Considering an Agile Culture

We are on a journey to being an agile organisation. In this post, the second in the Business Agility series, I describe our thinking on the type of culture we wanted to create prior to us leaping into implementing change.

Culture trumps everything and as Simon Sinek said “people don’t ask what you do, they ask why you do it.” So, starting with a clear idea of how the Assurity of the future feels is a great starting point.

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Social exclusion for bad apples

So far, we have learned

  1. The bad apple effect – a single, toxic team member can create group-wide dysfunction
  2. Emotions are contagious – when someone else experiences an emotion, mirror neurons light up the exact same areas of our brain as if we were experiencing that emotion ourselves.
  3. Social contracts are a nice way of establishing a set of desired group norms, and can provide a “container” for the team to manage its own conflict, including defective behaviour.

In this post, the forth in the Agile Team series, we look into techniques for working with people who continually act out of sync with the team culture and norms. In particular, we investigate how social exclusion can be used as a highly effective deterrent of bad behaviour.

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Using Scrum for Organisational Change Management

When I first started doing Scrum I was focused on project delivery. As a software professional I wanted to find better ways of delivering customer value and Scrum made total sense to me.

But as I applied Scrum, I started to realise that Scrum isn’t actually about delivery; it is about change. Now as an agile coach I spend the majority of my time on change management.  In this post I investigate why Scrum is actually about change and how you can use it for approaching change. [Read more…]

Lyssa Adkins is coming to New Zealand

Big news – Lyssa Adkins and Michael Spayd are finally coming to NZ. When I attended their training in 2010 it completely changed how I approached agile work. Since then I have been trying to get them here and have finally pulled it off! [Read more…]

How to make a social contract and build better teams

In post one and two in this series, we discovered how emotions and behaviours are contagious and can have a dramatic impact on a team. Let’s now explore some approaches that help encourage positive behaviour and help us manage when things get difficult.

This post, number three in The Agile Team Series, covers Social Contracts, why they are important, how to create one and how to use it. [Read more…]

Emotions are contagious: how yours impact others around you

You know how when you see someone smile, you smile too? Or when you see someone crying, you feel their sadness. Well that’s because of an incredible phenomenon called mirror neurons. Understanding mirror neurons is a critical aspect of  team development as when someone else experiences an emotion, mirror neurons light up the exact same areas of our brain, as if we were experiencing that emotion ourselves. Literally, emotions are infectious.  This is post 2 in The Agile Teams Series[Read more…]

Behaviour dynamics in agile teams: The Agile Teams Series

One of my passions is teams – working with them, helping them improve and figuring out what makes a good one.  In his book Software for your Head, Jim and Michele McCarthy made a simple statement that resonates with me: Team= Product. That is, a good team builds a good product, a bad team builds a bad product.

In my quest to understand more about teams I have been reading as much as I can. Via this new series on my blog, I am aiming to try to summarise my findings and provide references to material I have found really useful in the hope I can provide some insights to others that are useful in your daily work.

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