Management Rewards: Doing Work vs Creating an Environment

My agile transformation clients struggle with this big question: How do we effectively reward managers? The more the organization wants or needs an agile transformation, the less the current reward structure works. How do you incent the managers? What makes sense for management compensation? Cindy, a director in a 500-person IT organization struggles with this—for …

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 …

Build Team Resilience: Work “Anywhere” and “Anytime” (Part 3)

When I started this series about team brittleness and resilience, I expected to discuss winter weather in the Boston area.  Every year, we expect several large snowstorms. And, when it snows hard and long, we should stay off the roads so the plows can clear the snow. The organization and team I wrote about in …

Build Team Resilience: Shorten Feedback Loops (Part 2)

This series is about helping a team create a less brittle environment—more resilience. Part 1 was about individual work. This part is about shortening feedback loops. Brief description of the problem at a recent client: Person A checked in code that broke an “unrelated” part of the system. I’ll call this checking in code in …