I realize not everyone has a clear understanding of Management 3.0 or what the M30 workshop is about. Therefore, I regular do webinars to introduce Management 3.0 and/or the workshop. Not everyone is always able to attend the workshop, therefore, I recorded the last session. Here it is, 28 minutes. And yes, some feedback will be it was too much for half an hour, I know 🙂 Have fun and just let me know your feedback.
A view on Agile Management
Imagine this: You are working as a manager at a company. You work there already for years and things are not going bad but you know there is room for improvement. You heard about Scrum, Agile, the Agile Manifesto… and you decide to learn more about it. You visit a few conferences, attend a Scrum training and yes.. this is what your company needs. You decide to implement Scrum. After many sleepless nights, headaches, success, failures, happy moments, sad moments… you wake up one morning and realize you succeeded! You did it! You implemented Scrum successful. You know it is not 100% perfect but the retrospectives are going well so you know there will be continuously improvement.
Your job as change agent is done, or at least you need to spend less time on it. But what now… what will you do as manager? You don’t need to prioritize work anymore, that is the role of the Product Owner. You don’t need to work on the process anymore, that is the role of the new Scrum Master. You are not allowed to tell the team how to organize things, the teams are self-organizing. Is your life as manager over, should you quite your job?
No worries, there is still a lot to do. In Management 3.0 we believe everyone is responsible for management. Indeed, management is a verb. It is not a role, yes in some organizations there are people who spend a lot time on management. Called managers, there is nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t mean other people don’t have to manage. It will be your job to get other people also into management. To create an environment where not just Scrum teams but the whole organizations becomes self-organizing.
What are the management activities in Management 3.0? What can you do? There are six areas where you need to focus:
- Energize People
- Empower Teams
- Align Constraints
- Develop Competence
- Grow Structure
- Improve Everything
Let’s take a short look at the six areas.
The most important step is to make sure people are energized. That people are engaged, motivated and happy at work. As manager you can’ tell people to be happy, you can’t tell them to be motivated. Unfortunately it is not that simple. It is your responsibility as manager to create an environment where people will be motivated and can be happy. If I ask someone how he or she is motivated, (s)he will probably say something like: “I am motivated by…” It is your job as manager, to make sure the part after “by” is there.
When all your team members are motivated, engaged and happy you can work on teams. Teams are self-organizing but would you like to delegate everything to the teams? Would you like them to decide on which office they are located, which tools they use, which color of sticky notes they use or who should get a bonus? I hope you will answer yes on most of the previous questions 🙂 But it is clear that you want to delegate as many things to the team. Keep the decision of how things should be done as close to the execution as possible. Yet, sometimes you want to keep certain decisions close to you as manager or the team wants you to be involved in some decisions. As manager you will need to think about how to delegate things to teams, and also think about how teams can delegate things to you!
You did it! The people are energized and the teams are empowered. But as Henrik Kniberg shows in this picture.
High Autonomy and low Alignment will result in something… but not sure if it will be the results you are looking for. As manager you need to make sure your teams have a vision, you need to involve them in setting defining that vision. Management 3.0 is not about Command and Control, so telling your team what the vision is, is maybe not the way to go. Additionally, you also need to think about metrics. What metrics are you going to use? Should they be connected to money? Should they be easy to understand? If you have metrics in place, you can also show the organization if you hare heading in the direction of the vision.
Eric Ries describes in his book The Lean Startup that the organization that is able to learn the fastest than anyone else will win. The world is changing faster and faster. Look back five years ago and could you have imagined products like Uber, Airbnb, etc.? To make sure your team members can keep up dealing with new technologies, they need to keep developing competence. However, telling people they have to learn a new tool is not the “optimal” way to go. People should start learning themselves, form an intrinsic motivation. It is your task, as manager, to create an environment where people are challenged to get out of their comfort zone, invited to learn and address their intrinsic motivation. Additionally, you need to have an overview of which knowledge you need. How do you show team members in which areas they need to develop?
