Delegate Problems and Outcomes, Not Tasks

I encourage managers to delegate work. When managers insert themselves into the middle of the work, these problems occur: Managers slow the team down. Managers prevent people from learning. Managers don’t do their management work. That environment creates problems for everyone. Then I read Elisabeth Hendrickson’s Delegation is Overrated. I realized two things: Some managers …

Want Business Agility? Use These Seven Innovation Principles

I’m rewriting/reorganizing the Lead an Innovative Organization book. I realized I have 7 innovation principles: Clarify the organization’s purpose.  Manage for effectiveness. Seek outcomes, not outputs. Flow efficiency at all levels. Encourage small-world networks of relationships. Organizational integrity. Encourage change and experiments. Anytime I’ve seen a successful innovation culture, I’ve seen these principles. (I’m trying …

Effects of Separating “New” Work vs “Maintenance” Work

Back when I was a manager, my senior management wanted to separate the “new” work from the “maintenance” work. I suggested that every new line after the first line of code was maintenance. The managers poo-poohed me. My concern: How would the “new” developers learn from their mistakes? I lost that discussion and I managed …

Say No to Mandatory Fun

I keep encountering managers and consultants who want to make work “fun” for people. As a goal, “fun” is a bunch of hooey. Before I was a consultant, I held various Director-level positions at local companies. Each organization had mandatory fun days. In one organization, we played softball. Yes, everyone—especially the managers—had to play softball …

Where I Think “Agile” is Headed, Part 4: What Does “Agile” Mean?

I started this series asking where “Agile” was headed. (I didn’t like what I saw at the Agile 2019 conference.) Part 1 was about the 4 big problems I see. Part 2 was why we need managers.  Part 3 was about how people want a recipe. This part is about what “Agile” or “agile” means. …