Or The Dynamics of an Agile Transformation Team
I found this great article about a leadership team (SLT) adopting agility WITH their teams.
It’s relatively short, but powerful because of the perspective. That is, it focuses on the activity of the senior leadership team in an organizational agile transformation.
I often think one of the core challenges for most leaders is that they are stuck in a situation where they’re telling their teams and organizations –
Do what I say, Go Agile, and not what I do
That is, they are not walking their talk. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s usually not a malicious or lazy play. It’s simply that they have more important things to do. Things that require their specific skill set and expertise to lead and get done. So, there is little to no time left for working like or with their agile teams.
Some may think this is ok and that it doesn’t really have an impact on the agile organization. Or the potential agile organization. I actually think it has a very negative effect.
If you’ve followed my blogging at all, you know that I’ve worked for several companies in the last 6-8 years that have colored my thinking as an agile coach. Sure, I’ve coached a wide variety of other organizations, but there’s nothing like being an employee of a company and assuming the role of technical leader and agile coach to get your attention each day.
One of those companies was iContact (now Vocus), which develops an email marketing SaaS platform. This story comes from my time spent there working with some wonderful development teams.
My partner Josh Anderson and I just finished a Meta-Cast on the topic of self-directed teams. One of our listeners asked us to share our thoughts on handling agile team members who simply wanted to be “told what to do”.
On the surface, this doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. In fact, I’ll bet these folks are bright, capable and work very hard. They’re also probably “good people”. So if there is an issue with this in agile teams, what is it? And why would it be a problem?
Mike Cottmeyer is one of my favorite agile coaches and leaders within our community. When he worked for VersionOne years ago, I used to read his blogs fairly often. Now that he’s been out on his own with LeadingAgile, I don’t get the chance as often to experience his thoughts.
So I was pleased when I ran into a recent post by Mike that had the same title as this post. I read it with anticipation, and as with all of his writing, Mike made me stop and think a bit. Here’s a context snippet from Mike’s post: