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Catalytic Leadership Agile Tour Montreal


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This is the presentation used for my workshop on Catalytic Leadership - helping people understand how they can unleash Fearless Change patterns and Liberating Structures so that anyone can become a leader of change.

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Catalytic Leadership Agile Tour Montreal

  1. 1. Define Catalytic Leadership Relationships of Leadership, Change, and Culture Leadership Concepts to Support Change: 1. Anyone 2. In the Small 3. Environment, Support, and Trust Some Byproducts
  2. 2. A show of hands… Who has had trouble with… • Having people follow you as you tried to introduce ‘Agile’? • Keeping good people as you went through change? • Getting people to initiate change?
  3. 3. What is Catalytic Leadership?
  4. 4. Catalyst :: an additional substance that through its participation increases the rateof a (chemical) reaction and with less energy Wikipedia Definition (paraphrased)
  5. 5. inferring…
  6. 6. Catalytic Leadership increases the rate of ____ with less effort
  7. 7. Fill in the _________Adoption Transition Transformation Metamorphosis Transmorgrification …
  8. 8. … being able to lead change is important because…
  9. 9. Agile Transformation is strategic in nature. (Transition, Adoption, etc.)
  10. 10. Top 5 Reasons Agile Projects Failed Company philosophy/culture at odds w/core agile values Lack of experience w/agile methods Lack of Management Support Lack of Support for Cultural Transition External pressure to follow traditional waterfall processes Ability to Change Org Culture 55% General Resistance to Change 42% Pre-existing non Agile Framework 40% Personnel w/Agile Experience 39% Management Support 38% Sources: VersionOne State of Agile Survey 2016 Culture
  11. 11. • These same reasons have shown up! • Just some mild shuffling around in percentages and order. • Consistently at the top is inability to change organizational culture Sources: VersionOne State of Agile Surveys 2010-15
  12. 12. “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast.” - Peter Drucker
  13. 13. Decisions  Habits  Culture Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change, Richard Nelson & Sidney Winder, 1982
  14. 14. Most organizations don’t make fully rationale decisions those decisions are unknowingly steeped in their habits. Evil is committed by the well-meaning The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
  15. 15. Decisions  Δ Habits  Δ Culture
  16. 16. • How do we lead this change? • How do I begin to take action? • How do I do this when I am not the CIO or other executive?
  17. 17. "The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.” - Peter Drucker
  18. 18. This means anyone can be a leader. Corollary: you only have the authority granted to you by others; meaning you have constraints imposed by their willingness
  19. 19. “It’s often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask permission.” - RADM Grace Hopper
  20. 20. Start with decisions where permission is unnecessary.
  21. 21. For meetings you conduct, could you do ANY of these? • Post purpose and agendas in room • Send these out in the invite • Make these agenda items questions to answer vs bullet point lists (“In what way will we measure the impact of this solution?”) • Send out read-aheads before meetings • Create a parking lot for off-topic items • Use time-boxes on particular discussion points • Use exercises vs free-form discussion • Provide a visual means for seeing progress during the meeting (Checklist, Meeting Kanban, pile of index cards with the topics on them) • Solicit input ahead of time for the agenda and find out concerns • Use the invite lines: Required, Optional, FYI (that it is occurring) What of these are synergistic? Which ones require another one to be in place?
  22. 22. When learning information from another, could you do ANY of these? • Ask open-ended questions (Turn yes/no questions into -- what options do you think we have?) • Ask about what things are most important • Repeat/paraphrase what you heard and ask if you have it right? • Listen for changes in HOW the person tells you the answer, not only what they say • Be mindful of your own facial expressions or body language
  23. 23. Something to remember… Leadership in a traditional sense tends to view it in terms of linear transactions and roles, not organic relationships between people exerting influence. -Gerald Weinberg (paraphrased)
  24. 24. • In 1 min, by yourself, write down in WHAT WAYS my examples (for learning info from another or conducting organized meetings) may exert influence. • Now pair up and for the next 2 min share and refine your answers. • Get into groups of 4, share your answers and select & prioritize what you feel are the most important reasons. • You have 4 min. Elect a spokesperson • Lastly, your spokesperson will share the top answer that has not been previously selected – AND – if any the other answers were previously selected.
  25. 25. A show of hands… Could you… • Introduce this in a meeting you attend? • Suggest this as a way of ‘brainstorming’ ideas? You just experienced a Liberating Structure called 1,2,4,ALL
  26. 26. For the next two slides, record each concept you can do where permission is unnecessary.
