Context Specific Agile, Product, and Systems Coaching

  • Leadership and Management,  Product Management

    6 Free Agile and Management Slack Groups You Don’t Want To Miss Out On

    If you’ve been following my blog over the years, you’ll know that I believe strongly in the importance of effective feedback. And while feedback is invaluable, it’s just one of many ways I try to improve my skills. In addition to feedback, learning from the people around me, whether formally via conferences and lectures or casually through one-off chats, has been a huge help in my own professional development, and many others I speak with feel the same. But when you’re running your own consulting business or are the only coach on a team, the cross-pollination of Agile, Management, and Leadership best practices takes a bit more work. To that…

  • Coaching Teams,  Leadership and Management

    How to use the Value Cards exercise to help your teams collaborate better

    What do you think would happen if someone who values empathy, love, kindness, respect, and humility were to join the same team as someone who values boldness, success, fame, influence, and reputation? Do you think they would collaborate well from the get-go, making use of each other’s unique perspectives to complement and improve upon their ideas? Or do you think they’d be more likely to struggle, misunderstand each other, and face their share of conflict? You’ve probably seen the latter in action. And, to be fair, it’s a much easier pattern to default to. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If team members can make their own values…

  • Leadership and Management

    The Buckets Exercise

    In order for organisations to become conducive to high performing teams it is crucial that managers have time and mental capacity to engage in complex problem solving. Unfortunately many organisations place an emphasis on starting work which diminishes managements capability of building a high performing organisation. To help managers free up time and mental capacity I’ve run an exercise with them called “Buckets”[1]. In this exercise managers get to visualize and motivate why certain work needs to get done now and specifically by them. The bucket exercise also helps managers discover the work that needs to be delegated first. Here’s how you run it: Ask the manager (or who ever you are running the exercise with)…

  • Leadership and Management

    One-on-one tips

    In my tribe (BITS IT) we are currently experimenting with distributing leadership and amplifying self-management. We are iterating on Spotifys organizational model because it is creating tension for us. I’m going to share more about this experiment later this year. An important part in amplifying self-management is to change how we conduct 1:1s. Just before we started our experiment we read Esther Derbys article about conducting 1:1s with self organizing teams and we then had a conversation about how we should conduct 1:1s. I was asked to share some 1:1 tips and guidelines for people who are new to them, and I thought I’d share them here too. I hope they bring value to you! Stay away from…

  • Leadership and Management

    Questions I ask in interviews – Give me an example of how you’ve helped someone grow

    Every now and then people behave in a way that negatively impacts their environment. Sometimes that’s because they lack a diverse toolbox, and sometimes they’re just repeating a behaviour that was helpful in the past. Whenever someone gets in their own way, we (agile coaches) fill an important role – to help people learn and grow. When I interview agile coach candidates I explore their experience in helping people learn and grow. “Give me an example of how you’ve helped someone grow” This question helps me understand: If the candidate adjusts her style when she works with different people What her default style is How many people she has worked with What tools she uses, and if…

  • Leadership and Management

    The agile coaches @ Spotifys MBTI, DISC profiles, and perspective bias

    (The purpose with this blogpost is to share data about the agile coaches at Spotify.) Slightly more than a year ago the majority of the agile coaches at Spotify took an MBTI test (most of us took it online). Back then all coaches were distributed among 5 different types. I found that really interesting and  wondered why that was. Were we biased towards certain type? Or were certain types actually better at coaching agile to teams? Since then we’ve recruited 10 new agile coaches and I’ve been curious about what our current MBTI distribution looks like. Are we still heavy on only a few types? And what about our DISC…

  • Coaching Teams,  Leadership and Management

    9 Questions That Help Determine Your Decision Making Style

    I am fascinated by how teams make decisions. Some teams I’ve worked with have wanted all decisions to be made by consensus. Others preferred to have a team lead or unofficial leader have the final say in making their decisions. I’ve also worked with teams that resist any and all decisions coming top-down. This often translates to an inverted top-down decision-making process. In a team like this, managers aren’t allowed to make any decisions or tell anyone what to do. One of the responsibilities that you as a leader have is to create an environment in which all individuals can contribute to solving problems and making decisions. To do so,…

  • Leadership and Management

    What do you need change to be happier at work?

    Some love variation, some love routines. Some love having a lot going on at the same time, others don’t. Some love starting projects, others love finishing projects. Some feel free when there are rules, others feel limited and constrained by rules. If you value routines and work in an environment that changes rapidly it’s likely that you will be exhausted a huge part of your time at work. If you appreciate working on many different projects but can only work on one at a time you could find yourself being demotivated and exhausted. The combination is important, not the style. Which is better? Neither of course! Below are 5 questions that you can ask yourself to discover…