2011 afternoon with @PeteBehrens on Creating Agile Culture

I attended this very interesting session with Pete Behrens from Trail Ridge Consulting.  Really liked this session.

I liked that he first he asked who we are ( what level) and what session we liked.  He wanted to get an idea of who he was talking to.  I was the only manager in the audience!!  He did something very useful which was identify particular companies as having these cultures and then talk about how this works.

The main point of this talk was to use analysis of the culture of a business and figure out, from there, what Agile tools might be appropriate and maybe how to influence change within the culture itself.

Here is his deck – my notes follow.

What we do to succeed…

Culture is to an organization is like personality is to a person.
– shared within an organization and developed over years

Quoted Steve Denning: switching from value to values

Process: behaviors
Structure: roles, team, responsibilities
Culture: values

William Schenider, The Reengineering Alternative

Control culture:
– follow a chain of command
– system: everyone at p&g is like a bucket of water, pull a hand out, water closes around
– process: Marriott – a procedure in place so experience is same at every hotel

Retail tends to be this because want to create this across the world.

(attn gap)

Collaboration cultures: Affiliation, family/athletic team
Dana – people over process
UPS – very flat democratic culture (the sum of the people are greater an individual parts)

Competence culture: expertise and excellence
– cray computer – competence based culture
– bell labs – excellence – best of the best of the best – university setting in a corporate world
– Microsoft – never satisfied
– Citibank – up or out – next leaders of company

Cultivation companies: growth based, spiritual, more organic, thinking through our goal
– celestial seasonings – purposeful
– control data – organic – plant seeds and trust nature to tale it’s course
– 3M – never kill an idea, deflect it, encourage free flow of ideas

Personal cultures: more people over process
– more about people than anything else

Impersonal – more about product, process

Dimension: actuality and possibility

Actuality-impersonal: surgeon
Actuality-personality: nurse
Possibility

Strengths and challenges:
– control: lack of transparency
– innovation gets stifled but predictable
– can get chaotic in complex situations
– metrics are huge on non- personal side

Cultivation cultures abhor metrics (we’ll know it when I see it)

Collaboration: groupthink, paralysis, no clear leader, slow responses?

Competence: no tolerance for failure and fear of failure

Cultivate: difficulty making hard decisions. We are willing to grow people and stick with them and fail to fire them.

Which culture is agile?

Capturing the culture: culture isn’t something you can see. Have to survey the organization.

In retail, a control culture, title and position become important. Do you emphasize:
– concepts and standards
– values
– congruence
– needs / functions < control
– experiences and pushing for consensus

What counts most: winning, not losing, evolving, accomplishing it together.

Security, community, merit, fulfillment

McKinsey: cultivative company with strong flavor of collaborative

“Wow” team: back to basics, no idea is silly, start small, make everything small

Focusing on values. It is easy in Agile to get lazy because it is hard.

“Positive Emotions” expanding our awareness, horizons, and enable agility

IT in Sales Force was a cultivation culture, r&d was competence based.
– was because value different things

Key differences:
– start with awareness (tell Dan that 12 steps of Agile should stay)
Collect data
– leadership and culture : two sides of the same coin
Leadership drives culture; culture drives leadership

What to do focus on leadership? Leadership maturity model. Catalyst leaders that engage teams.

(pattern! Second time this came up!)

Create an organizational Agility Team – use Agike to implement Agile.

Expect constant change and constant uncertainty.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable. (who originally said this?)

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One Response to “2011 afternoon with @PeteBehrens on Creating Agile Culture”

  1. #agile2011 On Further Reflection and in Light of the #Verizonstrike « Says:

    […] like they are free to join and be part of a team, sharing control over outcomes.  I thought about Pete Behren’s talk on the importance of figuring out what the culture really is of an organization.  Also of […]

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