Agile Culture Map

In my previous post (see: The Culture Map) I reviewed The Culture Map and gave an example to show cultural differences between countries.

Afbeelding1The top 1 reason for agile transition failures, is that the organizational culture is at odds with agile values. I would like to create an agile culture map that can be used to visualize the bridges you have to cross when performing an agile transition. It could probably show as well why agile transitions in one country are more difficult than in another country.

To make this happen I need your input to build this agility culture map. I would like to ask you to answer a simple questionnaire with eight questions: Agile Culture Map questionnaire.

Results will be shown in a next post on this blog.

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Review: The culture map – Decoding how people think, lead, and get things done across cultures

9781610392761-480x600Looking back at my week in Tokyo with all its cultural differences, e.g. the punctuality, the group culture, the clean streets but no garbage cans, the mouth caps to protect others and yourself, Japanese people skipping a lot of words, and to understand them you need to know the context, et cetera, I think reading The culture map – Decoding how people think, lead, and get across cultures written by Erin Meyer was a good way to use my time when I flew back at an altitude of 38000 ft from Tokyo, Narita airport to Amsterdam, Schiphol.

It’s an easy to read and entertaining book with numerous examples from her own experience to understand how cultural patterns of behavior and belief frequently impact our perceptions (what we see), cognitions (what we think), and actions (what we do). The purpose of this book is to improve your ability to understand these three aspects of culture and to improve your effectiveness in dealing with them. If you want to build and manage global teams that can work together successfully this book will be a great tool with lots of strategies and advices to support you.

The author developed an eight-scale model to help to improve your effectiveness. Each of the eight scales represents one key area that managers must be aware of, showing how cultures vary along a spectrum from one extreme to its opposite.

The eight scales are (see the figure with Japan and the Netherlands plotted on these scales):

  • Communicating: low-context vs. high-context
  • Evaluating: direct negative feedback vs. indirect negative feedback
  • Leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical
  • Deciding: consensual vs. top-down
  • Trusting: task-based vs. relationship-based
  • Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoids confrontation
  • Scheduling: linear-time vs. flexible-time
  • Persuading: principles-first vs applications-first (does not plot all world cultures as the concept of applications-first and principles-first only applies to western environments. Asian cultures, for example, are Holistic and neither Applications-first nor Principles first)

Schermafdruk 2018-11-11 15.06.57The culture map (source: www.erinmeyer.com/tools)

When examining how people from different cultures relate to one another, what matters is not the absolute position of either culture on the scale but rather the relative position of two cultures. It is this relative positioning that determines how people view each other. E.g. Japanese people see Dutch people deciding more top-down. But if you compare deciding between the Netherlands and Belgium, the Netherlands are more consensual and Belgium more top-down.

Each scale is described in a separate chapter with many, many examples to explain the different extremes from the spectrum and strategies and actionable advices how to cope with these people. Sometimes very specific rules or behavior are given. E.g. the “Law of Jante” (leading, Denmark),Ringisystem (deciding, Japan), Guanxi(trusting, China).

Mapping the communication scale against the evaluating scale gives four quadrants. Particular cultures can be found in each of these quadrants and the book explains different strategies for effectively dealing with people from each.

Mapping the disagreeing scale against a second scale that measures how emotionally expressive a culture is will help to understand that emotional expressiveness is not the same thing as comfort in expressing open disagreement.

To order: The culture map – Decoding how people think, lead, and get across cultures

Review The change mindset – Survival kit for professionals in change

9789082935004-480x600A bookazine build around seven chapters. About the changing world and a changing mindset and the change mindset Yes … And … Act … we get many short stories, anecdotes, tips, exercises, and references to some awesome, related videos (see some at the bottom of this post) and a lot of references to books. In every chapter the spotlight on a thought leader, entrepreneur or specialist.

