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"Winning at Change"

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  • Tobias Mayer
    I stumbled across this 1998 article a few minutes ago. http://www.pfdf.org/leaderbooks/L2L/fall98/kotter.html Thought it may be of interest to some Enterprise
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 2, 2005
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      I stumbled across this 1998 article a few minutes ago. 
      Thought it may be of interest to some Enterprise Scrum practitioners out there.
       
      I liked this section on leadership:
       
      ...However, the most notable trait of great leaders, certainly of great change leaders, is their quest for learning. They show an exceptional willingness to push themselves out of their own comfort zones, even after they have achieved a great deal. They continue to take risks, even when there is no obvious reason for them to do so. And they are open to people and ideas, even at a time in life when they might reasonably think -- because of their successes -- that they know everything. Often they are driven by goals or ideals that are bigger than what any individual can accomplish, and that gap is an engine pushing them toward continuous learning.
       
      I especially the bolded bit.  Anyone else identify with that behaviour? ;-)
       
      The author comes down firmly on the side of middle-management - which should satisfy some of you...
      "I have found that the biggest obstacles to change are not middle managers but, more often, those who work just a level or two below the CEO -- vice presidents, directors, general managers, and others who haven't yet made it to "the top" and may have the most to lose in a change."
       
      Also note that the article endorses the "success is our enemy" comment, overheard at the Scrum Gathering - I think it was Jon Spence who said it (but he may deny it!).
       
      Tobias
       
       
    • Martine Devos
      If not and we stay in all in our comfortzone we might end up in a pretty boring, mediocre world is not it. Martine Tobias Mayer wrote:
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 3, 2005
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        If not and we stay in all in our comfortzone we might end up in a pretty boring, mediocre world is not it. 

        Martine
        Tobias Mayer <tobyanon@...> wrote:
        I stumbled across this 1998 article a few minutes ago. 
        Thought it may be of interest to some Enterprise Scrum practitioners out there.
         
        I liked this section on leadership:
         
        ...However, the most notable trait of great leaders, certainly of great change leaders, is their quest for learning. They show an exceptional willingness to push themselves out of their own comfort zones, even after they have achieved a great deal. They continue to take risks, even when there is no obvious reason for them to do so. And they are open to people and ideas, even at a time in life when they might reasonably think -- because of their successes -- that they know everything. Often they are driven by goals or ideals that are bigger than what any individual can accomplish, and that gap is an engine pushing them toward continuous learning.
         
        I especially the bolded bit.  Anyone else identify with that behaviour? ;-)
         
        The author comes down firmly on the side of middle-management - which should satisfy some of you...
        "I have found that the biggest obstacles to change are not middle managers but, more often, those who work just a level or two below the CEO -- vice presidents, directors, general managers, and others who haven't yet made it to "the top" and may have the most to lose in a change."
         
        Also note that the article endorses the "success is our enemy" comment, overheard at the Scrum Gathering - I think it was Jon Spence who said it (but he may deny it!).
         
        Tobias
         
         



        Martine Devos
        mmdevos@...
        skype: mmdevos1953
      • Mike Dwyer
        Yea, next year the Hackett triple bungy jump. The smarter half of my life has promised to at least one of them with me, but my daughter is psyched to do them
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 3, 2005
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          Yea, next year the Hackett triple bungy jump.  The smarter half of my life has promised to at least one of them with me, but my daughter is psyched to do them all!  (She has the good knees so she got to do the jump this year.

           

          So Tobias, does that mean all great leaders are extreme sports people?  Does that make me a Great Leader (Anybody who thinks so can’t be on my team!) Nah,  I think what your quote is about is more the fact that leadership, unlike management, need to explore.  Management on the other hand is a tricky devil.

           

          Think of it.

           

          The CxO level spend a great amount of time looking forward,  Trying to understand how to move the organization from where it is to where They and a bunch  tea leaf readers think the customers and the market will be.  At the other end of the food chain are the customer facing doers dealing with the day to day change in the customers and the market.  Now if there is a high congruence between what the boots on the ground are experiencing and the opinions they formed and the tea leaf patterns, management has a warm feel about the short and intermediate term.  But  and here is the killer.  These same CxO types have charged their immediate reports (and will evaluate and reward them) with moving forward with the PLAN.

           

          So in an emerging environment we have this little one act play repeating itself.   Troops say the PLAN doesn’t fit the customers requirements,  Middle Management pops this up,  CxO call in the tea leaf readers and tell their reports KEEP TO THE PLAN.

