Learning & Democratic Workplaces


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Learning workplaces are highly motivational. In order to learn you need fast feedback loops. Daniel Debow, co-founder + co-CEO of Rypple, attended The WorldBlu Conference + Awards 2010 in Las Vegas this past week. The conference brings together this year’s WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces awardees to share their powerful ideas, best practices, tips and strategies with business leaders from around the world. Since 2007, WorldBlu has been identifying the leading “blu” companies that operate using the principles of openness and transparency, collaboration, and a power-to-the-people ethic to build highly innovative, democratic, and profitable organizations worldwide.
Debow focuses on 4 key ideas throughout the presentation:
1. Democratic workplaces must be learning workplaces
2. Learning organizations are inherently lean
3. Traditional performance reviews don’t help us motivate or learn
4. A better way to learn @work

And introducing: An open collaboration among democratic companies to lay down few principles of The Agile People revolution.

Published in: Business, Technology

Learning & Democratic Workplaces

  1. 1. Learning & Democratic Workplaces<br />Daniel Debow<br />co-founder + co-CEO | Rypple<br />
  2. 2. Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.<br />2<br />Kofi Annan<br />
  3. 3. Four ideas<br />3<br />
  4. 4. 1<br />Democratic workplaces must belearning workplaces<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Learning workplaces are highly motivational<br />5<br />“Meaning is the new money.” <br />– Daniel Pink <br />
  6. 6. 6<br />Recognition: the new way to motivate<br />More effective ✓<br />Used less often ✗<br />Source: June 2009 McKinsey global survey of 1,047 executives, managers, and employees from a range of sectors<br />
  7. 7. 7<br />
  8. 8. 2<br />Learning organizations are inherently lean<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Lean in Manufacturing (c. 1948) <br />9<br />“Develop human ability to its fullest capacity tobest enhance creativity and fruitfulness <br />Utilize facilities and machines well<br />Eliminate all waste”<br />* Taiichi Ono<br />
  10. 10. 10<br />Old way<br />Store at lots & dealers<br />Forecast demand<br />+ Build inventory<br />Customer buys<br />+ “old” designs<br />+ Fire-sales<br />vs.<br />Lean way<br />Build Car<br />Build Car<br />Market feedback<br />Market feedback<br />Build Car<br />learn<br />learn<br />learn<br />
  11. 11. Lean in Software Development (c. 2001)<br />11<br />“Empower teams<br />Amplify learning<br />Eliminate waste<br />Above all, create Value!”<br />* Mary Poppendieck<br />
  12. 12. 12<br />Old way<br />Big Build<br />Paper Specs/Plans<br />Major Launch<br />vs.<br />Lean way (customer discovery)<br />Minor<br />Release<br />Minor<br />Release<br />Minor<br />Release<br />feedback<br />feedback<br />learn<br />learn<br />learn<br />
  13. 13. 13<br />The Agile Manifesto (c. 2001)<br />We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:<br /><ul><li>Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  14. 14. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  15. 15. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  16. 16. Responding to change over following a plan</li></ul>While there is value in the items on the right,<br />we value the items on the left more.<br />
  17. 17. Lean in Startups (c. 2009)<br />14<br />“A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product under conditions of extreme uncertainty.<br />The speed at which a startup can learnis its competitive advantage and the defining factor in its success.”<br />* Eric Ries, startuplessonslearned.com<br />
  18. 18. 15<br />Old way<br />Business Plans + Models <br />+ forecast<br />Public Launch<br />Stealth mode build<br />vs.<br />Lean way<br />Minimal Product<br />Minimal Product<br />user<br />feedback<br />user<br />feedback<br />Minimal Product<br />learn<br />learn<br />learn<br />
  19. 19. A common pattern emerges<br />16<br />Only value-add activitiesEliminate waste<br />Act in small increments Iterative Feedback/Learning<br />
  20. 20. Real learning & lasting change happens in small increments with frequent feedback & followup<br />17<br />
  21. 21. Behavioural change comes from frequent followup<br />18<br />Dr. Marshall Goldsmith<br />No followup<br />Some followup<br />Consistent followup<br />* M. Goldsmith & H. Morgan, Leadership is a contact sport<br />
