Monday, December 26, 2011

More ideas on How To Start Global Managment Warming in #Stoos

The interest is great, and feedback equally so. Today feedback from:
  • Sigi Kaltenegger on whether a big gesture will be helpful
  • Scott C. Schuck on learning through visual experince
  • Gerhard Andrey on 'Kill you job title!'
  • Kurt Nielsen on managers as deep experts in planned economic behavior, on managers who see themselves as being 'above work', and on middle managers who are not interested in the customers
Sigi Kaltenegger (@sigikaltenecker) wrote:
I am still wondering if a big “revolutionary” or “radical” gesture is helpful in winning over managers. On the one hand, this gesture is perhaps too much of the same in terms of “heroic management”, where you are supposed to be the solution hero for every problem. On the other hand, remembering Maestro Senge´s “People don´t resist change. They resist being changed”, I doubt that a revolutionary approach shows appropriate respect to managers today.

As to the expected outcome of the Stoos Gathering, I would be happy to learn more about:
  • getting in touch with managers and helping them to start their own learning journeys (e.g. by clarifying what´s in it for them in the short-term as well as a long-term perspective);
  • starting with the change from where they are right now, appreciating that there are many things to build on and continue;
  • practical ways of building trust and fostering relationship, while addressing critical aspects of current management practices;
  • the essential combination of self-confidence and humility on the side of the potential helper (coach/consultant/you name it)

Scott C. Schuck wrote:
Nearly all remedies I've read rely, primarily, on logical, rational (Newtonian/linear) – largely the same approach that is inadequate in facing the impending chaos.In the "new" reality – Quantum processes – organic and interdependent which self-organize when under minimal constraint.

This is best learned through visceral experience. The path forms only when we walk along it.

The best exposition of this new view is Margaret Wheatley's "Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World".

Perhaps the best "fallback" approach is that of the "World Cafe'" It's sort of a 'structured path to openness", i.e., emergence. (David Issacs &Peter Senge endorse this process).

Good Luck!
Gerhard Andrey (@anderageru) wrote:
I had an issue: "Kill your job title!" ;)

At my company, this is always an issue and out in the real world I encounter some trully amazing jobs titles. ;-) Of course, sometimes these titles are justified, but often they are not really consistent with modern times or simply reflect the most traditional (aka encrusted) structures.

In our company, we don't really have a creative solution to the problem. But at least a pragmatic one. Since there is are no hierarchies are, you're in business development, software development, operations, administration, or even management. There is no Head Of This .. or CxO. In management, we call ourselves partners, which of course something indicating the ownership and still certain hierarchy reflects.

A real discussion about how job meaningful descriptions could defined without hierarchy  would very exciting. Because so much begins with naming...
Kurt Nielsen wrote:
Being a former CEO of a small IT-company, I often get involved in Executive discussions in Scandinavia as a consequence of my Scrum training and Coaching. I share the same frustration about why management as a profession is not moving. I do not have a final statement on the matter, the jury is still out. But here are some bullet points, that might serve you in your gathering as points of attack.
  1. The institutions that train also the new generations of managers, that is typically those with a combination financial and legal background, will in general not deal with this new radical management. I believe that the reason is quite simple, they have all been trained in complicated domain (not the complex as per Dave Snowden's definition), they are deep experts in planned economic behavior, I have often said that they have not discovered that the Berlin wall came down in 1989. It is a huge threat to their whole existence if things cannot be planned upfront. I tried to get into one of the universities here in Denmark through the former CEO of Bang & Olufsen, who lectures there. I knew him from my work with Bang & Olufsen. He said after a while, that it was a lost case. The faculty would not be able to make such a mental quantum leap. Things can be planned and budgeted, it is only a matter of getting you act together and do more analysis and control. So they believe they are in the complicated domain, when in fact the world is in the complex most of the time - very dangerous.
  2. The really scary thing is that it is also this sort of people we have elected as politicians, dabbling in resolving the financial crisis. Treating serious illness with chopped up wings of bats and cog-webs.
  3. I ran a training program in Scrum together with the Danish "Center for Management". During the debrief after the course, they were quite positive, but as one lady-boss noted "It is a bit operational, we normally don't get down to the level were work actually is done". I am not joking here or making it up. I suddenly realized that the people educated in management disciplines really believe they are above the work, that they are fundamentally doing something more lofty and intellectual than "work". It is deeply Tayloristic point of view. The elite creates the rules and frameworks for the common man, who is to dumb or lazy to figure anything out for himself. Then the door is open to the patronizing negligence, we often meet.
  4. That brings to the darkest side of the force. Many of students in my Scrum classes report the same issues of being unable to engage management in the prioritizing and taking responsibility for business value. As several have said "Management thinks it is great if we, the lower levels, learn to work more disciplined and produce more results. They have however no sympathy for the argument that the same rules apply up through the organization.
  5. I have often found that the main problem is with the middle managers, not the executives, they normally have a very clear view of creating value (if their company is worth anything). Middle management however often do not have what i think is called "a clear line-of-sight to the customer", hence their own power-circles look like the center of the universe to them. One chief of IT I had an encounter with, refused to do anything that would challenge his position as head of a cost-center. he did not want to take on responsibility for generating value, he just managed resources.
So I think that what you should focus on are the progressive CEO's and the media. I know a few aggressive ones that are not afraid of speaking up, and the story can easily be brought to roll in the media, if we have celebrity value. It can happen, I have just been involved in transforming a medical supply company, but there was a very decisive top man, who wanted this to happen.
Again, thank you for the feedback! We will be taking all the input to Stoos with us and create information radiators so these ideas can be shared with all participants.