           

          The tea leaf readers get around to finding the teapot, selecting the tea leaves to brew and also validating the water is the correct type (based on what their tea leaf readers recommend).  The troops, in an irritated fashion say HELLOO  the customers think we are not on the edge anymore.  Middle Management asks for guidance, the CxO arrange an offsite.  Now depending on the time of year and where the most reasonable tee times are (the tea leaf readers will insist on this as it makes for a more effective offsite) the management team CxO and their direct reports get together.

           

          The tea leaves are revealed, the direct reports give their opinion, the CxOs huddle and come up with the Next PLAN.  Rumors spread that there is a NEW PLAN.  Middle Managers, knowing that it they don’t guess quickly will be looking at the wrong end of an 8 ball, wing it.

           

          The new plan comes out, new budgets are prepared and the next round of budgeting begins.

           

          So why in the world would anyone but an administrator want to be a middle manager.  Because there is a chance to make things better and get rewarded for it.

           

          Now this is why Mike Beedle, myself, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber are looking at Scrum in the Enterprise.  Smart money says that none of us are looking in the same way, see it happening in the same manner, but I am convinced that we all see an organization where the next sea change is in getting ahead of the shifts in the market.

           

          Oh yeah  If you are working on this, I didn’t know,  you haven’t mentioned it in the list, haven’t let anyone know you are and thus are not on the radar.  That may or may not be a good thing.  What’s your plan?

           

           

          Michael F. Dwyer

           

          "Planning constantly peers into the future for indications as to where a solution may emerge."

          "A Plan is a complex situation, adapting to an emerging solution." 

          -----Original Message-----
          From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tobias Mayer
          Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 1:20 AM
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [scrumdevelopment] "Winning at Change"

           

          I stumbled across this 1998 article a few minutes ago. 

          Thought it may be of interest to some Enterprise Scrum practitioners out there.

           

          I liked this section on leadership:

           

          ...However, the most notable trait of great leaders, certainly of great change leaders, is their quest for learning. They show an exceptional willingness to push themselves out of their own comfort zones, even after they have achieved a great deal. They continue to take risks, even when there is no obvious reason for them to do so. And they are open to people and ideas, even at a time in life when they might reasonably think -- because of their successes -- that they know everything. Often they are driven by goals or ideals that are bigger than what any individual can accomplish, and that gap is an engine pushing them toward continuous learning.

           

          I especially the bolded bit.  Anyone else identify with that behaviour? ;-)

           

          The author comes down firmly on the side of middle-management - which should satisfy some of you...

          "I have found that the biggest obstacles to change are not middle managers but, more often, those who work just a level or two below the CEO -- vice presidents, directors, general managers, and others who haven't yet made it to "the top" and may have the most to lose in a change."

           

          Also note that the article endorses the "success is our enemy" comment, overheard at the Scrum Gathering - I think it was Jon Spence who said it (but he may deny it!).

           

          Tobias

           

           


        • Michael Spayd
          Thanks for this article, Tobias. John Kotter s book on the same topic, *Leading Change*, is also very good, especially for those interested in large-scale
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 4, 2005
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            Thanks for this article, Tobias. John Kotter's book on the same topic, Leading Change, is also very good, especially for those interested in large-scale organization change. I also recommend Daryl Conner's Managing at the Speed of Change.
             
             
            Michael

            --
            Michael K. Spayd
            COGILITY, LLC
            "Business Mind, Social Heart"
            michael.spayd@...
            720.300.5286
             
             
            On 12/2/05, Tobias Mayer <tobyanon@...> wrote:
            I stumbled across this 1998 article a few minutes ago. 
            Thought it may be of interest to some Enterprise Scrum practitioners out there.
             
            I liked this section on leadership:
             
            ...However, the most notable trait of great leaders, certainly of great change leaders, is their quest for learning. They show an exceptional willingness to push themselves out of their own comfort zones, even after they have achieved a great deal. They continue to take risks, even when there is no obvious reason for them to do so. And they are open to people and ideas, even at a time in life when they might reasonably think -- because of their successes -- that they know everything. Often they are driven by goals or ideals that are bigger than what any individual can accomplish, and that gap is an engine pushing them toward continuous learning.
             
            I especially the bolded bit.  Anyone else identify with that behaviour? ;-)
             
            The author comes down firmly on the side of middle-management - which should satisfy some of you...
            "I have found that the biggest obstacles to change are not middle managers but, more often, those who work just a level or two below the CEO -- vice presidents, directors, general managers, and others who haven't yet made it to "the top" and may have the most to lose in a change. "
             
            Also note that the article endorses the "success is our enemy" comment, overheard at the Scrum Gathering - I think it was Jon Spence who said it (but he may deny it!).
             
            Tobias

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