  22. 22. 3<br />Traditional performance reviews don’t help us motivate or learn<br />19<br />
  23. 23. 20<br />“Get Rid of the Performance Review! It destroys morale, kills teamwork and hurts the bottom line.” <br />
  24. 24. 21<br /> “Now is as good a time as any to think about giving up this bankrupt process.”<br />
  25. 25. 22<br />Performance management today<br />Employee activities (build up inventory)<br />Once a year:<br />Review activities<br />+ fill forms<br />At Year End:<br />Give feedback<br />
  26. 26. Once or twice a year, Companies stop…<br />23<br />“focal period”<br />
  27. 27. 24<br />Fill out hundreds of complex forms…<br />
  28. 28. …evaluate people onabstract skills & competencies…<br />25<br />
  29. 29. 26<br />…& give lots of feedback. In one instance.<br />“Here’s all the feedback. Now change.*”<br />* “By the way, here’s your raise, your bonus…”<br />
  30. 30. 27<br />Time for a rethink<br />
  31. 31. 4<br />A better way to learn @work<br />28<br />
  32. 32. 29<br />What would an agile <br />people process look like?<br />
  33. 33. 30<br />“Find the bright spots”*<br />Observations:<br />3 key ongoing social feedback loops<br />at successful democratic companies<br />* Chip & Dan Heath, Switch: How to change things when change is hard<br />
  34. 34. 31<br />Rypple’s mission<br />Make these vital social feedback loops easy & ubiquitous<br />
  35. 35. 32<br />Why?<br />Better managers <br />More learning <br />Improve results<br />
  36. 36. 33<br />1<br />Publicly recognize achievements<br />Motivates & amplifies learning<br />“One tool that can satisfy the thirst for<br />guidance with minimal resourcesis microfeedback.<br />Think of it as performance assessment for Twitterholics—succinct and nearly real time.”<br />
  37. 37. 34<br />Jay, her manager, publicly recognizes her achievement<br />Alanah completes a difficult project<br />Others learn what works & what’s going on<br />
  38. 38. 35<br />2<br />Easy to get and give safe, honest, continuous feedback<br />Difficult answers are the best insights<br />“Time and again, one variable emerged as central to the achievement of positive long-term change: <br />participants’ ongoing interaction and follow-up with colleagues.”<br />Dr. Marshall Goldsmith<br />
  39. 39. 36<br />Asks for advice from co-workers & managers.<br />George wants to be a helpful teammate.<br />Gets some incredibly honest feedback<br />Commits to improving<br />
  40. 40. 37<br />3<br />1:1 Manager/Employee sessions<br />Employees want frequent ongoing coaching<br />“The performance review should be replaced by daily ongoing contact with managers who know the work and who can become coaches.”<br />
  41. 41. 38<br />Easy, ongoing coaching<br />
  42. 42. 39<br />The social feedback loops in action<br />Daily activities<br />Feedback<br />Daily activities<br />Feedback<br />Daily activities<br />Feedback<br />Daily activities<br />“Work on how you respond to questions from Executives”<br />“Great work on fixing the webinar slides so quickly!”<br />“Focus on fewer but higher value projects”<br />“What do you really think about our new strategy?”<br />
  43. 43. 40<br />The traditional way<br />Once a year:<br />Review activities<br />+ fill forms<br />Employee activities<br />At Year End:<br />Give feedback<br />The agile way<br />Daily activities<br />Daily activities<br />Daily activities<br />Daily activities<br />feedback<br />feedback<br />feedback<br />learn<br />learn<br />learn<br />learn<br />
  44. 44. 41<br />3<br />Projects we’re working on<br />
  45. 45. 42<br />1<br />The Rypple service<br />Loved by democratic companies like you<br />
  46. 46. 43<br />2<br />The Make Work Meaningful community<br />People passionate about making work meaningful<br />John Foster<br />Marshall Goldsmith<br />Beth Steinberg<br />Dave Ulrich<br />Stephen Miles<br />Mike Beltzner<br />
  47. 47. 44<br />And…<br />It’s time for a manifesto<br />
  48. 48. 45<br />3<br />The Agile People Manifesto<br />Seeds of a revolution in managing for performance<br />NEW<br />
  49. 49. 46<br />An open collaboration <br />among democratic companies <br />to lay down few principles of<br />The Agile People revolution<br />
  50. 50. 47<br />And we need your help <br />to change the world.<br />
  51. 51. 48<br />How you can help<br />Visit agilepeoplemanifesto.org<br />Comment + share<br />Try the principles in your workplace<br />Learn + feedback!<br />
  52. 52. Summary<br />49<br />
  53. 53. 50<br />Was this useful?<br />rypple.com/ddebow/Worldblu2010<br />