BADLL 1 Hour w Notes

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We all know Agile leaders foster self-organization, so why do many have little effect on their teams, or worse, actually harm their effectiveness? People act in ways that are rational to them, but differences in internal mental models can make people seem irrational to us. By uncovering your team’s mental models, you can help them achieve a common rationale. This leads to stronger, integrated teams.

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  • I’m Derek W. Wade, and I’m interested in understanding how people work inside, and helping others understand that, in order to help them better work together. I work for (that is, independently run) an Agile leadership and team coaching company called Kumido Adaptive Strategies. “Adaptive” in that I see much of work as learning, and by that I don’t mean just Single-Loop Learning of tasks and problem-solving, but how we adapt our inner selves to our environments. We can do that unconsciously or consciously. Double-Loop Learning is doing that consciously; deliberately rewiring yourself.\n
  • Much of what I’m talking about comes from this guy: Chris Argyris. I see a lot of Dead White Guys in slides, I try to avoid that. Argyris is a management consultant and academic. And he’s still alive, so he’s not a DWG. Among other things, Chris did a study on how a group of consultants worked together to give advice and discovered some startling things about what they professed to believe vs. how they acted -- namely, that most people profess a different theory of action than they can be observed to use.\n
  • About the title: Mike, along with Benjamin Mitchell and I, had a conversation about Double-Loop Learning. Mike is a delightfully friendly, outspoken guy and at one point used the phrase “...drop some badass double-loop learning on that situation’s ass!” I loved it. Did you see the picture of Argyris? Does “badass” come to mind when you see him? So I suggested the hashtag. I encourage you all to use it on Twitter just to freak Mike out.\n
  • Despite its theoretical underpinnings, this stuff really has practical applications. My friend and colleague Susan uses it in her job in the ER, and also in training crossfunctional trauma teams in how to work together. Most errors in the clinical world - just like in the Agile world - are teamwork, not technical errors. She applies the theory of mental frames to reduce them.\n
  • There are some theoretical underpinnings here, and I’d like to introduce you to the basics. If you know WHY, you can practice the WHAT and HOW. But we’ll talk about those too...\n
  • Argyris showed that we often act differently than we say. We talk about self-organization as a key component of Agile, but then we act in ways that harm self-organization. Even as coaches we get tempted to “tell” people what to do. This stuff is applicable to ScrumMastering, coaching, leadership, and even personal interactions. So, 3 learning objectives today: the rules underlying mental models (the WHY), some characteristics of mis-matched mental models (the WHAT), and a technique you can use to match, and thus change, mental models (the HOW).\n
  • Quick interactive exercise: here’s a story of real teamwork. What do you think? How did the police know they had their man? Answer: **the fireman was the only male in the room, everyone else was female.** Debrief: for people who have NOT seen this before, what was going through your head? This “trick” works because we have a particular mental model, or “frame” of a carpenter, mechanic, etc.\n
  • So what’s a mental model? I use the terms “mental model” and “frame” interchangeably. Different literature uses different terms, both mean the same thing: the inner knowledge that provides context that allows you to make meaning from the external world. Beliefs, assumptions, experiences. For example, what is this image?\n
  • In this context, it’s cheap street vandalism.\n
  • In this context, it’s expensive modern art. This feels like a trick, but there’s no trick here other than a shift in context. Content isn’t king, CONTEXT is king. Frame provides context, MEANING to the observable action. Our interpersonal and teamwork challenge is being aware of our own context.\n
  • Argyris calls this process by which we observe external events, make unconscious internal changes to our own frame/context, and only then take observable action “the ladder of inference.” As we add meaning from our past experiences etc, we climb the ladder. (Note the colors here: observable/external vs inferred/internal.) Observable: what could be observed in a video playback of the event? We can relate this to our police story earlier: what did you truly know about the situation, and “what did you know that just ain’t so?”\n
  • Not being aware of your own ladder of inference leads to single-loop learning: when your actions are driven by a fixed frame. This is good old stimulus-response: we observe someone’s actions that make no sense to us, and we respond to their actions without knowing their frame. Then OUR actions don’t make sense to THEM. What we need to remember is that people act in ways that are rational TO THEM.\n
  • This brings us to the first concrete thing you can do in interpersonal and teamwork situations, especially where there is conflict:\nBe aware of your own frame.\nPractice “checking in” with yourself. Ask yourself “what about this situation could be observed in a video playback?” Anything else is likely your own frame. Observation vs evaluation.\n
  • People act in ways that are rational to them - we need to understand their mental model before we attempt to change their behavior, or we will be stuck in confusion. Here’s an example.\n(Video is available at http://youtu.be/IsW4XG8eshE )\n
