Peter Pan, The Agile Guru Blogger

I've been reading some blogs, and seeing some presentations lately where some agile practitioners who have historically had some very strong opinions are flip-flopping on their stance, and consider it part of their "evolving."  The hyperbole with which they state their point of view, and then nonchalantly reverse it reminds me of a scene from Peter Pan where he says, "Tinkerbell, I hereby banish you forever." Then Wendy says, "Please, not forever." And Peter relents, "Well, for a week then. C'mon Wendy, I'll show you the island." Everyone is entitled to their opinion and their right to change their opinion, however, I have to really ask myself how carefully some people walk through their own logic, and how much they acknowledge that we all have bias.  Introspection and carefully weighing the pros…
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Managers Make A Difference A Dozen Ways in Agile

Here is a short list of what managers can be/do in an agile organization: 1. Storytelling to harness the intrinsic drive of the people who do the work 2. Master the science of work systems 3. a change advocate (aka. cannery in the coal mine) 4. a life-long learner/teacher and village idiot who speaks truth to power 5. an experiment design facilitator 6. an Intrapreneur - Shark Pitcher 7. a Product/Project Exterminator 8. Growth hacker Data Analyst 9. Recruiter - Hiring - Onboarding Buddy - Mentor 10. Restorative Justice of the Peace 11. Improv Coach, Life Coach, Executive Coach, Business Coach 12. Match Maker - Gemba Walker
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The Whipping Boy-Czar

The hottest topic in agile transformation right now seems to be, "What about the managers?" In his book entitled, "Large-Scale Scrum: More with Less" Craig Larman is very plain about his views on this topic. "In LeSS, Managers are optional.  Organizations that have managers don't have to get rid of them -they can perform a useful role - but you don't have to add managers for your LeSS adoption." It seems to me that there is a choice for both the organization and for the people who have been career managers to make a choice about what to do to address problems that arise in the everyday operations of the enterprise.  This is the place where the rubber hits the road in terms of how we think about things: rational…
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Empty Emancipation Without Choice

I completed another engagement with a client 3 days ago confirming what Daniel Mezick, Author of Open Space Agility Handbook and The Culture Game has said about inviting the people who do the work into an Agile Transformation. Inspired by Participatory company forerunners, Semco and Morning Star, my client eliminated all titles (Manager, Director, Team Lead, etc.), performance reviews*, etc. Then said to his entire workforce, "There are no rules. Govern yourselves. Don't focus on Utilization rates. I emancipate you."  At least, that's the way the message landed with the knowledge workers.   Everyone freaked out. Even the Agilists in the company were stunned and despondent, because you cannot mandate freedom any more than you can abandon people to the Tyranny of Structurelessness.   Result: Workers complained. Some resigned. Profitability…
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