Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Are we too focused on leadership?

There are a lot of good lists out there about the differences between management and leadership

For example...

9 Differences Between Being A Leader And A Manager

1. Leaders create a vision, managers create goals.
2. Leaders are change agents, managers maintain the status quo.
3. Leaders are unique, managers copy.
4. Leaders take risks, managers control risk .
5. Leaders are in it for the long haul, managers think short-term.
6. Leaders grow personally, managers rely on existing, proven skills.
7. Leaders build relationships, managers build systems and processes.
8. Leaders coach, managers direct.
9. Leaders create fans, managers have employees.

However I wonder if we are too focused on leadership? Among my family and friends we do not feel the need to elect a leader. We do not feel we need to follow someone but instead we collaborate, communicate and cooperate. Indeed this is how tribes work, and the concept of a village working together for the benefit of all.

Leadership and management is an interesting concept that we accept in work and in politics, but it does not really serve us as well as just getting along together. We often get disappointed and elect a new one. Or in some cases find ourselves subjugated by them and the power (wages, work, reputation, training, housing, food etc.) that they command.

Them and Us is about this division, whereas without it there is only Us. It is not that I disagree with leadership qualities, I just think we should all have them, and share them.

As a result of the book Humankind [by Rutger Bregman] I have discovered Jos de Blok and his model anchored on the self-management capacity.

Useful link about Jos de Blok https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeOrNjwHw58

FAVI, led by its former Director Jean-Fran├žois Zobrist, developed in the 80’s a customer focused organization where the structure fades to assure full listening of the autonomous and responsible teams. An unusual management that promotes a constant search for customer love, trust in human being and innovation.

You may also have heard of Valve. Imagine a company where everyone is equal and managers don't exist. A place where employees sit where they want, choose what to work on and decide each other's pay. Then, once a year, everyone goes on holiday together. You have just imagined Valve.

Useful link about Valve: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24205497

It is well known that money does not motivate and indeed may de-motivate if it makes noble effort or charitable support cheap and grubby.

For my own part I started as a waterfall PRINCE2 project guy commanding people, process and technology. I am now much more in favour of Scrum Agile approach which is more bottom-up collaborative and favour an ask better questions approach [Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling by Edgar H. Schein].

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has worked in these types of organisation.

Helping people and organisations get things done

Adapt Consulting Company
Consult CoCreate Deliver
@AdaptCCompany +447797762051

Sunday, 12 July 2020

How Has Lockdown Changed Your Leadership Style?

I read this...

Overall, there is probably still a high sensitivity for some leaders who are looking for evidence or reasons to distrust, rather than trusting in the new ways of working. I have always focused on the analytical aspects of management and leadership, for example, working towards hitting a number, and focusing on growth... but... it is not all about focusing on the end results and forced me to change my style


I have been reading this...

Humankind: A Hopeful History Humankind: A Hopeful History Originally published: September 13, 2019 Author: Rutger Bregman
What is fascinating about Rutger Bregman's book is the idea that 'leadership' is both new (in the last 5% of human history) and a dysfunctional result of property, ownership, and civilisation that simply did not exist when Homo Sapiens were nomads and equal. The unfair society is actually a result of.... society! 

I cannot recommend the book enough and whether you agree with the statement above or not, the book is worth a read. If you are interested in teams, team performance and concepts like scrum which is about facilitation rather than control then you will find this book interesting.

If you have a different perspective or experience please comment below. If you are interested in teams, team performance and culture get in touch.
Helping people and organisations get things done

Adapt Consulting Company
Consult CoCreate Deliver
@AdaptCCompany +447797762051

Tuesday, 2 June 2020


Apparently more tha 50% of people doubt they will stick with their current employer beyond 1 year. A number may have lost their job, but a fair few are probably re-thinking their role, purpose and satisfaction with life and perhaps their current employer.

For many a short break from work suggests that we will simply return to the old ways of working just as easily as we do after a holiday or the novelty of a New Year's Resolution wears off. But for some at 10 weeks many will be finding new routines become habit and some of them have benefits people will be reluctant to give up.

I doubt people miss congestion of a population driving to school or work like cattle being herded from one pen to another. There may be a sense of tribal community perhaps at 5pm on a Friday, but overall I suspect the freedom to arrange your day is quite appealing for many.

For businesses the loss of visibility on team activity will be interesting. How will bosses cope with not seeing the busy ants outside their office? Will they be content that out there, somewhere unseen, someone is doing something great without being distracted or micro-managed.