  • You saw the “WTF moment” in the video, right? WTF?! How can you tell time with donkey balls?! Some descriptions of that video on YouTube even say “man tells time by temperature of donkey balls!” That WTF moment is a cue that our frames are wildly different, and should cue you to seek their frame - where is that action from?\n\n
  • If you engage in single-loop interactions when frames are different, expect confusion, frustration, and wasted time. We need a double-loop interaction: you seek not just to influence the external world (including other people), but also to influence your own frame - your model of the world. Often this means understanding SOMEONE ELSE’S frame.\n
  • If you engage in single-loop interactions when frames are different, expect confusion, frustration, and wasted time. We need a double-loop interaction: you seek not just to influence the external world (including other people), but also to influence your own frame - your model of the world. Often this means understanding SOMEONE ELSE’S frame.\n
  • If you engage in single-loop interactions when frames are different, expect confusion, frustration, and wasted time. We need a double-loop interaction: you seek not just to influence the external world (including other people), but also to influence your own frame - your model of the world. Often this means understanding SOMEONE ELSE’S frame.\n
  • If you engage in single-loop interactions when frames are different, expect confusion, frustration, and wasted time. We need a double-loop interaction: you seek not just to influence the external world (including other people), but also to influence your own frame - your model of the world. Often this means understanding SOMEONE ELSE’S frame.\n
  • This is the second concrete thing you can do in interpersonal and teamwork situations: Realize that the WTF moment is not an indicator that the other person doesn’t understand you and you need to clarify (single-loop interaction) but a cue that there is a mismatch between frames. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easy way to match frames?\n
  • The good news is that there is a straightforward interaction pattern that helps match frames. By approaching the WTF situation with an air of genuine curiosity balanced with openness about your own frame, you help uncover someone else’s. Example: I observed a ScrumMaster poll her team for status - WTF?! Debriefing this situation so that the ScrumMaster’s ACTIONS change because her FRAME has changed requires advocacy/inquiry or it’s just single-loop “telling.”\n
  • Here is an pattern to balance advocacy with inquiry. In the case of my previous example: “I noticed you were polling your team for status. This surprised me because I thought that impeded their self-reporting, so I’m interesting in hearing why you did that.” We discovered it was because she was afraid of running out of time in the Scrum, which revealed her frame: “the Scrum time-limit is the most important thing.” We could then discuss if the time limit was more or less important than self-organization. She was able to examine her frame and see that there are more important things than the Scrum time limit. That’s double-loop learning.\n
  • This specific words of the pattern are not required. But it’s easy to use when there’s “WTF” and works to match frames. Balancing advocacy/inquiry provides more safety than “5 Whys” because if you ONLY inquire, you make people defensive. Whereas if you only advocate (telling), you just appear to be more out of tune with the other person. \n
  • So here are three concrete things you can do in interpersonal and teamwork situations to foster double-loop learning for yourself and others:\n1. Stay aware of what you observe vs. what you infer (your frame)2. When you feel WTF, realize that’s a cue to match frames3. When you need to match frames, balance advocacy with inquiry using the interaction pattern \n\n
  • You recall I started this with the Tao Te Ching about mastery of yourself being true power. I have seen this in the most effective leaders I’ve encountered: they know themselves, stay aware of what they believe, and actively work to update those beliefs based on their experiences. Double-loop learning. That’s badass.\n\n
  • Check out the “Works” for further reading, especially the Argyris book for more detail overall, and the Rudolph article for how to use advocacy/inquiry.\n
  • BADLL 1 Hour w Notes

    1. 1. Mental Models and BadassDouble-Loop Learning Derek W. Wade @derekwwade dwade@kumido.com gplus.to/derekwwade www.derekwwade.net www.kumido.com www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    2. 2. Chris Argyris (not a DWG)www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    3. 3. Mike Sutton #BADLL www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    4. 4. Susan Eller teamwork for clinical safetywww.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    5. 5. “Mastery of others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” - Tao Te Ching www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    6. 6. Need • team transparency for self-organizationGoals • build trust • do less telling and more understanding • uncover common groundLearning Objectives • the model of mental frames • how to stay aware of your own frame • a technique for uncovering frames of others www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    7. 7. Police receive an anonymous tip and raida house to arrest a suspected murderer.They dont know what he looks like butthey know his name is John and that he isinside the house.The police bust in on a carpenter, a truckdriver, a mechanic and a fireman allplaying poker. Without communication ofany kind, they immediately arrest thefireman.How do they know theyve got their man?
