Book: Can You Hear Me?

Communicating virtually is cool, useful, and ubiquitous. But whenever there's a glitch with the technology or a message is unclear, we're reminded that the quality of human connection we experience in many forms of virtual communication is awful. We've all felt disconnected and bored in a video conference, frustrated that we're not getting through on the phone, or upset when our email is badly misinterpreted. The truth is, virtual communication breeds misunderstanding because it deprives us of the emotional knowledge that helps us understand context. How can we fix this? In this powerful, practical book, communication expert Nick Morgan outlines five big problems with communication in the virtual world--lack of feedback, lack of empathy, lack of control, lack of emotion, and lack of connection and commitment--sharply highlighting what is lost in our accelerating shift to a more virtual world. And he provides a clear path forward for helping us connect better with others. Morgan argues that while virtual communication will never be as rich or intuitive as a face-to-face meeting, recent research suggests that what will help--and what we need to learn--is to consciously deliver a whole set of cues, both verbal and nonverbal, that we used to deliver unconsciously in the pre-virtual era. He explains and guides us through this important process, providing rules for virtual feedback, an empathy assessment and virtual temperature check, tips for creating trust in a virtual context, and advice for specific digital channels such as email and text, the conference call, Skype, and more. Whether you're an entrepreneur, an independent professional, or a manager in an organization that has more than one office or customers who aren't nearby, Can You Hear Me? is your essential communications manual for twenty-first-century work.

Continue ReadingBook: Can You Hear Me?

Book: Evolvagility

Organizations around the globe are struggling to adapt to an increasingly complex and turbulent social, economic, technological, and business environment. Many are responding by embracing agility as a way of working--some with a primary orientation around operational agility (e.g., Agile software development methods), others focusing on customer development agility, while others are embracing business agility. In almost all of these cases, agility is concerned with processes and practices, with systems and structures--a form of outer agility. But the biggest challenges with agility revolve not so much around its outer aspects--its processes, practices, deliverables, and business outcomes--but around the sensemaking, communication, and relationship intelligence of an organization's people--its inner aspects. This is where we find the human problems of resistance, conflict, communication breakdowns, broken promises, people going through the motions with little passion or conviction, deteriorating product quality, managers micro-managing-the world--the world of inner agility. Many organizational leaders and managers take an objectivist approach to the growing of inner agility, treating mindset and culture as reified goals to be attained, rather than as holistic qualities to be cultivated. Mindset and culture are viewed as behavioral attributes which exist somewhere out there: In those people out there; in those behaviors out there; in those habits and beliefs out there. From such a perspective, the tendency is to think about and treat mindset and culture from the outside in --as those aspects of organizational reality that we can somehow fix or change from the outside; whether through inculcation, motivational inducement, reasoned argument, or training and mentoring. Evolvagility: Growing an Agile Leadership Culture from the Inside Outtakes an alternative perspective--one in which we view mindset and culture not from the outside in, but from the inside out . From this perspective, we are interested in the inner capabilities that determine how people think; how they make sense of complex situations around them; the beliefs and values they hold; people's ability to hold perspectives that are different from their own; their ability (or lack thereof) to relate with others in ways that leave those others empowered and enabled. But, even more than this, we want to know how we might help ourselves and others grow those capabilities. Again, not from the outside in--the world of processes and structures or even behaviors; but rather from the inside out--from the world of sensemaking and consciousness, and from there out into the world of relationships and, beyond that, out into the world of organizational environments. Evolvagility synthesizes a human technology from a variety of fields that include adult developmental psychology, relationship systems, executive coaching, and organization development. It leads us toward a deeper understanding of the anatomy of human sensemaking, and how it impacts people's capacity for effective and creative action. And it provides a practical methodology with which we might increase the capacity of that inner sensemaking in order to help ourselves, and others, make sense of the complexity and ambiguity of the situations we ind ourselves in as players in 21st Century organizational life.

Continue ReadingBook: Evolvagility

Book: Understanding Agile Values & Principles

Many organizations start their Agile journey without a good (or any) coverage of the Agile Manifesto’s Values and Principles. As framework-specific training has increased, many of those trained seem to have limited familiarity with those values and principles. As a result, people tend to revert to old practices when Agile ones seem difficult to implement. A limited understanding of the values and principles often prevents choosing alternatives more consistent with an agile mindset. Agile ideas are simple but not necessarily easy to implement. This book offers thoughts on what an understanding of the values and principles could mean to an organization. Each value and principle is explored, suggesting possible practices and considerations in implementing each one. This should make it easier to apply the values and principles when considering practice options and alternatives.