Will we switch from paying for people's attendance and attention to actually value their potential, production and contribution.

It is much easier said than done. It requires a new style of Coaching Leadership and a new style of "employment". Perhaps instead of measuring tasks, production and profit we encourage people, performance and outcome.

John Adair talked about the alignment of organisation, person and task. Perhaps now we need to think about the alignment of self, family, community and organisation? Perhaps Ikigai hints at what should be the SMART Goals of organisations

I read a lot and am currently reading In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

I an impressed by the impact of Montessori education on the founders and wonder if we can take this an apply it in the work-place. Without doubt there are a lot of things that we can learn from Google, and perhaps a few we should avoid, but I do believe there is a need to better benefit from the talent of people.

In a previous article I wrote that I think we would benefit from our leaders becoming more like tribal elders, there to share knowledge and encourage others to collaborate rather than to guide or direct.

How we engage, encourage, reward and measure people is key. Maybe now is a good time to think about a new score-card for our people and purpose.


Helping people and organisations get things done

Adapt Consulting Company
Consult CoCreate Deliver
@AdaptCCompany +447797762051
#lean #projects #change #prince2 #processes #pmo


Coaching Leadership

Humble Consulting: How to Provide Real Help Faster

Supercoach: 10th Anniversary Edition: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone's Life


Montessori education

Famous People Educated at Montessori schools

John Adair

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

Leaders becoming more like tribal elders

Sunday, 31 May 2020


This is a great article... In A Post-COVID World The Manager Is The Weak Link

The key factors for me are when the number of remote workers climbs past 50% fundamental changes to the nature of work become necessary and I suspect (I hope) people will increasingly be paid for what they achieve rather than their attendance at an office.

Unlike the author who feels we should be ‘Ending Our Obsession With Leadership’ I think leadership is still important, but it is a different kind of community leadership that brings diverse people (in remote locations) to a task rather than the employer-employee relationship that exists when you sit outside the bosses office.

This shift is already happening in Projects where instead of a Project Manager directing tasks for a project with clear time, budget, people and deliverables we have Scrum Managers supporting teams to identify and deliver products that add value in an environment of uncertainty and change.

I think we would benefit from our leaders becoming more like tribal elders, there to share knowledge and encourage others to collaborate rather than to guide or direct.


Ending Our Obsession With Leadership

Does a successful tribe need management? Or is it better without?

6 Questions to determine successful leadership

If you are interested in facilitating change, get in touch.

AdaptConsultingCompany com
Mob 447797762051
Twitter @Timhjrogers

Sunday, 17 May 2020


What we do… we can also do for you

We are working with a technology business to review, improve and document their key processes.

Taking a coach-facilitator approach we had a series of meetings to document process and the create an interactive tool which allowed them to ‘click’ on a process map and access further documentation including service and training records.

The key outcomes included better coordination and understanding within the team and a clear, consistent and communicated approach for key processes.

The key benefits include improved morale within the team (everyone knows what they are doing) and better appreciation of the procedure by customers/clients (confidence that the process will deliver the result).


What we do… we can also do for you

We are working with a commercial business to discuss, define, document and communicate their service delivery strategy. They are a large business providing standard (desktop) and specialist (bespoke App) services to different areas of the business.

Working with our Sponsor and identified stakeholders we noted all business activities and their critical systems, as well as service, support and training needs. We then facilitated a discussion on priority levels, service standards and knowledge management necessary to meet the needs of the business.

The key outcomes include clarity on roles, goals, reporting and controls as well as a roadmap and budget for systems maintenance, support and renewal.

The key benefits include improved service delivery through improved prioritisation and allocation of resources, as well as better supplier and contract management. The overall benefits for the organization include faster, cheaper or better products and services for customers.


What we do… we can also do for you

We are working with a commercial business to create a performance dashboard of their key activities.

Working with our Sponsor and identified stakeholders we have identified service expectations (needs) and key performance indicators (measures) and set-up the reporting tools (database) and habits (logging information) to be able to produce daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly reports for the team, department and business.

The key outcomes include better alignment of resources to key priorities for the business and an improved understanding of workload and issues. Timely reporting accelerated action greatly helps the kaizen process of continuous improvement.

The overall benefits include consensus on priorities and an improved collaborative focus on team outcomes rather than individual inputs.