    8. 8. “Frames”(aka Mental Models) www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    9. 9. Vandalism? www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    10. 10. Art?www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    11. 11. observable inferred observable Image: http://urbandocent.blogspot.comwww.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    12. 12. Frame Action OutcomeWhat We Believe What We Do Effects & Reactions www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    13. 13. 1. “Check in:” observable vs inferred?2. ...3. ... www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    14. 14. “WTF?!” (where’s that from?)
    15. 15. Inferred Actual Frame Action Outcome Frame What They Did Effects & ReactionsWhy We ThinkWhy They Did It They Did It www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    16. 16. Actual Action Outcome Frame What They Did Effects & ReactionsWhy They Did It www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    17. 17. Actual Action Outcome Frame What They Did Effects & ReactionsWhy They Did It www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    18. 18. 1. “Check in:” observable vs inferred?2. “WTF” = “where’s that from?”3. ... www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    19. 19. balance advocacy with inquiry www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    20. 20. Advocacy “I noticed that observable fact .What They Did I’m (surprised, concerned,Advocacy think there’s a real problem) Your Frame because it seemed like... I’m curious what you were InquiryTheir Frame thinking when above observable fact.” www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    21. 21. Advocacy What They Did Advocacy Your Frame Inquiry Their Frame balance advocacy with inquiry to uncover their frame... ...only then advocate to change it (if needed!)www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    22. 22. 1. “Check in:” observable vs inferred?2. “WTF” = “where’s that from?”3. Balance advocacy with inquiry www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    23. 23. Mental Models andBadass Double-Loop Learning Thank You! Derek W. Wade @derekwwade dwade@kumido.com gplus.to/derekwwade www.derekwwade.net www.kumido.com www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011
    24. 24. Credits Media WorksBikes Argyris C, Putnam R, Smith DM. Action science: concepts, methods and skills for research andOzier Muhammad/The New intervention. San Francisco (CA): Jossey-Bass; 1985York Times Lateral Thinking Puzzles - Preconceptions. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2011, from http:// www.folj.com/lateral“Telling Time” video: Mathieu, John E.; Heffner, Tonia S.; Goodwin,http://youtu.be/IsW4XG8eshE Gerald F.; Salas, Eduardo; Cannon-Bowers, Janis A. (2000) The influence of shared mental models on team process and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(2), 273-283Grafitti/Gallery/Scale Rudolph, J. W., Simon, R., Rivard, P., Dufresne, R.wikimedia commons L., & Raemer, D. B. (2007). Debriefing with good judgment: Combining rigorous feedback witharchdaily.net genuine inquiry. Anesthesiol Clin, 25(2), 361-76.clker.comBadass title from Mike Sutton @mhsuttonin conversation with Derek and Benjamin Mitchell @benjaminmBadass thanks to Susan Eller, RN MSN, Director of Interprofessional Education at NorthwesternUniversity’s Feinburg School of Medicine for discussion, stories, and the awesome video. www.kumido.com (C) 2009-2011

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