Every organization has challenges to find good team members. One of the solutions is to search worldwide, make use of all resources available at any place. To set up distributed teams. This will give you other challenges… how do you provide feedback to team member that you never see in real life because they work in different time zones? How do you set up communication structures?
Let’s imagine you implemented the previous five areas, and you think you are done. Sorry you are wrong. You are never done. As said already, things are changing so fast nowadays. You will need to create a culture of continuous improvement. It is already partly there in your organization because of Scrum. However, it goes beyond Scrum. How do you make sure all teams and departments learn about improving things? In Management 3.0 we believe there is no silver bullet to solve a problem, so which change management techniques are you going to use to implement improvements? Will you celebrate failure or will you celebrate success? As manager you need to think about this, what would you like celebrate? Maybe not failure and success but maybe you want to celebrate learning?
I did a workshop Management 3.0 a few weeks ago and one of the attendees said at one moment… this is difficult when we talked about motivation and team members. He was correct, management is difficult and no one said it was easy. However, when you focus on the right areas as manager, you will create a great organization where people love to come. Where happiness will lead to more success! So try to answer the question I described and think about how you can implement the six areas I described.
It will be a great ride, start doing it today and have fun!
Spotify is cool, Spotify is hip, Spotify is epic, Spotify rules or whatever you call it nowadays. In the last month I heard three (serious) organizations saying they want to implement or copy the Spotify-model and I know some organizations are working on implementing it as we speak.
Why? I don’t know… I didn’t ask. My “fault”. However, when you a take few minutes (27:40 to be exactly) to watch the next two video’s you can imagine why.
I watched them a while ago and I thought: Wow this is cool! Wow this is hip! Wow this is epic! Wow this rules or whatever you call it nowadays. I wanna work there! But moving to Sweden, leaving everything behind did not fit in my plan at that moment (still doesn’t by the way).
I am facilitator Management 3.0 (M30) and part of M30 is Complexity Thinking. I believe an organization is a complex adaptive system (CAS) because it consists of people that form the organization, which shows complex behavior while it keeps adapting to a changing environment. Or simple: the behavior of an organization is hard to predict and it’s structure can be difficult to understand because it is all about people. When I talk about structure I am not talking about the official HR org chart, I am talking about all the communication lines, people working together from different departments etc.
It is hard to deal with a CAS but there are some guidelines. I am not going to discuss all of them in this blog, just the one that relate to I-want-to-implement-the-Spotify-Model-case.
- Use a diversity of perspectives, to handle a CAS you should use different models/frameworks. Don’t just use one silver bullet. There is not one silver bullet. So assuming the Spotify-model will solve all your problems won’t work. The Spotify-model is just one model, you should use different models;
- Steal and Tweak, the most successful complex system is constantly copying and tweaking, it is called Nature. To be handle a complex system you look around, steal an idea, tweak it and experiment with it. Stealing the Spotify-model is a good idea, but don’t forget to tweak it. Understand you need to tweak it!
- Expect dependence on context. I attended a few years ago a talk of Ken Schwaber, he refused to give answer on question like how do you do this or how do you that. His argument was that most time people will blindly copy the practice and it will fail. What worked for him, doesn’t need to work for someone else. As Ralph Stacey says in his book Complexity and Organizational Reality: “Any relationship anyone identifies between a management action and an outcome could have far more to do with a particular time and place where the sample is selected than anything else.”
The fact the Spotify-model works for Spotify is because it is their model, a result of years of experimenting. A constant Agile Mindset, inspect and adapt and be transparent.
They end the second video with the statement “Culture is the sum of everyone attitude and actions”, as we all know every individual is different, it is not possible to copy the Spotify-model to your organization.
So don’t get me wrong, the Spotify-model is super cool (that is what they say nowadays, just checked it with my daughter) and many organizations can learn from it. But, don’t copy it, use as inspiration, steal-and-tweak ideas and use it to start experimenting new things.
What do you think? Let me know your thoughts while I am listening to the music that I uploaded to Google Play Music, a super cool feature 😉
What really motivates you? Do you know why you come out of bed every working day to go to work? I really don’t like movies with zombies… I really don’t. Why? Not sure, but it may have to do with the notion that zombies just do and care about one single thing: kill people to eat them. They don’t care about it… Perhaps very mindful but such a simple purpose would be a horror to me.
