Why and How – The Value proposition

Always start with the “Why”. Why and how can introducing Agile Lean Leadership in an organization, generate increased value for clients, employees, stakeholders and society at large?

Why? The Value Created

Why should an organization adopt Agile Lean Leadership (ALL)? What main values or outcomes can organizations expect? Here is a bird’s eye view of the claims:

It is our claim that such an organization will be much more capable of facing the challenges in the modern world. The complexity of constant changes in markets and technology does not allow organizations to rely on predefined plans any more, too many external events disrupt. An organization following the ALL pattern will have a number of beneficial characteristics, it will be:

  • Effective, it can find the right solutions to challenges and create overall value, not just sub-optimize.
  • Agile and fast, it can “turn on a dime for a dime”.
  • Sustainable, it has long term perspective on value creation and relationships; it can be trusted.
  • Resilient, it can recover and regain momentum effectively if thrown off-course.

Such an organization is constantly learning, and therefore changing. This is much harder for people working there, but also much more rewarding. Such an organization is consequently particularly sensitive to provide psychological safety for people and create a climate of trust, where feedback and new ideas are welcome.

An important part of psychological safety is to know what is expected of you; it follows that an ALL organization has very clear roles, simple operating procedures and fully transparent artifacts showing goals, progress and impediments. The organization however also has a very precise capability of reacting if something unexpected happens; escalation is clear. The leadership has renounced the use of fear as a leadership instrument.

In an ALL organization the most important ingredient is the engagement by the people. Responsibility and mandate is pushed as far out in the organization as we can find people who can carry it. So among people a number of benefits among others are seen:

  • Much higher morale, people take responsibility voluntarily.
  • Teamwork, an intuitive sharing of information and helping out.
  • Goal seeking, since all know and share the goals a much stronger gravitation towards the goals is experienced.
  • Intrinsic motivation, people want to work for a higher cause and vision, have certain autonomy over their own work and they want to experience mastery, or as W. Edwards Deming said: “Pride of workmanship”.

The stakeholders experience greater satisfaction with the organization, thus generating greater loyalty towards it, also in times of turmoil.

  • Customers, experience a focus on serving them and transparency in operation.
  • Employees, experience that they are valued and trusted individuals, not just expendable resources.
  • Owners and investors, among these shareholders experience consistency in purpose, higher transparency and lower risk, as the organization will focus on long term value not short term speculative gains.
  • Society at large, good relationships within an organization spill over to the rest of society, the organization can be trusted.

This is not just airy-fairy romanticism and latter-days hippie philosophy. The patterns are supported by solid empirical evidence. It is however a change from imperial Napoleonic leadership to that of servant leadership and short term speculative expediency for the few to long term balanced value for all parties.

 

How Does This Happen?

Organizations consist of people. When working in the complex domain extraordinary results can be achieved when people have common values and goals and work united towards these. It does require a change of mindset.

A combination of education, coaching and mentoring plus the right tools nudge the organization in the right direction. Each organization has to find its own route, but there is a host of common elements.

Education

Kurt Nielsen teaching

Education
The educational program is designed to take people through rapid learning cycles combined with actually working on the change.

The first step is to convey an understanding of the basics, what is the Agile Lean mindset really? Why is it necessary? Why does it work? What are the building blocks working this way: Constant navigation, feedback and learning, relentless transparency, perpetual sense-making in complex situations and the model organizational unit found in the Scrum Team. Read about the ALL Introduction course here…

Next a solid foundation is established through understanding the background of leadership especially servant leadership, where did all this come from? What are the ingredients that make people engage in, perform at and enjoy work? Intrinsic motivation is covered in detail. Then the Agile Lean Leadership pattern is established with its values, principles and methods. Finally the model for scaling Scrum, Agile and Lean out from a single team to the whole organization is discussed in detail. Read about the ALL Foundation course here…

Finally sleeves are rolled up and all the practicalities of working patterns, templates, meeting agendas, tips and tricks are thoroughly discussed and rehearsed. Case stories and practical applications are included, empirical evidence for these is presented. Read about the ALL Practition course here…

For more insight there is a course on how to work as a Team, called ALL Teams, read here… There is also a special detailed course on working with specifications and reaching common understanding with clients, customers and stakeholders, whether these are internal or external, it is called ALL Specifications, read here…

Coaching and Mentoring

ALL is more about learning by doing than absorbing huge academic structures. On-site assistance in implementing and guiding day-by-day can be very beneficial. Our network of experienced and passionate supporters are ready to give a hand. Read more here…

Tools

Sometimes, if you want people to change to change behavior, you have got to give them the tools that allow them to do so.

We are constantly adding to the toolbox we offer to organizations. Take a look at our online tool Agemba for Agile and Lean work here…

ALL Network

Agile Lean Leadership is brought to organizations through a network of professional that can teach, coach, mentor and provide practical help. If you are interested in being part of that contact us here…

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