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R&D Leadership: Be Brave & Mind the Gaps

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We need fast flow from plans via actions towards innovative results. In reality, there's friction that disrupts the flow. This friction is caused by our chaotic environment, complexity, emotions & stress and personal interests and it creates three critical gaps. We need to be brave and mind these gaps by avoiding traditional "Command & Control" management behavior and instead try "Autonomy & Alignment"
leadership behavior where the leaders
* Communicate a clear intent: WHAT & WHY
* Gives freedom to decide HOW within boundaries
* Give freedom to adjust HOW in line with the intent
I describe three experiments that we have tried on individual, team and organizational level and the results from these experiments. Additionally, I give references to a number of other companies, large and small, who all work with Alignment & Autonomy. This is highly relevant for all leaders in R&D.
 
By the end of this presentation, the audience will
* Know the difference between “Command & Control” and “Alignment & Autonomy” behaviors
* Believe that Alignment & Autonomy results in innovative products faster and more engaged people.
* Have an idea of how they can use this in their daily work.
* Feel that they want to try it tomorrow.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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R&D Leadership: Be Brave & Mind the Gaps

  1. 1. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 1 (25) R&D Leadership: Be Brave & mind the Gaps Erik Schön, April 28, 2015
  2. 2. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 2 (25) Needs and questions FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Why can’t we plan better? Why wasn’t the plan followed? Why didn’t the plan work?
  3. 3. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 3 (25) Reality: Friction Disrupts Flow Human Limitation Independent Agents Limited Knowledge Unpredictable Events Imperfect Information Imperfect Information Transfer Independent Wills Different Priorities Different Inter- pretations Misunderstandings Chance Lack of data Noise External actors Different Agendas Stephen Bungay: “The Art of Action” (2011) Friction makes even the simplest tasks difficult FRICTION Emotion & Stress Complexity Chaotic Environment Personal Interests Human Limitation
  4. 4. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 4 (25) 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. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 5 (25) S
  6. 6. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 6 (25) 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. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 7 (25) Be Brave, dare to try!
  8. 8. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 8 (25) 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 for Autonomy Less delays, more innovation, more motivation
  9. 9. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 9 (25) Alignment vs Autonomy Stephen Bungay: “The Art of Action” (2011) @henrikkniberg Alignment Autonomy Do what I say! Do whatever … False Dichotomy
  10. 10. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 10 (25) Alignment + Autonomy → Results High Alignment High Autonomy Build a bridge! We need to cross the river Figure out how! We need to cross the river to reach our destination Low Alignment Low Autonomy Hope someone is working on the river problem … ALIGNED AUTONOMY! Stephen Bungay: “The Art of Action” (2011) @henrikkniberg Intent What & Why Actions How
  11. 11. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 11 (25) Be brave FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Communicate clear intent WHAT & WHY (ALIGNMENT) Give freedom to decide HOW within boundaries (AUTONOMY) Give freedom to adjust HOW in line with intent (AUTONOMY) Move from “Command & Control” to “Alignment & Autonomy”
  12. 12. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 12 (25) Reflection FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Communicate clear intent WHAT & WHY (ALIGNMENT) Give freedom to decide HOW within boundaries (AUTONOMY) Give freedom to adjust HOW in line with intent (AUTONOMY) In pairs, discuss the following for 2 minutes: How could you use this in your daily work?
  13. 13. ExperimentS & results
  14. 14. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 14 (25) FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Communicate clear intent WHAT & WHY Give freedom to decide HOW within boundaries Give freedom to adjust HOW in line with intent Experiment: Individual Level Improved Leadership Behaviour Interactive seminars on alignment & autonomy Defining Agile/Lean line manager role: teaching, coaching, challenging Ericsson Leadership Framework Coaching training, coach networks, Communities of Practices, … Source: DU Radio
  15. 15. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 15 (25) Experiment result Personal Growth As a person, I want to act in an environment, so that I can reach my full potential We TEACH, COACH and CHALLENGE Personal Growth As a person, I want to act in an environment, so that I can reach my full potential We develop ORGANIZATIONS Personal Growth As a person, I want to act in an environment, so that I can reach my full potential We develop TEAMS We develop INDIVIDUALS Source: DU Radio The Line Manager in Lean/Agile
  16. 16. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 16 (25) FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Communicate clear intent WHAT & WHY Give freedom to decide HOW within boundaries Give freedom to adjust HOW in line with intent Experiment: Team Level Cross-functional, semi-permanent, co-located teams Continuous evolution of every team to out-learn competition Learning Days, Communities of Practices, Team Development Framework, … Start with Scrum or Kanban Team retrospectives every sprint, … Source: DU Radio
  17. 17. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 17 (25) FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Communicate clear intent WHAT & WHY Give freedom to decide HOW within boundaries Give freedom to adjust HOW in line with intent Experiment: Organization Level Closing the gap between strategy and execution in a PDU Dialogue around strategy with everyone in interactive workshops Quarterly Challenge Should impact the whole organization and be based on strategy & current needs Quarterly strategy retrospectives with everyone Source: DU Radio
  18. 18. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 18 (25) Every sprint deployed to live networks with added customer value and higher quality Source: DU Radio Experiment result PDU Quarterly Challenge
  19. 19. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 19 (25) 20% 67% 9% 5% Motivated SatisfiedAlienated Frustrated Motivation clearly up in our Dialog surveys Commitment Satisfaction 2010 Motivated SatisfiedAlienated Frustrated 18% 7% 72% 2% 2014 Source: DU Radio OVerall result People’s Motivation
  20. 20. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 20 (25) Ericsson and beyond … Spotify’s Engineering Culture – Part 1 L. David Marquet: "Greatness"
  21. 21. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 21 (25) Be brave, Dare to try! FLOW PLANSACTIONS RESULTS Communicate clear intent WHAT & WHY (ALIGNMENT) Give freedom to decide HOW within boundaries (AUTONOMY) Give freedom to adjust HOW in line with intent (AUTONOMY)
  22. 22. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 22 (25) 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
  23. 23. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 23 (25) Q&A
  24. 24. R&D Leadership - Be Brave & Mind the Gaps | @erik_schon | #RnDTalks @ericsson | 2015-04-28 | Page 24 (25) Thank You! erik.schon@ericsson.com @erik_schon +46 73 031 2316

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