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Leading Wiithin


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In organizations, change comes from leadership. That's not necessarily connected with status and authority and, in fact, leadership can be manifested in many different ways (i.e. individual or collective) and styles.

Still, the main force behind change is leadership.

I've been coaching teams, organizations, leaders and managers along their path to agility for years. In this talk I'd like to point out how leadership in adaptive organizations is much subtler and pervasive than what we usually think and that its foundation lies in some character qualities that are frequently overlooked or underrated.

Among this qualities we can find curiosity, empathy, courage and an attitude to listen deeply (which are in itself a personal journey of self-discovery and self-awareness) and that we need to be connected with ourselves as well as with others, before we can even start to think how to influence our environment from a leadership position.

Active listening is also a practice that enables system-awareness and dialogue at the organizational level, something that adaptive organizations are in dire need of, if they want to to operate in innovation and adaptation rather than recycling old paradigms over and over again.

This is a critical aspect if we want to create organizations that operate, internally and externally, on different assumptions than post-industrial, mechanistic organizations.

Indeed, I believe this is the main reason behind many of the failures I've witnessed in Agile adoptions -- namely, introducing change at the superficial, operational level, while being unable or unaware of changing the fundamental paradigms by which people operate and interact.

In this session I'd like to explore all that, share real-life stories and examples, mixed with a little bit of science, philosophy and practical advice, hoping that this will help organizations to better understand and create the kind of leadership that will let them thrive in a complex, adaptive world.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Leading Wiithin

  1. 1. Leading Within Andrea Provaglio Agile Enterprise Coach
  2. 2. “Transform” This Guy
  3. 3. Change, Paradigms and Leadership Real change requires changing the underlying paradigms by which we operate Change comes from leadership
  4. 4. Some Paradigms That Change Hierarchies Profit Directing People Blaming Others Estimating and Planning Networks Purpose Empowering People Taking Responsibility Experimenting and Adapting
  5. 5. Vertical and Horizontal Leadership
  6. 6. The Story of ActiLife (not the real name) A global, non-IT company with digital products IT Global Market Communities Users & Clients Strategic Partners Digital Products PM PM PM PM PM Top Seller HELP!
  7. 7. The Tragedy of the Commons fishing profitR fisherman A fishing profitR fisherman B “A term used in social science to describe a situation in a shared- resource system where individual users acting independently according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting or spoiling that resource through their collective action.” (Wikipedia) Sustainable fishing capacity total fishing + + B B effort for fish caught - - + + + +
  8. 8. “Overfishing” Intellectual Products “This is more urgent than anything else!” “Our key partners need this now!” “This is the greatest business opportunity!” “I committed to that deadline!” “That’s what the CEO wants!”
  9. 9. Avijjā Lack of clear knowledge. Not knowing (seeing, sensing) things for what they really are.
  10. 10. Listening Downloading Factual Listening Empathic Listening Generative Listening A fundamental leadership skill. Change depends on awareness, on perceiving and adapting How we listen changes our perception and our relationships. Therefore, everything. STOP GO STOP GO STOP GO
  11. 11. Promoting Factual Listening Voice of Judgement Curiosity STOP GO
  12. 12. Promoting Empathic Listening Voice of Cynicism Empathy STOP GO
  13. 13. Promoting Generative Listening Voice of Fear Courage STOP GO
  14. 14. The Effects Of Listening Self-awareness Self-leadership System awareness (Dialogue) Horizontal Leadership
  15. 15. Where “Agile” Stops Artifacts Downloading Factual Listening Empathic Listening Generative Listening STOP GO STOP GO STOP GO Paradigms Agile practices alone will take you at most to this point (if you’re lucky) Forsaking the deeper part will kill your agility
  16. 16. The 95 / 95 percent My personal guesstimation after 10 years in the field 95% of companies asking for Agile coaching want consultancy 95% of so-called Agile coaches are consultants WHAT THEY SAY: We want to change! WHAT THEY THINK: as long as you fix “them” and you don’t touch the existing power structures WHAT THEY SAY: I’ll coach you in your change! WHAT THEY THINK: I’ll fix you, teach you, show you, make you right
  17. 17. Where You Can Start From Pay attention to your listening Practice with a buddy Be an example to others For serious stuff, get coaching
  18. 18. The Whole Picture New Paradigms Horizontal Leadership Curiosity, Empathy, Courage Listening Awareness, DialogueClear Knowledge
  19. 19. Want to Talk? Click on these links!