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Showing posts from February, 2012

Zipcar smashed my enthusiasm

How should a company react to a customer's suggestion?

Since I am only staying 6 months in Washington, I don't want to buy a car. Renting for the duration is expensive. Furthermore, I live on the border between Washington and Maryland -- we won't even talk about the joys of trying to park when two different jurisdictions are involved in policing on-street parking! But life without a car is difficult in the US. So this led me to choose Zipcar - a car sharing service.

Zipcar is really cool: you pay by the hour or by the day. You have a broad selection of cars parked nearby. Just reserve, walk to the car, swipe you smart card and off you go! Couldn't be easier. And you can even use your smartphone as a remote control to unlock the door. The geek in me smiles from ear to ear.

Now they have many models to choose from, but my favorite model is not close by, so I asked them if they could position one to a nearby parking location. Here is how they answered me:

Dear Peter,


From a Blame Culture to Fearless Trust

As a manager, you understand the second principle of Radical Management: your role is changing from being a controller of people to an enabler of teams. In my coaching work, I've met many managers who, even though they understand this principle, they get really uncomfortable with relinquishing control.
If I trust my team, how do I prevent them from abusing this trust? How do know I will I get results? This is a perfectly normal question at the beginning of a transition, especially in large organizations. What is trust? How can you trust your people? And how do create a climate that encourages trust?

Without trust, people have to protect themselves from betrayal and attack. Work is a dreary grind, in which people are constant fear of punishment, and the workplace resembles a Dilbert cartoon with slightly more lifelike renderings of the people involved. In fact, if Dilbert is a favorite subject for decorating people's offices or the coffee corner, then you probably have a probl…

Video Introducing #Stoos to the Scrum Breakfast

Yesterday, the LAS Coreteam organized its first Scrum Breakfast without me. To fill in the spot left by the thought for the day, Kai asked me a few questions over Skype and edited them into a short video. The main topic was Stoos, but we also talked about this years Lean Agile Scrum Conference and the Scrum Retrospectives. You can watch the video or read the (partial) transcript below.

Q: The last I heard from you, you were getting ready for the Stoos gathering. What was the Stoos Gathering?

A: In January, a diverse group of 21 thought leaders, executives, and coaches from around the world met on the Stoos. Our inspiration was the Snowbird Lodge gathering with produced the Agile Manifesto.

Our invitation went beyond Agile and Lean practitioners to include Business, Leadership and HR communities. This group identified much common ground on how management should be and a tremendous discrepancy between that and how most companies are actually run. For instance…