Continue ReadingBook: Understanding Agile Values & Principles

Book: Becoming a Catalyst

The Scrum Master, often misunderstood and underutilized, is a role filled with great opportunity and promise. Organizations around the world are introducing Agile values and principles to improve the culture of their workforce and their responsiveness in an ever-demanding marketplace. Sadly, many are not achieving the results promised. While everyone will need to play a part in bringing transformational change to an organization, this book specifically addresses how Scrum Masters can influence and accelerate culture change. In Becoming a Catalyst: Scrum Master Edition, we will delve into the uniqueness of this role. We outline how, when combined with the motivation to become a powerful yet subtle force, Scrum Masters can participate in shaping a positive workplace environment. Your company may be at the beginning of a transition to Agile methodologies or maybe it has been at it for a while. Perhaps your company is not trying to change at all but regardless of your situation this book will explain how you can make an impact. Perhaps you have recently decided to become a Scrum Master. You are familiar with the expectations of the role found in the Scrum Guide or through a training class. Maybe you are currently a project manager curious about Agile and how to transition to become a Scrum Master. Perhaps you have just become a Certified Scrum Master and want to know how to take what you have learned and make a difference in your organization beyond process mechanics. Perhaps you have been a Scrum Master for a while and are looking to improve on what has been working. Or maybe you have found that your own energy, morale, and motivation have been diminished and are looking for ways to find your passion again. Becoming a Catalyst: Scrum Master Edition will motivate you to live the role of a Scrum Master to the fullest, encourage and energize you to become a force for positive change, mentor and teach you as you develop personal mastery in the role, and keep you healthy, vibrant, and dynamic along the way.

Continue ReadingBook: Becoming a Catalyst

Book: Retrospectives. A Scrum Master’s Guide

Running a successful retrospective can be challenging. Maybe you never run one before and you are not sure where to start. Maybe you run dozens of them and you see that they are not as productive as before. The solution is in the tools you can use to guide you to better retrospectives. Retrospectives. A Scrum Master’s Guide is here to help Scrum Masters run awesome retrospective sessions and engage their teams in productive discussions that lead to actual solutions. The guide includes twenty unique retrospective techniques and focuses on step-by-step instructions for each one of them. If you never run a session before, the guide will tell you how to and will help you be successful from the start. In addition to clear instructions, each technique includes speaking prompts to get you a head-start in each Retrospective even if you didn't have time to prepare. Take away all the stress from facilitating difficult discussions! To make sure you stay on track for your Retrospective session, the book contains a one-pager per technique that you can print and use as a cheat-sheet. Print all twenty and you can easily bring the whole set with you in your pocket. The book also includes some general guidelines and advice that can be used in any retrospective, such as different ways to run a voting exercise, how to resolve common challenges in a retrospective, and how to engage your team in advance of the actual session. As a professional Scrum Master with years of hands-on experience, I have collected, developed and tested these techniques myself. All of them are based on my personal stories working with a variety of teams. You will find a perfect technique that works best for your situation. All the great things that are included in the book: Situational guide. A short explanation will help you understand what team and situation each technique work best to help you adapt your approach. Preparation guide. See exactly how much time and what you need to prepare for the session. Step-by-step instructions. Clear instructions will guide you through the session even if you never run a retrospective before. Speaking cues. To make sure your team understands various aspects of each technique, explanation examples are given for each step of your retrospective. Technique modifications. Almost every technique can be modified to be reused in a new way and provide different results thanks to additional examples. Facilitator's notes. Notes based on real-life challenges and situations are added to help you make your retrospective technique a success!

Continue ReadingBook: Retrospectives. A Scrum Master’s Guide

Book: Hacking for Agile Change

With over 50 practical and proven change hacks you can apply to your change initiative on any project type and organisation. This book will help you: Define agile as an organisational capability Try new change management approaches with examples and practical tips on HOW to cut-through Uncover more ways to lead and manage human-centric change Consider new ways of working and other emerging trends in your change delivery Broaden your capability and future-proof your career Lena Ross is an experienced change consultant with a reputation for valuable content creation with fresh insights. Since establishing her consulting practice, #changehacks in 2016, Lena has shared her expertise via numerous channels on the future of change management and emerging capabilities. Her experience is complimented by her Master of Business Administration (MBA) qualification, and she is able to apply sound academic and business discipline to the development of practical and innovative solutions.

Continue ReadingBook: Hacking for Agile Change

Book: What’s Your Digital Business Model?

Digital transformation is not about technology--it's about change. In the rapidly changing digital economy, you can't succeed by merely tweaking management practices that led to past success. And yet, while many leaders and managers recognize the threat from digital--and the potential opportunity--they lack a common language and compelling framework to help them assess it and guide them in responding. They don't know how to think about their digital business model. In this concise, practical book, MIT digital research leaders Peter Weill and Stephanie Woerner provide a powerful yet straightforward framework that has been field-tested globally with dozens of senior management teams. Based on years of study at the MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR), the authors find that digitization is moving companies' business models on two dimensions: from value chains to digital ecosystems, and from a fuzzy understanding of the needs of end customers to a sharper one. Looking at these dimensions in combination results in four distinct business models, each with different capabilities. The book then sets out six driving questions, in separate chapters, that help managers and executives clarify where they are currently in an increasingly digital business landscape and highlight what's needed to move toward a higher-value digital business model. Filled with straightforward self-assessments, motivating examples, and sharp financial analyses of where profits are made, this smart book will help you tackle the threats, leverage the opportunities, and create winning digital strategies.

