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The Nine Principles of Agile Leadership: The Background

In 2017, I co-authored the 9 Principles of Agile leadership on behalf of the Agile Business Consortium. You can review the high-level description of these principles here. In this blog, I describe how these principles came about and in subsequent posts will describe the principles in more detail along with why I think they are important for organisational leaders. But first, let me give you a background as to how these principles came about. DSDM Evolves … DSDM (Dynamic Systems…

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Pre-Tx Model for Agile Transformations

The antidote to transformation failure: Start different! According to McKinsey, 77% of all Agile transformations fail! In short, this costs organisations millions in consultancy fees and people-years wasted on ineffective change. Could this time and money be spent differently? I believe that it can and it would end up costing eh organisation less, not only in time and money but in reputation also! In my book “Leaders it’s not how you finish … it’s how you start!” I propose that…

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What do we mean by resilience?

So I have just read a piece of news, my first in some time, when Boris Johnson, when referring to the UK economy is reported to have said “We are also amazingly resilient and creative, we will bounce back.” Of late I have been exploring some interesting concepts. Some of these being quite distinct from Agile, i.e. Taleb’s thinking around antifragility. One term that does come up with striking regularity is the term resilience. One term that Taleb uses is…

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Is stress beneficial to the team?

This is a rather interesting question, one that I have taken opposing views over the years.  As a humanist, I would have said stress in any shape or form was bad for people and the job of managers would have been to keep this to a minimum.  Minimum may imply that we can’t eliminate it altogether but as managers and leaders would we purposefully apply stress to individuals and teams?  At that time in my career, I did feel that…

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The Nine Principles of Agile Leadership

These principles we created for the Agile Business consortium in 2017 in collaboration with Katie Taylor, Ed Holt, Parag Googate and Rod Willis. See the white paper at the Agile Business Consortium 1. Actions speak louder than words Agile Leadership is about not only driving and promoting change, it is also about being the change. Those who lead by example and actively engage in their own development, inspire people. This is through action rather than words; as Gandhi said, “Be…

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Why Blindfolding People in Meetings May Be Useful

Communication is key in change initiatives. So, it’s no surprise that when I’m brought in to get a change programme back on track, that communication is almost always cited as a key issue. I’ve worked for a number of inspiring leaders in the past, who want to be agile and want to do the right thing for their organisation, but with all the complexities in their organisation and pressures of the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world, little headway is…

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How to Adapt Buchan’s Pre-Tx Model to Reboot your Agile Transformation

In my book “Leaders, it’s not how you finish … it’s how you start” I said that the Pre-Tx model could be tailored to be used in existing Agile transformations. This series of blog posts describes how this can be achieved. I wouldn’t start from here! You have probably heard to old joke where a traveller on a road to some distant destination stops a local person and asks them for directions. The response is as above “I wouldn’t start…

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VLOG

Here are a number of video logs that have been created on the Agile Leader YouTube Channel. You can see all the videos by going here to the Agile Leaders YouTube channel directly

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How do you know if your consultant/coach has an Agile Mindset?

In my book “Leaders, it’s not how you finish … it’s how you start!” I cite 5 mistakes that result in the failure of Agile transformations. 

Mistake number 3 is “Mindset of the consultants running the transformation”. But how do you know that the consultants or coaches that you are hiring have a more Agile mindset than you the leader, or the managers who are expected to be coaches by them? After all how can we go about measuring mindset?

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Why I Believe Agile is Broken

Agile is broken … that’s quite a statement isn’t it? Bearing in mind that many people I come into contact with report higher levels of stress when they are “forced” to work in an agile team. Doesn’t this make you think that something is wrong. I believe that this is wrong. Part of the wrongness lies at the feet of the Agile coaches and how they are deployed and utilised. The model needs to be changed if organisations truly want to get more from their people .

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