Schlagwort-Archive: Need

The Alpha and Omega of Agility

When people and their collaboration become more important and results count increasingly and customers are tighter involved and the flexible reaction to changes determines the work, then we speak of agility. Everything is about the involved parties and, above all, the working group who takes self-determined care of tasks, which can neither be extrapolated from the past into the future nor pragmatically predicted in advance. A look at the Agilemma has shown that the new conditions are pulling the nerves of the managers – although they have the key to successful actions – the alpha and omega of agility.

It’s all about activating employees. For this reason, managers in an agile environment, actually not just there, need to consider the following points.

  • Micro management
    Once the boss is the best employee, it will be difficult. Micromanagers are busy taking care of the smallest details and reworking all the results of the employees. Managers who cannot let go are a serious obstacle as soon as employees are expected to act independently.
    The autonomy of the agile teams is unimpeachable.
  • Options
    In order to obtain viable solutions, the working groups need various options for action. On the one hand, the requirements determine the choices. On the other hand, the solutions need sufficient means for implementation. The provision of resources is one of the most fundamental tasks of a manager.
    The responsibility of the team is the best regulator against extravagance.
  • Transparency
    To be effective, actors need as much information as possible about stakeholders, the environment, the capabilities of participants and the beliefs that drive all. The decision-makers do not have to provide the figures, data and facts, but do have to provide sufficient opportunities to become adequately informed.
    Borderless data flow is an important prerequisite for agile work.
  • Impetus
    The inner drive of the team members is the fuel, which keeps the zest in the iterations of the project. Everything that hinders the momentum belongs to the alpha and omega of agility. The managers have the task to do everything they can to ensure that stronger performance is achieved and that everybody deals better with failures
    Capable bosses master the art of awakening intrinsic motivation.
  • Variety
    Complex tasks can only be implemented with even more complex means. For this reason, a wide range of characters, solutions and activities is indispensable. To ensure that diversity is not disturbed, all forms of nepotism must be avoided, since this generates envy and resentment, which ultimately results in poorer performance.
    Anything that increases diversity is indispensable.
  • Aim
    In the absence of clear objectives, the rough direction and the emotionally charged target horizon are the most efficacious description of the intention of the decision makers. If the undertakings of the bosses are based on the available resources and offers the team a loose network of people, and if additionally it becomes possible to draw ideas from coincidences and mistakes, and the efforts are limited to what one is prepared to lose, than the intention has good chances to deliver results.
    The coherent aim is the fuzzy vision.
  • Team
    Internal and external interdisciplinary partnerships are essential for an effective team. Given the different origins of those involved, it is essential to create an encouraging sense of belonging. Decision-makers must ensure that appropriate team-building activities are carried out.
    Here applies – Together Everyone Achieves More
  • Individuals
    The team hopefully consists of various characters that complement each other. Each team member should have a strong self-confidence and assertiveness in order to enrich the team in its capacity. The decision makers should resist the impulse to recruit teams from their old boy network, as this only causes discomfort in the team.
    The team is more than the sum of the members.
  • Orientation
    Independent of the agile approach applied, the decision-makers must in particular ensure that there are clear target visions by which the employees recognize the direction. In the absence of reliable foresight, it is not a matter of tough specifications, but of awakening yearnings.
    The team needs the fuzzy vision in order to have orientation.
  • Need
    The advantages arise on the way to the goal, which develops only in the course of the iterations. In contrast to classic projects, which create in advance an elaborate business case that promises great benefits in order to get the budget to start, in an agile environment small steps create small increments that can only be evaluated at the end.
    Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.

Bottom line: For a long time, “classical” organizations with business processes and projects have given their business the finishing touches. After years, this has led today to insufficient capacities being available for the next round of transformation, the Digitization. Therefore they want to use agile work styles. For many managers, this creates the Agilemma. Besides the required mindset it is necessary to master the alpha and omega of agility – the MOTIVATION of the employees in the agile teams.

P.S .: It takes a lot of time and energy to gain the trust of the parties concerned, but only a blink of an eye to destroy everything with a disrespectful, degrading and unfair leadership style.

Writing for the sake of writing

After four years of regular writing this post is the two hundredth in English. On this occasion I think verbally about writing. The momentum has not yet ebbed away. The contents do not really provide any revolutionary new aspects on the topics of communication, management, change management, meaning shaping, governance, strategy (the sequence corresponds to the frequency of the articles). And yet, they offer new perspectives. Some subjects evolved to a series, such as the ideal metaphor. Other articles follow daily headlines. This time I think about the reasons that the momentum does not stop.

Writing uses the same words as talking. Nevertheless, writing is a more conscious examination of the subject. By tonal exhalation words are formed, which, if they do not reach an ear, evaporate unheard. Writing remains. But why writing, if the described wheel is already round?