A few weeks ago I was presenting a Scrum Master training. As usual, I started the training with Personal Maps. I always participate because I also want to people to get to know me. Besides that, when people share things about themselves, I would find it very impolite not to do the same.
When I was done with my Personal Map I noticed something. I had a node “Work”, with some of the companies I worked for. There was, however, another top node: “Agile Strides”. Agile Strides represents my journey as a freelancer. And it is true… I don’t consider it as work! I spend time on doing things that I find important, things that are motivating me!
Now it really helps if you are aware what your motivators are. When you know which things motivate you, you can try to run experiments and do things that will trigger and tickle your motivators positively. Additionally, when you know which motivators your team members find important, you can help them to stimulate their motivators.
A while ago I was asked to assist Snappet in improving their team binding. Not that they had team issues, but their Russian team members and Dutch team members were all for one week in the Netherlands. It was an excellent opportunity to grow the team relations, especially since the Snappet teams are relatively young teams.
We played the Moving Motivator game, part of Management 3.0. The Moving Motivator game is about finding out what motivates you. Doing the Moving Motivator game is not difficult, it is easy and it helps you explore and address your intrinsic beliefs.
To prepare the game, you need to have multiple sets of the Moving Motivator decks. You can order them here, or you can print them yourselves. Secondly, you need a room with a table and that’s it. You are ready to go!
You start the session by explaining why knowing each other’s motivators can help you as a team. One of the motivators in the game is Relatedness. When all your team members have this as their top motivator, you know as a coach, scrum master, manager, team lead, or most important as a team member, that it will be highly valued when you go out for drinks, or have lunch together as team. When for example Orderness is a low value for some team members, you know that introducing a clean desk policy will probably be a bad idea. (It is a bad idea anyway if you want to have innovation and creativity in your organization.)
Next, all team members will rank their motivators, from very important to not important. I had one person who explained that he missed a motivator. No problem, take a blank card, write it down and just add your personal motivator. Nobody is stating that M30 has all the wisdom and knowledge.
After everyone was done, I invited everyone to explain their top three cards to the group. Why are they important to you and could they perhaps provide some examples? I also asked them to explain the least important card.
Did I also participate? No but I did share my ranking of motivators. I did it while explaining the game. As I said before, if you expect team members to be open, you also should be open. Lead by example, of course.
In the second part, we discussed a possible experiment that Snappet will start this year. Snappet is considering to apply some kind of specialization. So teams won’t work on everything anymore, but they will focus on some specific areas. This has advantages and disadvantages and probably you can find a gazillion of blogs about generalizing versus specializing. However, I just want to give the team insight in what it would mean in terms of their motivators.
So I explained the case and most them were already aware about it. I asked them to move the cards up that will be influenced positively, and move the cards down that will be influenced negatively.
Some people moved Curiosity up, because they said they expect to have more time to get familiar with some new concepts. Where others moved curiosity down, because they don’t like the idea the idea of only working in a limited set of modules. Did I correct them, or tell them that this is not possible or say that they interpreted the case incorrectly? I hope you already know the answer, of course not. It is how they perceive it, and who are you to say something like this is good or bad.
Two people didn’t move any card up or down. They said their motivators won’t be influenced by this possible change. No problem, again it is as how they perceive it.
I gave everyone a form, and asked them to write down the order of their cards. Where some people came to the conclusion the letters sounded a bit like how some of them talked during the last event where some beer was involved 😉
What if people don’t want to write down their order? No problem for me. However, it makes me wonder about the team. Don’t they trust each other? Is there fear in the team? In this case people felt 100% OK writing their order of motivators on the form.
I used to be a manager, so give me data, Excel, and some time and you will make me happy :). I made an overview for every team. Just as a reference, but also to see if there are major differences between the teams. It turned out that all teams value Curiosity as important and Status as not important. This is exactly as I would expect, after getting to know the teams better. I also calculated team averages, yes I know that this has almost no value. When you have two people, one vegetarian and one meat lover, they also won’t eat a bit of meat. But it was fun and resulted in something that teams could talk about. As with every metric, it is a starting point of the discussion.