  1. A changing world. When the world goes bananas … The world of today (VUCA, 1 in 4 people hate their job, think about the major barrier to success: changing mindset and attitude, change is the only constant, complexity rules, happy is productive), the world of yesterday (from Reactive … to … Relax. Everything is under control), and the world of tomorrow (from Proactive … to … Relax. Nothing is under control). Professions of tomorrow: e.g. digital detox therapist, organ harvester and many more.
  2. Ladders & Bananas. Human beings love to think in patterns. Placing a ladder over a banana peel to avoid people slipping on it is not the most efficient solution. However, if you look at organizations, it is strange that they have built so many ladders in their structures and systems (red tape, bureaucracy). Seven solid reasons to build ladders are explained. Depending on your role you would solve the banana peel problem in your own way. Many different roles and solutions are given e.g. the scrum master or cleaning lady. And be aware of different shapes of fears. Three kinds of fears that often pop up: fear of the unknown, fear of different opinions and fear of failure.
  3. A changing mindset. Do you choose a fixed or growth mindset? You always have a choice. How are you making your (conscious) choices? Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you!
  4. The change mindset. The growth mindset is a mindset that is open to change. Three crucial ingredients play an important role if you wish to stay agile. ‘Yes’ stands for positive thinking. ‘Act’ is about getting into action and experimenting. ‘And’ means exploring different views and stimulate your imagination.
  5. Yes. Suspend your judgement is the first ingredient to allow change. Watch out for idea killers and use the 3-minute rule to triple your number of ideas. Understand when you can say ‘no’ and when you can say ‘yes, and’. What are you willing to struggle for, or to suffer to realize your dream?
  6. And. Switching perspectives is a great way to broaden your own reality. Flip your perspective from a problem to an opportunity. We get 21 activities to broaden your perspective and 7 creativity methods to generate ideas.
  7. Act. You can have lots of ideas but without action their value diminishes quickly. Human beings operate on the principle (“The banana principle”) of the least effort – given several paths, we choose the easiest. Start with a BaNaNo action, a first small step, to check if the idea or project had potential. To change behavior, pay attention to nudges (small easy and inexpensive changes) and the intrinsic motivation. Use nearlings (something new that was done with the right intentions, which had not (yet) led to the right result) to create learnings.

bananaConclusion: A fun to read and beautifully illustrated bookazine. It’s inspiring, pragmatic, and it opens your mind and gives lots of ideas and some food for thought (and it inspired me to create some ppt slides to be used during talks and training classes) and it offers a great set of video links. Looking at all those videos you can ask yourself if an ‘onlookazine’ (an online bookazine) wouldn’t even be a better format because you have to view them, many are awesome! The banana is key in this bookazine and be aware that 65% of your genes are the same as a banana. I would say a must read and I finish with a quote from Lewis Carroll “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take“.

To order: The change mindset

As said the bookazine contains references to more than 20 interesting videos. I selected a few:

The butterfly circus (awesome movie on unleasing potential)

Panyee FC (believe in your giga dreams)

27 Creativity & innovation techniques explained

Review AGILE NXT – Insights and foresights for your next step in agile

agilenxtA new colorful magazine from Xebia, developed by using their four new agile marketing Ps Purpose, Product, People and Process, to help you with your next step in your agile journey.

Many articles to bring you up to speed in the world of agile development:

