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110501 - XP2011 - treat them like addicts


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Lightning talk (10 minutes or so) on Command & Control as an Addiction, including notes so you can understand the context of the pictures... Enjoy :)

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110501 - XP2011 - treat them like addicts

  1. 1. Hello everyone, welcome to this motivational lightning talk on droppingcommand on control. I really thought we had something like 5 minutesto present, so don’t expect huge discussion. On the brighter side, if youdon’t like the talk don’t worry, it will be over soon. 1
  2. 2. My name is Angel Medinilla,, remember that as you’ll be using it in aminute, and I’ve been on the ICT market for more than 14 years. I raninto Agile six years ago and I’ve been an Agile consultant for the lastfour years, helping companies like Vodafone, Ericsson, Electronic Artsor Infojobs on their Agile adoption path. 2
  3. 3. I’m also a nicotine addict. I smoked one packet a day for more thanfifteen years, and I’ve been living absolutely clean for the last six years 3
  4. 4. C’mon guys, you know how this story work… I say “Hello, my name isAngel and I’m a addict” and you go… --- Ahhh, that’s it, so you’vealready been in this kind of meetings, do you? I mean XP conferences,of course… 4
  5. 5. I’m also addicted to Command and Control. Although I’ve been an Agileconsultant for four years now, I’ve only been living clean from thismonster for a couple of years. OK, waving back is optional this time… 5
  6. 6. Addictions have a very specific mechanism – Every single time you geta dose, a positive reinforcement takes place. It’s like every time youpress a lever, you get some food. In command and control, every timeyou give orders, things get done, and that’s satisfying for you. 6
  7. 7. According to B.F. Skinner, one of the most influential psychologist of the20th century and one of the fathers of behavioral science, positivereinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behavior. 7
  8. 8. So the managers head gets wired on a Command and Control fashion,constantly reinforcing themselves on this behavior through positivereinforcement cycles 8
  9. 9. So as you see, it’s not only that most managers have only learnedcommand & control as a way to manage their environments (becauseof the fateful heritage of Taylorism and industrial knowledge on how torule a business) – there’s also an addiction mechanism taking place 9
  10. 10. There’s also a vicious cycle taking place: you don’t trust people to dothing right, so you tell them how to do it and you control how they do it.They do what you’ve told them to do, no what was needed or what youactually meant, and they do nothing but what you tell them to do. Soyou do things yourself, don’t trust them and keep the C&C cycle goingon. 10
  11. 11. What we’ve found from an Agile perspective is that Command&Controlkills self-organization and motivation of knowledge workers. Behavioralscience has shown how motivation of knowledge workers is deeply tiedto autonomy, the desire of being self directed. 11
  12. 12. Here I’d like to point out that motivation is not only about being “amagical manager, from Happy Land, who lives in a gumdrop house onLolly Pop Lane!!” It’s something so important that no demotivated teamhas ever made a great product, anywhere, at any moment in history.Just never. 12
  13. 13. When I make this kind of statement, sometimes someone says“Pyramids! Pyramids where built by a bunch of highly demotivatedguys”. But of course they weren’t. They were built by a highly motivatedteam of architects, engineers, priests and kings. People moving stonesaround where no more than machinery, brute force. You have to decideif you are managing brute force or engineers. 13
  14. 14. Ok, so we have an addict in control. What should we do? For somemanagers, being in part a psychological problem, I’m sure it would betempting to give electrotherapy a try… But believe me, most peopleare good ultimately… Sometimes very, very ultimately, I reckon… 14
  15. 15. Here’s when the 12 steps program come handy. Original from the AAgroups, it have been successfully carried to many other addictiongroups including workaholic anonymous, gamblers anonymous or,despite I can’t understand why, Love and Sex Addicteds Anonymous. Ihave adapted the steps to our Agile environment, working with theprinciples and trying to provide a useful framework for C&C Rehab. 15
  16. 16. There’s no use to work with someone in state of denial. Agile coacheshave to work with this guys so they accept they are being bossy andthey are powerless to change their behavior, that the situation isbecoming unmanageable on an Agile way. AA have the “interventions”as a tool to try addicts accept they have a problem and are hurtingpeople they care about. 16
  17. 17. Then, the patient must understand that there’s a better state, a betterway, Something greater that the sum of the parts. Intensive Agiletraining has to be set up for the patient. If the C&C manager stillbelieves that the best way to run a business is to be bossy, there’s notmuch we can do to help him. 17
  18. 18. Once you admit you have a problem, you have to commit yourself witha purpose to change and set specific goals to measure your selfdevelopment. 18
  19. 19. AA call this “a Fearless moral inventory of ourselves”. 360º interviews,were your employees, colleagues and bosses can give an anonymousview of your management style can help, as no one is a good critic ofhimself. 19
  20. 20. Admit your wrongs to other human beings. Not necessary the wholeteam, but someone you trust. This could be a mentor, a friend, yourwife, an Agile coach… 20
  21. 21. Changing your behavior you will change your character, as what you dobecomes what you think and vice versa. Things like “That’s the way Iam” are self-fulfilling prophecies, as you will definitely be as you sayyou are. You have to change your language patterns as well as youracting patterns. 21
  22. 22. There’s lots of help out there: Mentors, coaches, Agile groups,literature… Just be sure there’s someone helping you on a regularbasis. Can you name it? 22
  23. 23. Making an physical inventory of the times you behaved on a way youdislike helps you being honest with yourself and assesing the truedimension of the problem. Again, 360º review may help a lot. 23
  24. 24. Despite your efforts to communicate your new will of managing on amore Agile way, drop C&C and being less bossy, you have to be awarethat there’s a motivational debt on your side. It’s time to repay debt, sostop demotivating it’s not enough: you have to start motivating. 24
  25. 25. AA call this “Continue to take personal inventory and, when we arewrong, promptly admit it”. As you already know, we Agilists call this anempirical approach based on inspect & adapt cycles, or on short“Deming’s Cycle”. 25
  26. 26. I’m a devoted follower of Lyssa Adkins’ work on coaching Agile teams,and I do believe that every coach have to find a daily practice that helpshim or her find his own balance. You can’t help others to find theirbalance if you lose your own. 26
  27. 27. Of course, as you start your journey, you should be willing to invest yourtime helping others to build something greater. Peer review, peerpressure, self organization and emergent behavior are concepts deeplyrooted in Agile. The message here is “You can’t do it on your own”, andalso “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. You are also animportant part of the Agile system and you have to give back as youreceive. 27
  28. 28. I wish I’ve given you some ideas on how to deal with your owntendence to command an control and, hopefully, help other out of it.Thank you! 28