The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’


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    Entries in business agility (29)


    Anti agile without even knowing it

    It’s easy to be a critic or cynic of something, to put counter views out there or to dismiss or reject ideas. But it’s way more helpful to understand a few fundamentals first and then add your views.

    If agile is something new-ish to you, it’s good to know that many of the agile ways of thinking and working are based on the principles and practices written in 2001 in the Agile Manifesto. You can read the list of them via the Agile Alliance website or here’s a visual I created a couple of years ago, helping people to share and recall the information in an easier way.

    Yes, things keep evolving in the world of agile, but understanding some of the fundamentals can take you a long way forward by initiating conversations, building understanding and advancing the practice.

    Why not start a conversation from one of these principles to uncover how you're currently working and what might be a new way of working.

    Which of these look like a great way to work to you? 


    Quotable quotes

    There are plenty of concurrent sessions going on here at Agile 2019 in Washington DC. About 20 options to choose from every 90 mins!

    At this, or any conference, it’s easy to be swamped, firehose style with content, topics, presentations, models and references. The key in distilling information is to get up higher in context, out of the detail of a case study for example, so you can take a key message and share it or explore it further.

    Here’s a tapas of some quotable quotes from today:

    🔸The culture of any organisation is shaped by the worst behaviour the leader is willing to tolerate (Gruenert & Whitaker)

    🔸 Rules for inquiry: turn judgement into curiosity; conflict to shared exploration; defensiveness to self reflection; assumption to questions (Jeremy Lightsmith & Glenda Eoyang)

    🔸 Great managers manage themselves first (Johanne Rothman)

    🔸 When someone is in flight, fight, freeze - that’s not a time to coach. It’s not a teachable moment (Cailtlin Walker and Andrea Chiou)

    🔸 Setting an objective that is impossible to achieve won’t motivate employees (Mariya Breyter)

    🔸 Pay attention. Learn to see. Sense and Respond (Woody Zuill)


    What's a quotable quote you live by or use as a guide for thinking and acting?


    Attention and focus

    Reporting in from Agile 2019 in Washington DC ... Author Chris Bailey kicked off the conference keynoting on how to manage your attention in a world of distraction. I

    t turns out we don't need to fit more content in, we need to create more space. Productivity he says, is a combination of time, energy and attention.

    We'd do well to take care of our energy. It was funny when he said that having a coffee now is borrowing our energy from later in the day. (Alcohol is borrowing energy and happiness from tomorrow!)

    But the key message is, we crave distraction - lasting just 40 seconds on a task before we get distracted - lapping up the dopamine hits we get from checking devices and drowning in screen-time. We need to let our messy minds wander; to rediscover boredom. It's over-stimulation which is the enemy of focus.

    As Chris spoke, I captured these rapid fire notes in this visual one-pager. Lots of information there and better than a list of boring writing that won't get looked at again. (I use visual notes like this to manage my cognitive load at conferences. It's only Day 1 of 5 - it's a marathon not a sprint!)  

    Yawn! How could you rediscover boredom ?


    Agile is a way of thinking and working 

    This week I'm at the Agile 2019 conference in Washington DC. Some people think 'agile' or 'agility' are buzzwords or cliches. Well they are if you throw them around trying to sound all ... agile!

    Agile is actually a way of thinking and working that's sweeping the world. And it's not just limited to the tech industries where it started to thrive. It's being applied across all sorts of fields, sectors and industries.

    I keynoted at the conference on the topic of ‘ish: The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’.

    This week I'll be posting insights and key points from the 18 streams and hundreds of sessions available on agility ... not to mention those magical, spontaneous conversations you get to have at great conferences!

    If you’re stuck in long-term planning mode or taking w-a-y too long to get products and services created and out into the market, you’ll join the list of businesses who aren’t in business anymore! We all have to adjust, respond and adapt to the changes going on in the world and the demands and expectations our customers have. This is being agile.

    How could you be more agile in your role, team or business?


    New ways of working: what to do with those insights and ideas

    New ways of working: what to do with those insights and ideas.

    ✅ Customer insights are on hand.

    ✅ Ideas have been generated. It's time to do something, to get into action with your good work.

    Too often we think we need to find out more, keep working on something, finding out more more more. This is known as 'maximising', and it's not a good thing. It's linked to perfectionism, so no, not good. Rather, put those ideas out there and IMPLEMENT something; an experiment, a test, a pilot.

    See if something you've thought of has value for your customers. Experiment and watch what happens. Once the experiment is done, take those insights and ITERATE; improve on your idea and go again with another experiment.

    ✅ There are plenty of customer needs.

    ✅ We have endless ideas.

    New ways of working are focused on delivering value to customers, sooner. What counts is trying things out; not delaying or getting distracted.

    To do this we need to:

    1️⃣ Involve customers

    2️⃣ Ideate possible solutions

    3️⃣ Implement tests and experiments

    4️⃣ Iterate and improve on the solutions.

    What project you could apply this way of working to?