Tuesday, 7 January 2020



Having been reading Humble Inquiry and Humble Consulting (both by Edgar Schein) and having re-read a lot of books on Scrum and Agile (list below) I have spent some thinking about the successes and failures of projects and why it is rarely to do with tasks, timetable or budget.

I note from John Mattone (What was it like to Coach Steve Jobs? - see link below) the following....  never connected with their inner-core--their "soul" (self-concept, character, values, thinking patterns, emotions) to discover the massive gifts and gaps that hide deep within...

And also that Jobs went about... (1) Building a unique culture; (2) Institutionalizing a process of hiring and rewarding the best talent; and (3) Growing their very own product development process...

I am cautious however about John Mattone's comment...I believe that "prescription before diagnosis is malpractice" in medicine and coaching. I don't see enough coaches doing their due diligence in accurately measuring and calibrating both a leaders inner and outer-core and "mitigating risk". Inaccurate diagnosis leads to an inaccurate prescription.

This is not that I disagree with the fundamental need for understanding, but because sometimes change is not about simple (superficial?) diagnosis and easy prescription. Edgar Schein is right when he cautions against check-list review and simple remedy of the doctor-patient type of engagement and the need for Humble Consulting which tell telling and more asking, more about helping through process (learning, understanding, growth) than directing tasks (outputs and outcomes).

Some of the most difficult project situations I have encountered are about people's need to be liked, respected, valued and their fear, reluctance, uncertainty of pushing for success. Having a thousand reasons (excuses) for failure is simply easier than the real personal and team challenge of confronting what it takes to be successful.


What was it like to Coach Steve Jobs? Or, was it the other way around?

Humble Consulting: How to Provide Real Help Faster by Edgar H. Schein


This is part of a series of blogs, posts and articles on consulting, leading or managing. Please feel free to comment, add feedback or perhaps share your own experiences, recommended reading or favourite resources from the internet.


If you want to meet to discuss any of the elements mentioned here please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Mob 447797762051 
Twitter @timhjrogers


  1. War and Peace and IT: Business Leadership, Technology, and Success in the Digital Age
  2.  A Seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the Age of Agility
  3. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
  4.  Product Mastery: From Good to Great Product Ownership
  5.  Scrum Mastery: From Good to Great Servant-Leadership
  6.  Scrum: The art of doing twice the work in half the time
  7.  Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
  8.  Principles: Life and Work
  9.  Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
  10.  Key Person of Influence: The Five-Step Method to Become One of the Most Highly Valued and Highly Paid People in Your Industry
  11.  The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations
  12. The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership: Achieving and Sustaining Excellence Through Leadership Development
  13.  Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
  14.  Thinking in Systems: A Primer
  15. Critical Chain: Project Management and the Theory of Constraints
  16. Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue
  17. The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win 5th Anniversary Edition
  18. Summary of Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths
  19. Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel
  20. Lean Mastery Collection: 8 Manuscripts: Lean Six Sigma, Lean Startup, Lean Enterprise, Lean Analytics, Agile Project Management, Kanban, Scrum, Kaizen
  21. Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street
  22. The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months
  23. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement - 30th Anniversary Edition

No comments:

Post a Comment