  • Doing DevOps the DASA way: the six DASA DevOps principles and DASA qualification information
  • Product Leadership for the third wave (of agile adaption): successful POs build trust and a safe environment, transfer resistance into commitment, and switch between leadership styles according to the stakeholder field, urgency or importance. They learn how to own the product and nurture it to fruition
  • Mixed human-robo agile teams: the future is now: robo-advisors, teams focus on creativity and solving complex problems
  • Kick-start your agile team with design sprint: a five-day process with real customers that includes: define the main problem, forming ideas, designing solutions, prototyping and validating with real customers
  • Leadership’s role in business agility: driven by flexibility, focus, flow and feedback
  • Using brain science to boost your scrum events: applying one or more of the six trumps to enhance learning during your scrum events are movement trumps sitting, talking trump listening, images trump words, writing trump reading, shorter trumps longer and different trumps same
  • Yesterday’s competitive advantage is today’s industry standard: what questions need to be answered to embrace the next phase of your agile maturity
  • Design thinking: get to the heart of what the customer wants: The five stages of a design thinking process are empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test
  • Cultivating a culture for engineers with agile: Four critical ramifications of today’s digital age fueling the war for IT talent and the increasing demand for engineers: product digitalization, mass customization, immediate customer feedback and reduced cost of entry
  • Recommended reading for every agile leader: six knowledge areas that are critical to successful agile leadership are transformational reorganization, system thinking and mental models, ownership and responsibility, scaling through minimalization, group dynamics and a culture for creativity
  • The art of personal mastery: personal mastery shifts the focus to learning and improving ourselves and others
  • What makes a team a winning team: leaders who facilitate alignment and stimulate autonomy and improve team strength with a (management) drives workshop and a feedback workshop
  • Scrum@Scale: a meta-framework for strategic agility: set up a leadership action team to establish the executive metaScrum that prioritizes all agile initiatives and deliver shippable product increments at the end of every sprint, or sooner, by employing the Scrum of Scrums as a network of teams
  • Agile coaches prepare for the new wave: The 6 traits of new wavers are scrum experience, self-oriented, value work-life balance, value purpose and the need for speed, internet savvy and value and master feedback. The 8 do’s & don’ts of coaching, motivating, teaching a new waver are explained
  • The art of leadership agility: How can I be agile myself (flexible, adaptable and responsive) as a leader, in order to support organizational agility
  • Mindshift to purpose: our need to be part of something bigger: a well-defined purpose is inspiring, concise and observable. To make a purpose stick: believe it yourself, reinforce it often, reward the right behavior and share successes and build a movement, on purpose
  • A picture is worth a thousand words: accelerate your transformation with visualization: Five ways to speed up agile transformations: sketching skills: find hidden and essential drawing talent, travel journal based on pictures, talking pictures: shared complexity, style: congruent visualizations, and communication media: initiation of co-creation
  • Unboxing the CoCreate agile scaling model: scale to be small. The triple-A’s of the CoCreate model: Agility, Autonomy and Alignment. The model focusses on developing value and people while performance, growth, products, culture and adaption are its critical core components
  • Agility without agile: agility in practice, without using the traditional (agile) frameworks and using non-traditional cutting-edge technology to manufacture high-quality, custom-made, bespoke mannequins for the show floors and windows
  • 50 shades of “no”: product owners seem to understand the role, but they don’t know how to respond to all the requests and questions that come with it, or how to handle the stakeholders
  • Engineering culture: the unintentional side effect of agile transformation (and how to prevent it): upper layers of culture: artifacts and espoused values and behaviors and the deeper, invisible layer: basic underlying assumptions. 5 seeds for cultivating a sustainable agile culture are described
  • re.vers.ify: the need for agility in the face of perplexity: complexity turns into perplexity, an inability to act, an individual or collective state of being overwhelmed by complexity, permanently
  • Digital transformation gets real: adapt or die, disruption in action, embrace AI, robotics and AR. In the next decade 40% of today’s companies on the S&P 500 will be gone
  • Shared leadership: the product owner as mini-CEO: to get the most (and best) out of the product owner role: communicate top-down distribution of power and mandates explicitly and as the product owner, accept handovers of power and mandates explicitly and ensure product owners are qualified to execute power and mandates and that they receive the appropriate training
  • Evolutionary or revolutionary change: knowing the organizational end-state: fact or illusion? Evolutionary change: move away from where you are now
  • Find and bind talent with a flexible shell: a flexible shell can maintain the stability within the team while at the same time create an opportunity for those who want to grow more than a single team would allow.

