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Agile Leadership: Be Brave & Mind the Gaps

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We need uninterrupted flow from plans via actions towards results. In reality, there's friction that disrupts the flow. This friction is caused by our chaotic environment, complexity, emotions & stress and personal intersts and it creates three critical gaps. We need to be brave and mind these gaps by avoiding "Command & Control" management behaviour and instead trying "Autonomy & Alignment" leadership behaviour.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Agile Leadership: Be Brave & Mind the Gaps

  1. 1. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 1 (14) Agile Leadership: Be Brave & mind the Gaps All Leaders’ Day March 13, 2014 @erik_schon
  2. 2. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 2 (14) Needs and questions NEED: FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Why can’t we plan better? Why wasn’t the plan followed? Why didn’t the plan work?
  3. 3. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 3 (14) Reality: Friction Disrupts Flow Human Limitation Independent Agents Limited Knowledge Unpredictable Events Imperfect Information Imperfect Information Transfer Independent Wills Different Priorities Different Interpretations Misunderstandings Chance Lack of data Noise External actors Different Agendas Human Limitation Stephen Bungay: “The Art of Action” (2011) Friction makes even the simplest tasks difficult FRICTION Emotion & Stress Complexity Chaotic Environment Personal Interests
  4. 4. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 4 (14) FRICTION creates 3 critical GAPS FRICTION PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Effects Gap Δ what we expect our actions to achieve vs what the actions actually achieve Knowledge Gap Δ what we’d like to know vs what we actually know Alignment Gap Δ what we’d like people to do vs what people actually do Friction prevents us from reaching desired results Stephen Bungay: “The Art of Action” (2011)
  5. 5. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 5 (14) S
  6. 6. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 6 (14) Avoid: Usual Reactions to the GAPS FRICTION PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Effects Gap Δ what we expect our actions to achieve vs what the actions actually achieve Knowledge Gap Δ what we’d like to know vs what we actually know Alignment Gap Δ what we’d like people to do vs what people actually do Ask for more detailed information Provide more detailed instructions Provide more detailed control mechanisms Command & Control More delays, less innovation, less motivation
  7. 7. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 7 (14) Be Brave, dare to try!
  8. 8. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 8 (14) Be Brave: ClosE the GAPS! FRICTION PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Effects Gap Δ what we expect our actions to achieve vs what the actions actually achieve Knowledge Gap Δ what we’d like to know vs what we actually know Alignment Gap Δ what we’d like people to do vs what people actually do Focus on clearly communicating intent = WHAT & WHY Allow people/teams to define HOW to do it and report back Give people/teams freedom to adjust actions in line with intent Alignment & Autonomy Less delays, more innovation, more motivation
  9. 9. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 9 (14) Alignment + Autonomy → Results Intent / Direction / Wanted Position What & Why Actions HowAutonomy Alignment Thoughtful, purposive action in the right direction by all people in the organization to reach the desired results Stephen Bungay: “The Art of Action” (2011) Alignment Autonomy The more alignment you have around direction, the more autonomy you can grant around actions
  10. 10. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 10 (14) Be brave FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Communicate clear intent WHAT & WHY Give freedom to decide HOW within boundaries Give freedom to adjust HOW in line with intent Move from “Command & Control” to “Alignment & Autonomy”
  11. 11. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 11 (14) Reflection FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Communicate clear intent WHAT & WHY Give freedom to decide HOW within boundaries Give freedom to adjust HOW in line with intent In pairs, discuss the following for 2 minutes: How could you use this model in your daily work?
  12. 12. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 12 (14) Be Brave, Just do it! Too many organizations are trying to control the waves instead of learning how to surf. Mary Poppendieck paraphrasing Allen Ward
  13. 13. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 13 (14) References
  14. 14. Agile Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | All Leaders' Day | @erik_schon | 2014-03-13 | Page 14 (14)

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