August 09

Leadership hack 024 – is getting better more important than getting work done?

“Improving daily work is even more important than doing daily work” Gene Kim You never have enough time and resources, so you throw everything at the task at hand – getting the product shipped or the problem fixed. We have all been there.  It is very, very easy to focus relentlessly on getting your work […]

August 03

What you could learn from Scrum 101 by Lowe, Wyllie and Vara (2017, 126 pages)

Scrum 101 is a refreshingly clear, helpful guide to Scrum.  The book starts by explaining the Agile manifesto and principles directly and thankfully will little interpretation.  The book then situates Scrum within Agile by describing it as a framework for achieving the values and goal of Agile (a great description).  The book also outlines the […]

August 02

Leadership hack 027 – as a leader you need to change when the problem changes

We all know there are different types of problems.  Noble prize winners in physics solve different problems to firefighters rescuing people from a burning building.  David Snowdon attempted to categorise problems into four types of simple, complicated, complex and chaotic. Leaders need to adjust their approach based on the problem they face.  The first thing […]

July 27

What you could learn from ‘Agile at Scale’ this months HBR (May/Jun 18)

In brief analysis of the top articles in the most recent Harvard Business Review.

July 26

Leadership hack 023 – setting team norms helps your team perform after the honeymoon has ended

Building great teams is notoriously difficult.  Setting an agreed list of team norms can help teams become more productive faster. Teams take time and investment to become high-performing (see here).   The most challenging phase is what Tuckman called the ‘storming’ phase.  Once the team has formed and after the honeymoon period is over, team members soon get […]

July 23

What you could learn from ‘Beyond Measure’ by Margaret Heffernan (2015, 100 pages)

Creating a culture that allows constructive conflict to flourish will lead to better solutions, more value for customers and more value for your business.  In her book ‘Beyond Measure’ Margaret Hefferman suggest that there are many small changes to improve your company’s culture. Difference makes a difference.  Teams need to include people with differences in […]

July 20

Leadership hack 022 – it’s OK, teams change

I have found it helpful to use Tuckman’s (1965) stages of team development (expanded by Edison) to show how teams change over time, and it is normal for teams to dip and rise in performance.

July 19

What you could learn from ‘Drive’ By Daniel Pink (2009, 202 pages)

Few books lead to new organisational paradigms.  Daniel’s book ‘Drive’ and his theories on motivation have catapulted Netflix and Spotify to global success. Drive suggest that there is a gap between what research has shown increases motivation, and what business do.  Daniel indicates that the current motivation model (carrot and stick) is no longer suitable […]

July 13

Leadership hack 021 – getting out of the comfort zone

Encouraging your team to adopt a ‘growth mindset‘ will benefit you, your team and your bottom line (see HBR article here).  When Satya Nadella took over as Microsoft’s CEO spent considerable time and energy encouraging those around him to adopt a growth mindset (see this HBR article), and while he has also made some great strategic decisions (e.g., Azure, reducing Windows’ […]

July 12

What you could learn from ‘The CEO next door’ by Botelho and Powell (2018, 250 pages)

What makes a successful CEO?  By studying 2600 CEOs, the Botelho and Powell suggest that there are four defining behaviours that separate successful CEOs from the rest.

July 06

Leadership hack 020 – how to help new team members hit the ground running

Much has been written about how to build and maintain high-performing teams (see here and here).  What is less well covered is how to bring on new members into a high-performing team. When someone new joins the team, you are probably thinking about the following: Getting them up to speed as quickly as possible Making the experience great so […]

July 06

What you could learn from ‘Only the paranoid survive’ by Andrew Gove (1997, 184 pages)

What happens when the fundamentals that underpin your industry change?  How do you see change coming?  How do you separate the signal from the noise? How do you lead your organisation through the change?

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