Curious to read the magazine? Download or request a printed copy at: AGILE NXT

 

Recensie NR. 5 – 2018 Vakblad Projectmanagement

kwd5Zojuist alweer het vijfde nummer van het vakblad Projectmanagement van KWD Resultaatmanagement gelezen. Ook deze keer weer het lezen meer dan waard.

Agile staat in de meeste artikelen centraal. In het hoofdartikel legt Luuk Ketel de link tussen agile en projectmanagement. Is het altijd wel zo rooskleurig dat als we agile werken we de projectmanager op straat kunnen zetten? Leent ieder veranderinitiatief zich altijd voor agile of biedt op maat maken de oplossing? Of geeft een traditionele aanpak een betere fit? Een artikel in lijn met mijn boek Scaling agile in organisaties. Vervolgens geeft Gert-Jan Bes inzicht in SAFe 4.5 en hoe SAFe wordt gebruikt bij Alliander en het UWV (nb. Ondertussen is SAFe 4.6 verschenen met daarin o.a. de vijf belangrijkste competenties van een lean organisatie, het gebruik van SAFe binnen overheidsorganisaties en het toepassen van een portfolio canvas). Verder een volgend artikel in de reeks Agile procurement waarin deze keer vanuit de ogen van de klant gekeken wordt naar een agile samenwerkingsrelatie (Lex Lenselink, Machiel Boneschanscher en Erik van Daalen) en tenslotte Agile in het korps Commandotroepen. Een militair die over het toepassen van agile principes en waarden schrijft. Vreemd? Nee hoor zou ik zeggen. Op mijn blog heb ik recentelijk recensies gezet van boeken van andere militairen over leiderschap (Teams door het vuur en Gooi het roer om).

Verder vinden we nog een aantal andere artikelen zoals Bruggen slaan in multi-culti projecten van Peter Storm waarin duidelijk wordt dat bij het samenwerken met teamleden met verschillende culturele achtergronden de methode soms aangepast of ingetoomd moet worden, wederzijds begrip kweken belangrijk is, je een flexibele leiderschapsstijl moet toepassen, je gezamenlijk het conflict moet leren hanteren en dat je moet leren om op afstand te kunnen samenwerken. Daarnaast een interview van Cok de Zwart met De chef-kok van het drie-sterren restaurant De Leest over passie (nb Zie ook mijn blog over een Sushi Master met passie (Jiro passie en Jiro filosofie en agility). Tenslotte een samenvatting van Jaap Stoppels van een tweetal artikelen over verticaal en horizontaal leiderschap en het kiezen van sleutelfiguren in je projectteam uit het International Journal of Project Management.

Uiteraard ontbreken ook de columnisten niet. Ben Berndt met Een voedzaam gesprek waar verschillende filosofen de revue passeren en je wellicht met jezelf in gesprek moet gaan, John Hermarij met Het wordt tijd dat we echt gaan managen ipv schijnbewegingen van charlatans en fakirs en onderstreept waarom ik altijd zelfsturend in zelf-organiserend verander als we het over agile teams hebben en Peter Storm met Governance in een agile omgeving over oa het Paard van Troje en een beeldenstorm om ons te bevrijden van belemmerende dogma’s en tenslotte staat er ook weer een recensie van mijn hand in. Deze keer over Kanban in de praktijk.

Geen abonnee maar wel belangstelling voor het blad, en ik kan het van harte aanbevelen, dan is het een kwestie van abonneren. Zie: KWD Resultaatmanagement.

AgileSHIFT an overarching agile framework

AgileSHIFTcoverMany organizations are struggling to implement agile delivery frameworks to increase their level of agility, and many organizations fail. One of the reasons is the culture clash between a traditional organization and the agile culture. Only implementing agile delivery frameworks in e.g. your IT department is not enough.

AXELOS has developed a framework (see attached Quick Reference Card/QRC AgileSHIFT) that prepares people for transformational change by creating a culture of enterprise agility. The AgileSHIFT framework helps organizations to undergo a transformational change, to adopt a ‘survive, compete and thrive’ mindset. It will help to bridge the gap between the current and the target state (the Delta in AgileSHIFT) by embracing a range of agile, structured and hybrid approaches across the organization. The existing severe split between ‘run the business’ and ‘change the business’ will vanish. Now called, in this framework, Run the Organization and Change the Organization. Everyone is a change-enabler, encouraged and empowered to make change happen.

