Leading in a digital culture isn’t all that digital

“Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to.” – Simon Sinek

If your employees were all volunteers, would they still follow you, or would they up and leave? The days of leading from position are long-gone – it’s not enough to have title, rank or authority as a platform to lead. As the battle for talent takes center stage in this digital age, leaders have to actively grow and intentionally practice their leadership skills if they are to thrive and succeed. A good test for this is to ask yourself, would your team follow you if they didn’t have to?

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Leading the Assurity Auckland Branch

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Scaling Scrum without crushing its soul 

Recently I attended training on Nexus at Scrum.org’s Boston headquarters. Nexus is based on the core principles and values of Scrum and allows companies to apply Scrum at scale while retaining the bottom-up intelligence of self-organisation. This post outlines my experience with Nexus and why I feel it is an important consideration for organisations scaling agile without compromising its principles, values and benefits.

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Into the Wild – finding work that aligns with your purpose

Those who know me describe me as an energiser – passionate and full of energy with the ability to influence. I bring phenomenal energy to situations I believe in and this creates momentum and ultimately results.

But last year my fire went out.

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Towards an Agile Operating Model

We are on a journey to try to truly be an agile organisation. In this post, number three in the Business Agility Series, I will describe how we changed our business operating model in order to help develop new habits to step us towards our desired agile new culture.

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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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Running our business using Agile

Agile is designed to manage complex situations where there are a large number of unknowns. It has been extremely successful in helping navigate a constantly changing environment by rapidly delivering small increments of value and using the evidence obtained to determine the next round of decision making. Given the highly competitive and rapidly changing business environment, many organisations are now asking whether Agile can be applied to running their entire organisation.

In this series I delve into how Assurity, a 200+ person consulting firm, has been running the entire company using agile techniques. As the General Manager of the second largest branch and a seasoned agile coach I am helping shape our direction. I will share our successes, our spectacular failures and some really interesting lessons in the interests of collective learning with the broader community.

3dancers

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Scaled Scrum is still Scrum

I spent the last week of April in Karlsruhe, Germany with the wonderful and talented Scrum.org community. During that time, we worked through The Nexus Framework as part of the new Scaled Professional Scrum training. It was a come-together of some of the world’s leading agile thinkers, reviewing Scrum.org’s approach to the challenge of “scaling Scrum”. It was a profound experience I am grateful for. This post shares some of my experience.   [Read more…]

An agile, adaptive business strategy

Agile has clearly made a significant impact on the software development industry, changing the way millions of people work to a more flexible, engaging and adaptive approach, delivering products that better meet the changing needs of the market. Agile thrives in under complexity and uncertainty – elements intrinsically inherent in business. So can agile be used for implementing a business strategy? In this post I will outline some basic principles and concepts for this.

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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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