  • Out of a need to communicate
    Humans have been speaking for about 100,000 years and nowadays an average of 16,000 words daily. That the exchange of words is an important prerequisite for social togetherness can be seen in the cultural character of individual regions of the world as well as in their diversity. Important meaning carriers were and are religions. This can be seen in the Western approach to group the world in good and bad, right and wrong, or in the balance of yin and yang in the east. The progressions were driven by the natural needs to communicate – first verbally, for 5,000 years handwritten and printed for centuries. Writing remains longer, even if the carrier dissolves over time – paper very fast, parchment slower and stone apparently not at all. Let us wait and see how long the Internet provides the posts.
  • Describing issues
    The contents that are transported go from economic accounting, to sacred and political texts to today’s literature. With all the variety of words, certain areas remain refused to writing. Feelings and abstract thoughts can only be described without being able to express the essential. As Wittgenstein put it in a nutshell: “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.” These are the areas that cry out for an additional formulation. Abstract themes do not have a tangible life and exist therefore only in the consciousness of the individual. What they make out of it can not be ascertained, since the inner thoughts are not accessible for other people. This is one reason why certain things are repeatedly described and thus become a printable version that can be discussed splendidly over and over again.
  • Finding appropriate words
    Writing has the advantage that a train of thought that is expressed in words, can be improved. Theoretically, the right moment for the correction has come, when there is something printable. At the same time, the immediate reformulation of a sentence slows down the writing flow, because you can get into an infinite loop of correction. It is more fruitful to write down a longer text in a row, leaving it untouched for a certain time, and to rework it afterwards. This time you will notice parts that do not fit the actual theme. You find words that are inappropriate, too abstract, or too often repeated. At the same time, the appeal lies also in the formation of words that can not be found in a normal dictionary. The ultimate goal is to place few, and at the same time simple words, closest to the desired intention. As a result, several texts are being prepared in parallel. Once the proper degree is reached, they are completed.
  • Finding appropriate images
    This is valid in a double sense. On the one hand, the contents are to be illustrated by means of figurative meanings. The search for a meaningful outline of the theme, analogies and metaphors are an important element of writing. On the other hand, each blog post consists of a scribbled stroke drawing. Since words can express only a part of the intention, the picture is another way to show the purpose. Writing does not start until the image is displayed. It creates the framework and always ensures that the original purpose does not get lost. The images can be realistic images of the subject or metaphorical visualizations. Quite rarely contradictions happen between text and image. If so, usually the picture will be reworked. The entire process of writing always consists of both: visualization and writing.
  • Practicing English
    All blog articles are immediately developed bilingually. In addition to the fact that this increases the scope of the potential readership, an important reason is to make the texts better. Once the text is available in German, it will be translated into English. Unintentionally ambiguous passages show up in the German text. The two texts, German and English, are eventually adapted to each other and to the original intention. The huge vocabulary of English makes you aware of missing words in German – and vice versa. It is remarkable that the subconscious meaning gives signals as long as the formulation is not yet as it should be. The bilingual processing of the texts has proven beneficial for both languages, as the active vocabulary is expanded for both.
  • Trick the transience of time
    As described above, what has been said dissolves in the air, sometimes unheard or misunderstood. There are also the thoughts, which briefly emerge and then disappear again in latency, as long as it is not written down. Otherwise, they become visible only with corresponding stimulus that provokes the respective region of the mind and brings the thought back into consciousness. A remedy is writing. A clever formulation, a coherent train of thought, or a Eureka, which would solve a long-standing smoldering enigma, might be lost. Sometimes in the sleep the solution suddenly appears before your inner eyes. Quickly turning on the light, grabbing the notebook and … crap, where is the pen. Without notes, the next day the idea would be gone. The same applies to every blog article. I do not remember, what it was, but I have already put the issue into words. And then there is the fact that up to now contents have been waiting for reading – now for four years. This also makes it possible to convey own thoughts longer than you could tell them.
  • Fruitful routine
    An important element of writing is the routine that it takes to keep getting to new texts. Of course the right mood helps in writing. Sometimes it is worthwhile to pay attention to the inner resistance and not to force anything. This does not mean, however, that you give in to the impulse and get out of rhythm. In this case, it is one post per week. In the sense of the constant drop that caves the stone, the discipline brings by and by a lot of thoughts into the net and on the paper. In addition, the weekly routine offers a meditative aspect as well as food for your own satisfaction. And, of course, writing practice improves the everyday production of content – be it in reports, brochures or even in PowerPoints.

Bottom line: This text is a good example of the last one hundred ninety-nine blog posts. The subject was found, the picture was scribbled, and finally the structure and the formulations were developed. In this case, these are the reasons for writing: the need for communication, describing issues, appropriate words and images, practicing English, the transience, and the fruitful routine. Whether these reasons for writing apply for all or just for me lies in the eye of the beholder. For me it is enough to go on for the time being. The more pages are created, the more will be read. Perhaps another reason to continue this routine is also writing for the sake of writing.