AgileSHIFT (QRC, 181012) v1.0To download: AgileSHIFT (QRC, 181012) v1.0

The AgileSHIFT framework explains why we need enterprise agility. There is an increasing pace of change (VUCA: volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity), the role of technology (from technology supported, via technology enabled towards technology centric), the delta between the current and target state of your organization and disruptive influences by enablers (as the gig economy, remote working, cloud storage and online presence), inefficient markets and black swan events.

To accommodate what we have to do the AgileSHIFT framework defines enterprise agility, principles and practices. Enterprise agility is the ability of an organization to move and adapt quickly in response to shifting customer and market needs. The five principles are: Change will happen so embrace the status quo, challenge the status quo, develop an environment where everybody adds value, focus on the co-creation of customer value and tailor your approach. The five practices are: Plan to be flexible and adaptable, engage stakeholders, build collaborative teams, focus on the co-creation of customer value and measure value.

The how (corresponds with the AgileSHIFT delivery approach) is expressed in the AgileSHIFT framework by the roles, the AgileSHIFT workflow and an iteration and by tools and techniques. There are three roles: the AgileSHIFT team, sponsor and coach. A simple iteration approach is explained but depending on the situation you have to choose the right approach. Tools and techniques include: customer stories and epics, relative estimating and story points, AgileSHIFT task list and roadmap, swarm, kanban, canvasses and agendas. For the last two there will downloads available.

To show your understanding of AgileSHIFT, foundation and practitioner certification will be possible.

In the next picture, I have positioned AgileSHIFT.Grasp session (Scaling Agile, 180526) v1.1

Review: The tipping point – How little things can make a big difference

9780349113463-480x600See for the Dutch version Het beslissende moment

The tipping point – How little things can make a big difference is written by Malcolm Gladwell. In this book we get a multitude of examples in which the author shows what it means to reach a tipping point. If we try to sell an idea, attitude or product, we want or need to help our listeners, our customers, our employees. We try to change them in some small yet critical respect, to convince them, to persuade them to reach a critical mass so that the goal comes closer. And that can be the acceptance of an idea, a changed attitude or the increased sales of a product.

To achieve the change the author uses the three rules of epidemics: the law of the few, the stickiness factor and the power of context.

The law of the few shows that we need both connectors, mavens and salesmen. The connectors can bring the world and know lots of people. Whoever you want to reach, in a maximum of six steps, you can reach that person from your network. The mavens are accumulators of knowledge and brokers in information. Mavens are solvers of both their own problems and those of others. You use salesmen to persuade others where the word of mouth is still the most important form of human communication.

Tipping point (QRC EN, 181007) v1.0To download: Tipping point (QRC EN, 181007) v1.0

To penetrate the message, the product, or attitude (The stickiness factor) a messenger is needed that brings a memorable and contagious message. The message or advice must be practical as well as personal.

Finally, the power of the context shows that the sensitiveness to the message depends on change and the times at which and the places where they occur. Within a group of up to 150 people (the Dunbar number) it is possible to know everyone. To create an contagious movement you often have to create many small movements first (the paradox of the epidemic). The theory of broken windows can be used here too. A (social) epidemic or event can be tipped, by tinkering with the smallest details of the immediate environment.

Conclusion: The book reads smoothly and offers appealing examples of (social) epidemics, suicide, smoking, Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, the Ya-Ya sisters, the rise and fall of the crime in New York. The author knows how to reach a turning point in a striking way and shows that one creative person can change the world. While reading, it becomes clear why this book is recommended literature within SAFe to support the tipping point at the beginning of the SAFe implementation roadmap.

To order: The tipping point – How little things can make a big difference