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Showing posts from March, 2012

Want to talk about Radical Management?

Are you doing anything after work on Thursday? 
Last month, Steve Denning and I held our first online conversation on how to make your company fit for the Creative Economy, otherwise known as Radical Management. This discussion raised many interesting questions from our participants, many of which are answered here. We are pleased to repeat this event in the future, the next time on March 22.
Would you like to join Steve Denning and myself for a free, web-based conversation on at 17.00 Central European Time (12:00 noon US eastern time)? Steve and I have written a lot on our blogs about what's necessary to thrive in the emerging creative economy: continuous innovation, inspiring workplaces, and a focus on delighting customers. Now Steve and I will be hosting a conversation on Thursday. You can dial in on the web or by phone. Got a question? Tell us when you register, and we'll address it during the webinar. Like to learn more? This is your opportunity! Find out more…

Why I like Zipcar better than Enterprise

Last week, a customer engagement took me to northern New Jersey. I took Amtrak's (almost) high speed Acela train to Newark, NJ and then got a Zipcar to drive to my final destination. To reserve the car, I went to the website and picked a model based on features, real-time availability and price. On arrival, I went to the Zipcar lot, found my car, put a smartcard on the windshield and drove away.

This is so completely different than renting from the classical car rental agencies. You can reserve a car online and it may look cheap, but the 'rental price' is only part of the story. Quasi-insurances like LDW, CDW, SLI, PAI, PEC (whatever they mean) or additional devices like GPS or EZ-Pass can easily double the daily cost of the car. If you have to talk to an agent when you pick up your car, you'll have to defend your wallet while at the counter. All you want is your car, but they want to sell you as many unneeded and overpriced services and/or upgrades as they can. And le…

Dimensions of Power: What can you influence, and how much?

How much power do you have in your organization? What dominates decisions in your company? Doing what's best or political considerations? How strong is the influence of the people doing the work vs the top managers?

I recently asked a project leader at a large organization about the weight of politics vs. substance in decision making. His response: they are of about equal importance. I wasn't really surprised. In fact, in all the years I have been coaching Agile teams, I have only once heard "It is the power of the argument rather than the positional power of the speakers which drives decisions."

OK, I work a lot with dysfunctional companies (who want to get better), but how many companies can claim that politics are substantially less important than substance in decision making?

What about the people in these organizations? The higher in the hierarchy you are, the more power you have. Does that mean as a mere employee that you have no influence? And what can peo…

An innovative workshop on radical management

In these three days (March 19-21 in Washington DC), you will discover how to use radical management to thrive in the 21st Century creative economy and the world of continuous innovation.

If you’re a business leader
have you ever wondered how your firm could not get beyond merely satisfying your customers and clients, but delight them? And not just once or twice, but consistently day after day, year after year? Have you ever wondered how your firm is going to survive and thrive as the world economy goes through a fundamental phase change—from industrial bureaucracy to a creative economy of continuous innovation? If you’re an Agile or Scrum coach
have you ever wondered what it would take to make the entire organization Agile? Have you ever considered how to get your Agile/Scrum teams  the support from top management that they need to be sustainable? Do you know how to powerfully communicate the essence of Agile to senior managers and inspire them to support your teams? If you…

The Deadliest Sin of Change Leadership

InfoQ just published a wonderful interview with Sanjiv Augustine and Arlen Bankston on the 7 deadly sins of agile adoption. While I agree with everything Sanjiv and Arelen said, they missed the deadliest sin of all. Without getting this one right, you condemn your initiative to failure. Here's why I don't talk about change management and my own list of 7 deadly sins of the change process.

I like their list of sins - I've seen all them, and have probably committed a few them in my day (but that's OK - we learn from our mistakes and try to do better next time):
Inappropriate scalingLack of organizational change management strategyLack of demand management - funnel projects to portfolio management, then bring projects to teams
Lack of engineering discipline
Siloed or tiered implementationLack of tool sophistication Outdated HR policies What did they miss? They missed a the fundamental reality of change: People don't mind changing. Most people want to learn and grow! But …

Skip the Budgeting Process?

There was one last question at our webinar on Radical Management that still needs answering.

Dan DiCamillo asked: Have you found a suitable replacement for (or a pitch to delay) yearly budgeting and planning, to give a little breathing room to start customer delight based practices?

I passed this question to Franz Röösli, Director of the Beyond Budgeting Roundtable and co-Initiator of the Stoos Network. This is his response:
Very interesting, in my view the question indicates the relatedness and interplay that exists between Radical Management and Beyond Budgeting (BB).

It is not easy to answer the question without having any context. Furthermore I would suggest to the person to get familiar with Beyond Budgeting (e.g. via the The Leader's Dilemma) to really be able to relate his question in the light of the BB model. That is not done with a few sentences (just as you needs some time to really get an understanding of Radical Management).

Nevertheless, as a very short but certai…

Questions and Answer from our Webinar on Radical Management

Yesterday, Steve Denning and I hosted a discussion about Radical Management. We had many more questions than we had time to answer, so here are answers to more of the questions:

Tom Mellor asked
: Robert Quinn in his book Change the World wrote "[deep change] requires letting go of control.  It means facing the unknown, walking naked into the land of uncertainty.  We spend most of our lives striving to avoid that prospect. When faced with the choice between uncertainty and conformity, we usually choose conformity."   How do we help our firms choose deep change?

Peter Stevens: Deep Question! When I work with command and control managers, they are often afraid of losing control, because they are also accountable. So I think part of the process is helping managers understand that how their control is going to change, that results will still be important, and how accountability is different but still present. For instance in Sc…