My KCE talk on 8th January: Investing in Upstream Flow

I’m speaking on Thursday 8th January at the London Kanban Coaching Exchange on Investing in Upstream Flow: Landscaping a smooth river from idea to execution

It’s great when teams reach delivery maturity with execution at speed and high quality. It’s no surprise that there’s so much emphasis on this because there are still so many people struggling. But it’s important that we don’t just learn how to do the wrong things well.

Organisations need a smoothly functioning upstream system that can take in good ideas from anywhere, triage and decide which get investment. Then safely shepherd and grow them through to adolescence until they are ready to be implemented. This is key to doing the right things well.


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Video: AgileMK – The Agile Organisation and People

This is a talk and interactive session that I ran with Dan Rough at Agile:MK on 1st September 2014.

We speak about The Agile Organisation and its effects – the effects on people, how work is managed and on organisational culture.

We follow up with a practical exercise in small groups – asking participants to list the people and organisational challenges that they have with Agile in their organisations and then to work together to design a time-boxed experiment that they can run to start solving the problem.



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Video: TDD for Business Strategies – Developing Business Strategies Test-First

This is the video of my talk from Agile on the Beach 2014 where I spoke on how to apply agile test-first principles to the development of business strategy.

Many businesses struggle with the strategy chasm between their business goals and product pipelines – what should we do? how should we approach it? what strategies will work?

Through case studies and examples, I show how the power of a meaningful mission, clear vision and measurable goals can be combined with a test-first approach to business strategy to create better strategies that deliver more quickly with lower risks – and with far less political and opinion-driven pressure.



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Video: Cultivating Culture Change with Tom Sedge

In this video, we take an example-led practical tour of Cultivating Culture Change within organisations using the metaphor of gardening. This draws on my experience to include a range of techniques and tools that you can use in your organisation. We explore what a workplace can look like when it has undergone a cultural transformation and where to get started.

Traditionally people approach culture change as an engineering problem or by telling their people what to be. But it just doesn’t work like that. Culture is different: it’s an emergent property and that requires a different approach.



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Make Resolving Conflicts Fun with TOC Evaporating Clouds (Part I)

Conflict in the workplace can be debilitating, destabilising and far from enjoyable. However, there is a useful technique from Theory of Constraints that can make resolving conflicts far easier and, if practiced, even an enjoyable non-threatening activity.

Theory of Constraints (TOC) is a change methodology based on the principle of progressively identifying the biggest constraint in a system, working to first improve the system to better serve that constraint and then to eliminate it entirely, then moving onto the next constraint.

TOC includes a technique called Evaporating Cloud that is ideal for resolving conflicts. In this article we’ll explore how it works.



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Exploring Servant Leadership: Comparing the old world and the new (Part III)

In this mini-series we’re exploring Servant Leadership and contrasting it with the traditional Boss Leadership alternative.

In Part I we examined the problems and consequences of Boss Leadership. In Part II we explored how Servant Leadership works.

In this final article we’ll complete the picture by looking at the consequences of Servant Leadership and directly comparing and contrasting it with Boss Leadership.



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Exploring Servant Leadership: What’s wrong with having a “boss”? (Part I)

In Explored: Management in Networks by Harold Jarche we looked at how management is changing in the 21st century and the possible intersections along the road to change.

One aspect we briefly touched on was Servant Leadership. This mini-series explains what Servant Leadership is and how it differs from the traditional alternative, which we shall call Boss Leadership.



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