The feedback about the session was good, some of the feedback included:
- “Personal values and motivation are always good to know.”
- “Cool concept and probably quite useful when supporting a discussion about bigger changes in the team, work or life in general.”
- “Good to have some insights in your own values, and what motivates you. Also nice to see how the other team members are thinking.”
- “It was interesting. Not sure if it’s useful.”
Most of them liked it but there were also some people who doubt if they will use it again, or what the value is. This tool won’t work for everyone, some people won’t like it or won’t see the advantage. That is OK, it is just another tool that you can use to get a discussion going or that will help a team find out where they want to start experimenting.
A while ago, I was asked to assist Snappet during their Development Gathering. Snappet is a software development company in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Snappet is also an adaptive educational platform that challenges every pupil to develop himself or herself in an optimal way. They have around 23 people working in their software development department: product owners, UX people, graphical designers, testers and developers. They include a team working in Russia, where there are six developers. In the last six months, Snappet was able to hire relatively many new team members in NL. They now have three development teams going and all teams are fully distributed. The Russian developers are part of distributed teams just like the rest of the crew.
Snappet has been working with the developers in Russia for several years. The developers never yet visited The Netherlands and only some of the Dutch team members did visit the Russian team. Because of the many new hires and because no Russian developer visited The Netherlands, now seemed a really good idea to organize a Snappet Gathering in The Netherlands. All developers from Russia would fly in and finally everyone was able to meet face-to-face.
In a few blogs, I want to share some of the activities we organized and what we all learned from it. In this first blog I will talk about team values and team names.
I believe it is important that team members know their team values. What do you find important as a team? Do you believe innovation is important, do you want to have fun every day, or is being a professional something you value as a team? When you have the team values clear, it helps you understand what you can expect from each other. When you recruit new team members, you can discuss the team values up front to find out if there is a match between the candidate and the team. If being skilled, for example, is an important value, then you can expect team members to spend time on growing their skills, e.g. by taking up work that is out of their comfort zone.
Most of the people in a team, however, never talk about their values. Yes, there are often company values and it is likely that they were decided on by a higher management team. You may find those values on the walls, at the reception when entering an office or even printed on the little cocktail flags that a chef puts in the burgers in the canteen, etc. But are those values always the same as the team values? I find that hard to believe. Perhaps some of the corporate values are also quite important for the team but it is also likely that the team has more applicable values of their own that they find much more important in their work.
One of the things that I find very important and that I try to do in every job I take on, is to make things explicit. When a team explicitly decides to have a daily scrum of 28 minutes and they are all OK with it, then I am OK as well with it. The same goes for team values. I believe it is important for a team to bring things into the open and as a group decide about their values: what is important to a team, what is good and what do they want to be.
As I described before, it can help them focus when they need to decide on where to go, they can use it to discuss work agreements, or people are able to make decisions because they know what to expect from the group.
To make things explicit, I organized a value workshop for every team. The goal was to let them find out about their team values. I used the sections Value Stories & Culture Books: Define the Culture by Sharing Stories and Work Expo from the book Managing for Happiness as an inspiration for the workshop. The setup was as follows:
- Share stories in your team about things that happened in the last months.
- Think about personal values: what is important for every team member.
- As a team, decide on your team values.
- Think about wish values.
- Visualize your team values.
- Close off by naming your team.
Let’s take a look at the different steps.
As a person, I believe you become who you are because of all the things you experience in your life. When I was young, I read a lot about World War II and all the terrible things that happened. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I never try to judge people on the things they do or say (I am not saying that is easy). Maybe also because of what I read, I really don’t like autocratic behavior. But enough about me. The same holds true for a team: a team becomes who they are because of the things they experience in their existence as a team.
I asked the teams to share stories, things that happened to them in the last months. It is hard to just tell a story so I put story cards on the table to trigger ideas about stories. It worked quite well and new team members starting talking about how welcome they felt in the team. When you share stories, you are able to find out about what your personal or team values are. Some of the teams discussed some of the conflicts they had.