Continue ReadingBook: What’s Your Digital Business Model?

Book: Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

Look around your office. Turn on the TV. Incompetent leadership is everywhere, and there's no denying that most of these leaders are men. In this timely and provocative book, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic asks two powerful questions: Why is it so easy for incompetent men to become leaders? And why is it so hard for competent people--especially competent women--to advance? Marshaling decades of rigorous research, Chamorro-Premuzic points out that although men make up a majority of leaders, they underperform when compared with female leaders. In fact, most organizations equate leadership potential with a handful of destructive personality traits, like overconfidence and narcissism. In other words, these traits may help someone get selected for a leadership role, but they backfire once the person has the job. When competent women--and men who don't fit the stereotype--are unfairly overlooked, we all suffer the consequences. The result is a deeply flawed system that rewards arrogance rather than humility, and loudness rather than wisdom. There is a better way. With clarity and verve, Chamorro-Premuzic shows us what it really takes to lead and how new systems and processes can help us put the right people in charge.

Continue ReadingBook: Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

Book: Openspace Beta

The practical guide to making the Beta organization happen. Anywhere - in just a few months. Sounds impossible? It isn´t anymore! This handbook spells out an all-hands, high-engagement approach to organizational transformation that is suitable for any kind of company - regardless of size, age, country/culture, legal form and industry! So obvious and yet groundbreaking, this is the way to make the Beta organization happen. Anywhere. Fast.

Continue ReadingBook: Openspace Beta

Book: Designing the Future

How did Ford Motors use Lean Development to pull off one of the most impressive corporate turnarounds in history? Largely by avoiding the mistakes that so many companies make when in a death spiral. They looked beyond manufacturing efficiency to change the very fundamentals of how they developed vehicles. In Designing the Future, Lean product development expert James Morgan and world-renowned Lean guru Jeffrey K. Liker reveal why so many companies have achieved only moderate success with Lean in operations, with a limited impact on their overall business. They take you through the process of bringing the best of Lean management to your enterprise—in order to link your business strategy to superior value designed for customers. The authors provide an actionable approach to building a better future for your business fueled by an iterative, integrated process that relies on simultaneous engineering, linking strategy and vision.They illustrate how to empower skilled and talented people to make collaboration and innovation a habit—hour to hour and day to day. It’s the secret of full implementation of Lean—and this groundbreaking guide takes you through every step of the process. The best way to predict the future is to create it. With Designing the Future, you have everything you need to create a flexible, iterative business-transformation process that takes you from strategic vision to value stream creation for maximum customer value delivery.

Continue ReadingBook: Designing the Future

Book: Evidence-Based Management

Decisions in businesses and organizations are too often based on fads, fashions and the success stories of famous CEOs. At the same time, traditional models and new cutting-edge solutions often fail to deliver on what they promise. This situation leaves managers, business leaders, consultants and policymakers with a profound challenge: how can we stay away from trends and quick fixes, and instead use valid and reliable evidence to support the organization? In response to this problem, evidence-based management has evolved with the goal of improving the quality of decision-making by using critically evaluated evidence from multiple sources - organizational data, professional expertise, stakeholder values and scientific literature. This book sets out and explains the specific skills needed to gather, understand and use evidence to make better-informed organizational decisions. Evidence-Based Management is a comprehensive guide that provides current and future managers, consultants and organizational leaders with the knowledge and practical skills to improve the quality and outcome of their decision-making. Online resources include case studies, exercises, lecture slides and further reading.

Continue ReadingBook: Evidence-Based Management

Book: Unlocking Agility

Practical Guidance and Inspiration for Launching, Sustaining, or Improving Any Agile Enterprise Transformation Initiative As long-time competitive advantages disappear, astute executives and change agents know they must achieve true agile transformation. In Unlocking Agility, Jorgen Hesselberg reveals what works, what doesn’t, and how to overcome the daunting obstacles. Distilling 10+ years of experience leading agile transformation in the enterprise, Hesselberg guides you on jumpstarting change, sustaining momentum, and executing superbly on customer commitments as you move forward. He helps you identify appropriate roles for consultants, optimize organizational structures, set realistic expectations, and measure against them. He shares first-hand accounts from pioneering transformation leaders at firms including Intel, Nokia,, Spotify, and many more. • Balance building the right thing, the right way, at the right speed • Design a holistic transformation strategy using five dimensions of agility: Technology, Organizational Design, People, Leadership, and Culture • Promote agile skills, knowledge, and abilities throughout your workforce • Incorporate powerful leadership models, including Level 5, Teal, and Beyond Budgeting • Leverage business agility metrics to affect norms and change organizational culture • Establish your Agile Working Group, the engine of agile transformation • Define operating models and strategic roadmaps for unlocking agility, and track your progress You already know agile transformation is essential. Now, discover how to customize your strategy, execute on it in your environment, and achieve it.

Continue ReadingBook: Unlocking Agility