  27. 27. Some other Liberating Structures TRIZ / List what you can do to get the worst possible result Doing any of that? (be brutally honest) Create actions to eliminate these behaviors Appreciative Interviews / Have another tell a story of something most proud of… What made that possible? Five Whys / Ask why at least 5 times Gets to root-cause Lean Coffee / Generate topics of interest Prioritize Openly Discuss in a timebox Decide on actions to take Vote to continue or dismiss WINFY / You generate what you need ID who you need it from Get unambiguous responses from providers The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures – Lipmanowicz & McCandless Open Space / Get a space Create an invitation Right people Right time Over when over Only thing that could happen Law of Two Feet
  28. 28. Some Fearless Change Patterns Fearless Change and More Fearless Change – Manns & Rising discuss the ideas at Brown Bags as everyone enjoys food find an interested Guru, convert them, so they are on Your Side get a Champion Skeptic, someone that is a critic on the inside create a Big Jolt by giving a well-known person an invitation to present on the topic periodically reflect to have an Evolving Vision Piggyback on other ideas, work, or meetings to get the idea heard show Sincere Appreciation to those that help you show your passion as an Evangelist find the Go-To Person for different critical issues where you need help Advertise Your Successes
  29. 29. 16How many of the sixteen did you record?
  30. 30. approaches as these low effort Think of
  31. 31. = lower riskand
  32. 32. • Cultural Anthropology’s diffusion mechanisms • Technological innovation’s adoption mechanism Rely on… not
  33. 33. Cultural Diffusion Direct Indirect Forced Mechanisms Contagious Expansion Stimulus Types
  34. 34. occur in that you will lead The changes Environment Support Trust Where did that come from..?
  35. 35. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  36. 36. Environment ∆s climate and structures, Examples: the set of communication paths, authority for decisions, safety for open discussions
  37. 37. “Leadership is the process of creating an environment in which people become empowered.” -Gerald Weinberg
  38. 38. Example Environment Questions: What stands in the way of change in terms of - • team size? • how management conveys direction? • what happens when mistakes are made? • rewards to people?
  39. 39. • In 1 min, by yourself, write down the environmental concerns you have within your organization to introducing change. • Then pair up, review what you came up with and see what is similar. You will have 2 min. • After that, get into groups of 4, share your answers and select & prioritize what you feel are the most important concerns. Also refer to your handout, select a liberating structure or fearless change pattern that the group feels they can use to begin improving the environment with respect to the top concern. • You have 4 min. Elect a spokesperson • Lastly, your spokesperson will share the top concern and possible method to change it.
  40. 40. Support ∆s beyond infrastructure needs… how communications are conducted and the resulting decisions
  41. 41. • Cognitive Empathy • Curiosity • Commitment • Congruence • Work towards shared mental models • Ask questions; look for root-cause (not blame) • Follow-through on decisions • Conversations and dialogue about change and alignment
  42. 42. Trust ∆s how risk taking, and thus opening vulnerability, between co-workers, and between co-workers and supervisors (granting authority) improves the climate
  43. 43. “Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one's superiors; care for one's crew.” - RADM Grace Hopper
  44. 44. Trustor’s Propensity Trust Perceived Risk Risk Taking in the Relationship Authority Benevolence Integrity Factors of Perceived Trustworthiness Outcomes Model of Organizational Trust “An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust”; Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman; Academy of Management Review; 1995; page 715 (available at JSTOR) Vulnerabilty
  45. 45. Trust-Building Examples: Small (low risk) assignments Promises made & kept (integrity) Congruence with stated intention (benevolence) Decisions made and not over-turned (authority)
  46. 46. Environment Support Trust
  47. 47. PART I: • We’re going to divide up and represent 3 levels: development team, middle management, and executives • Each of these will further be divided into 3 different exercises: • Piggybacking on concerns • TRIZ • Meeting their Needs • I’ll pass out papers with the level + exercise & some explanations on how to do the exercise
  48. 48. PART II: • Our objective is to understand how we can lead at these 3 levels in applying the Agile Principle: “Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential.” • Think in terms of environment (structure & climate), support (decisions and how they are communicated), and trust (opening mutual vulnerability/dependency on the results) • You will have a 12 minute time box to perform what is on your instructions; the sheet has some time guides.
  49. 49. Debrief What were your ahas?
  50. 50. Trustor’s Propensity Trust Perceived Risk Risk Taking in the Relationship Authority Benevolence Integrity Factors of Perceived Trustworthiness Outcomes How Fearless Change & Liberating Structures Fit “An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust”; Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman; Academy of Management Review; 1995; page 715 (available at JSTOR) Vulnerabilty TRIZ Small Changes Lower Advertise Successes Just Do It Ask for Help WINFY Sincere Appreciation Use a Champion Skeptic
  51. 51. Environment Support Trust Open Space Five Whys Appreciative Inquiry More How Fearless Change & Liberating Structures Fit
  52. 52. • Opens up more engagement • Uses our normal networks to spread ideas • Improves culture, trust, and ultimately change at a natural pace • Helps people align with purpose
  53. 53. What questions do you have?
  54. 54. Paul M. Boos @paul_boos 703-307-4322 (mobile) Games for Agility, Learning, and Engagement (GALE) Agile Dialogues