The next step was that everyone had to think about his or her personal values. The book Managing for Happiness contains a helpful list of some 250 values… Well helpful, I don’t even like going to Subway because of all the decisions you have to make before getting a sandwich… So let alone a list of 250 values. No need to say that some people find it a bit too much. I used a smaller list from the Management 3.0 book, which still contained 50 values. I printed them on paper and gave all team members a page with the values. Next time though, I will add an empty row at the bottom… Why an empty row? Well to make it clear to people that they can also add their own values. Otherwise, people will feel constrained in deciding on their values.
After everyone had decided on their values, the next step was to share these values and to put them on a flip chart. I asked them to put their personal values in the outer circle. I also asked them to shortly explain the personal questions and to reflect on how these values come back in their work. Feedback I got from some of the team members afterwards, was “now I understand my teammates better” and “nice to hear from people what drives them”.
Next thing was to decide on the team values. The only thing I told them was: “OK, next step is to decide on your team values, just go and organize yourself.” Some of the teams grouped the values and decided to move values with the most sticky notes to the center. Another team, did a dot voting after grouping them. Other teams just looked in silence to the flip chart, till some team member made the remark they should really work on the value Initiative :).
Of course the question came: “how many values are we allowed to select?” Well, I don’t know… 3, 5, 7 or 10? Although that would maybe be a bit too much but you decide yourself. These are your personal and/or team values.” In the end, most of the people and teams came up with 3 to 5 values.
After deciding on the team values, I asked them to think about Wish values. “Which values do you wish you had in the team?” I made three stars on the top of the flip chart. Maybe I should not have done this because this already set an expectation of max three wish values. One team came with one wish value, the second team with two wish values and a third team with three wish values. I don’t know how much three stars guided this discussion. However, next time I will just write the words “Wish values”. They decided on the wish values just by discussing the values, and what they as a team want to become. I noticed that for most teams, a wish values was hard to talk about. So I would advise teams to talk about Wish values a few times a year, to really get the concept and also to reflect on them.
The final step of the team values was to ask the teams to visualize the values. Words are powerful but I believe when you are able to turn words in physical symbols, they can sometimes be even more powerful. Turning values into symbols should be done by the team themselves, not by another department. I also asked the teams to make two copies of the visualization. One copy for the Dutch office and one for the Russian office. Oh and before I forget, please take into account that the visualization has to pass the security check at Schiphol Airport… so liquids, sharp metals etc. are not a smart idea ;). They had a budget of 50 euro and had to share their visualization by the end of the week.
One team has Mastery as their most important value and for them a small Yoda was the perfect visualization of Mastery. They ended up buying two Yoda’s, one for both offices.
Another team created a poster that shows their team values. When a team creates a visualization, it is by default a good visualization. You cannot say it is not good enough or that it does not show all team values. As the values are owned by the team, the visualization is also owned by the team.
During my preparation, I had some talks with the Scrum Masters and Product Owners of Snappet. During these talks they talked about team Teun, team AlexanderM and team AlexanderK … OK … you named the teams after individuals? Yes, they are the leads and we never thought about it. OK. I met Teun, AlexanderM and AlexanderK during the Gathering and they are great guys but naming a team after them… so the last step in the workshop was asking the teams to come up with new Team names.
We did the value and name session on Monday and they had until Friday afternoon to visualize the values and come up with a new team name. I asked the teams to fill in a survey after the Gathering. One of the questions was: “How happy were you with the team value session?” The answer was 1, 2, 3 or 4. Where 1 was Not so happy and 4 Extremely Happy. 65% gave a 3 or 4 as answer. So overall they liked the session. The new team names are: StravTempo, PoscoSkillus and HyperMonkeys Go!
Does it now end with this single session about team values? No, the teams should regularly talk about their values. Discuss them maybe in a retrospective: are we still living up to our values or did we change? Because I also don’t believe your team values are set in stone and will never change.
So next time you are involved in a new team, think about team values and a team name. I believe having clear team values and a real team name makes a team stronger!