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Showing posts from May, 2012

Why is the C-Suite Clueless?

How many middle managers and agile coaches have asked themselves this question: Why is the C-Suite clueless? We try so hard to get their attention, but they just won't listen.  I think I am connecting the dots on why they don't listen.

Overwork is surely part of the problem, but it's deeper than that. Management has always been accustomed to communication by broadcast; listening and reacting have not been its strong suit. Before globalization, that wasn't much of a problem, because the customer didn't have many alternatives. But today, customers can easily go elsewhere, the complexity has risen, and the job of management has gotten much harder.

Today, I believe Management is in denial. It is in denial because it is being told by the marketplace: "you suck." Management focuses on improving the quarterly results, lowering the cost, and with it the quality to the point where lemonade doesn't have any lemon juice in it. And then they wonder why people ch…

Joe Justice, CEO of WIKISPEED to participate in next monthly mash-up

Joe Justice, CEO of WIKISPEED will participate in Steve and Peter's next monthly mashup.

Both Steve and I have written about Wikispeed (The Car the Scrum Built, Wikispeed: How A 100 mpg Car Was Developed In 3 Months). I think Wikispeed is the harbinger of dramatic changes in how we do business!

You can sign up here! And be sure to include your questions for Joe, Steve or myself when you sign up! We look forward to talking to you!

Does Your Agile Transition Provoke a Grief Response?

Radical Management principle number 4 says that communication must change from top-down directives to adult-to-adult discussions. Why is this so important? And how can you tell if your agile transition is really transitioning "agile-ly"?

Glen Alleman, author of the Herding Cats blog, recommended that I look at Peter de Jäger's webinar on The Art of Communicating Change. Given Alleman's critical perspective on Agile and Stoos,  I wondered, could there be something about Management in general and Change Management in particular that I've missed?

De Jäger starts by explaining that people react to change differently depending on whether change is voluntary or involuntary. Examples of voluntary change include deciding to learn a skill, getting married, or accepting a new job. People change like this all the time. Although it takes time to learn the skill or adjust to being married, most people do it willingly.

An involuntary change is a completely different matter. T…

Three Simple Hacks to Improve Management

Why doesn't the C-Suite understand Agile? Agile improves performance, profitability and customer delight. Why don't they get it? Why won't they even take the time to look at it? This dilemma has puzzled Agilists for as long as there has been Agile. Software developers have long been confronted with a similar problem. Here is a look a their solution and three simple hacks which may help managers improve their performance and their company's competitiveness.

I think there is a simple explanation for this: Top managers simply don't have time to think deeply -- about Agile, or anything else. They are overwhelmed, overworked and under extreme pressure to perform. They have no time or energy for creative thought. And since they have to deliver results every quarter, they can't risk doing anything new. If they were software developers, they would be doing death march releases every three months.

To understand the problem, let's look at the act of getting a meeting…