at so-called blocked managers from a couple of different angles. Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself at your tables?
  • So let’s start with exploring your own situation. I would like you to think about a frustrating manager, now or in the past, and try and come up with the main reason you feel blocked by them. Take a silent minute and write down one or two words on an index card.

    Now turn to the person next to you, they are going to be your buddy for the evening. I am going to give you 2’ minutes each to share your situation. I will give you a heads-up halfway through…
  • So let’s see what we Agile asks of individuals and organisations. And we will apply a multi-focal lens to it. We will use the Integral Agile model, which broadens the scope of what Agile affects for most of us.
  • Let’s start with the I quadrant. Here we focus on every individual’s mindset. Are they engaged, do they take responsibility, are they team plaers, wherein lies their Rank , which we will come back to, etc. If we suffer from a bias called the Fundamental Attribution error we will probably think that our manager’s problem lies in this quadrant – they simply have an antiquated mindset. But let’s continue tolook at the other quadrants.
  • In the WE quadrant we consider whether there is a healthy relationship space, a WE space, in a team. Are they a real team, do they set the team’s welfare above their own, do they stick together? As Agilists this is a real important quadrant, since collaborative, self-managed teams are one of the cornerstones in Agile. How is your manager at forming cohesive teams? Are teams permanent in the organisation?
  • If we move over to the right side of the model, the things we can observe and measure, we first look at the IT quadrant, which is where a lot of agilists put a lot of focus: do people do retrospectives, are sprints or iterations time-boxed, is there a PO, are the standups 15 minutes long? How does the skills and competencies of a traditional manager compare with those required by an agile team or organisation?
  • Last but not least we have the ITS quadrant, which focusses on the environment teams operate in. Which of course is also the environment the manager operates in. This is the domain of enterprise coaching and potentially the toughest to change. For example, most organisations today operates in what is known as an Orange Altitude. This means they optimise for value delivered to stakeholders, or maximising profit, efficiencies, etc. Everything inside the companies are geared towards that and you get ahead by being the best. Unfortunately very few of the Agile values come online at the Orange Altitude – Agile is much better suited to higher organisational altitudes that value collaboration and harmony over profit. So there is a fundamental mismatch. And your manager sits right in the middle of this. I mentioned the Fundamental Attribution Error earlier on – the full explanation is that when we don’t agree with someone we over attribute what is wrong to his character – who he is, and UNDER attribute it to circumstances or the environment. If we are in the exact same position, we do the exact opposite! We UNDER attribute a bad situation to who we are and OVER attribute it to our circumstances!
  • So if we stop doing that and at the same time consider that Resistance is nothing other than an unskilful expression of a valid concern, can we look at that block the manager is putting in our way from a different angle?
  • I believe it is also Peter Block that says there is no neutral – you either contribute or you contaminate

    So what is our role as agilists in all of this? And to be honest with you, the real reason I came up with this topic was because I heard so many agilists spit vitriol about management I could not bear it any more. I cannot count the number of times I heard, Oh its just management be the end of a conversation. I really started feeling that the Individuals and Interactions the manifesto refers to are limited to Agile Individuals. And that simply is not right, both from a results perspective as well as a human perspective. If WE can’t influence managers, who can?
  • lower hierarchical rungs learn that self-protection equals survival. Similarly, humans’ biological response in a situation deemed dangerous— the rapid heartbeat, rushing adrenaline, racing brain, and desire to flee— is experienced as necessary to ensure basic existence, even though its utility is long expired in the modern workplace.

    Edmondson, Amy C.. Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy (Kindle Locations 2392-2394). Wiley. Kindle Edition.
  • EVERYBODY has rank, and Rank is invisible to you when you have it. If you don’t have it, you will notice it. It is neither good nor bad, it just is. And you have to become aware of it to use it as medicine and not as poison.
  • “If you use rank consciously, it's medicine. Otherwise it's poison.” ~Arnold Mindell, Ph.D
  • A recent study (Reference: Sukhvinder Obhi) shows that when humans experience a sense of power, their mirror neurons shut off. Mirror neurons help us to relate to others and to have empathy. The study shows that when people get a promotion, for example, they have less concern for their previous colleagues.

    Svensen, Frode. Team Up!: Applying Lessons from Neuroscience to Improve Collaboration, Innovation and Results (p. 53). Best Seller Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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