It’s one of those words that come back over and over again in context of modern delivery approaches and organizational structures. The word seems common enough to mean approximately the same in people’s minds, however I have found that it is often confused for something else. According to Merriamm-Webster, autonomy is the quality or state of being self-governing. This distinguishes it from the term empowerment, which is the state of being empowered to do something. In other words, autonomy is an internal property - it comes from within -, while empowerment comes from someone’s approval.
Autonomous teams make their own decisions, they do it based on their objectives and all the relevant information they have available about the world around them. Empowered teams also are told to do exactly that. However, the scope of their decision making power - sometimes explicit, more often implicit - limits their autonomy significantly and can even shrink should a decision be made that does not align...
Previously, we’ve talked about how business agility can increase your company’s bottom line by:
lowering costs through improving delivery processes, being more deliberate when choosing projects, as well as reducing churn
increasing revenue through releasing high-quality products, creating feedback loops, and capitalizing opportunities
Today we'll talk about a third benefit: how business agility can increase your company’s bottom line by improving alignment with its customers.
Whenever the weather allows for it, we like to eat outside. At dinner time in our little courtyard in the city of Toronto, mother nature treated us to a beautiful scene. A few days later it turned into an invaluable lesson...
A mourning dove landed on the fence, looking us straight in the eye. "What a wonderful sight," I thought, "I bet it's eyeing something on our plate." Without breaking the line of sight, the dove flew over to the side of the deck, even closer, testing the boundaries of its comfort zone.
"Roocoo! Roocoo!" A few minutes later mommy dove arrives, a little chick trailing inches behind her. The family reunited, they waggled to an open space a bit further away, while we watched the scene unfold at a safe distance. By now we realized that daddy had scouted the environment, checking our reactions to his proximity. He must have considered us safe, the little one would not be harmed.
To our surprise, the adults took off, leaving the little one alone. Stunne...
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus was onto something when he said many years ago that
“Change is the only constant”
A saying as true today as it was for Heraclitus in Ancient Greece.
Today, businesses are impacted by change. Competitors introduce new capabilities or services, customers' loyalty shifts from brands towards value propositions, and new and exciting players disrupt the market altogether.
How many of you have been through something labelled as a digital transformation in the past 5 years? Many hands go up, and several people groan. It seems like we are in a constant state of transformation, which is true. Change is the new normal and transformation is the grandiose title given to the work we build around it.
Yet many transformation efforts stall or even fail. We encounter many reasons for this, including market pressure, hierarchy and blame culture. Even gut instinct being the primary way to make decisions comes into play! Core to most digital transformation efforts is aligning technology to business goals, which often creates problems with delivering the desired change due to their different goals.
When technology departments drive the transformation, they often need help explaining the value. Ensuring stability to reduce rework through innovative techniques and tools may not resonate. Still, we do require change through transformation for our businesses to thrive. With...
We rarely find the time to invest in personal development when we are heads down in our work and lives. Often it only occurs when a situation where something outside of our control frees up time. Even then, it takes an effort to invest in our personal development. However, it is you. You who always wanted to improve but never found time or resources to do it. It is you who has this opportunity to invest in your future today!
With the economy having slowed to a point where many organizations either have to fire staff or find them not fully occupied, this is the perfect moment to invest in that improvement there never was time for previously. Perhaps this is the time for your teams to be engaged in a program x-raying your delivery process, identifying initiatives that will set you apart from the competition, and enabling you to come out of this crisis ahead.
Following on from my blog post covering the first two ideals from the Unicorn Project here, I’d like to continue discussing the next two of the five ideals from the book.
The next two ideals from the Unicorn project focus on two important factors of the improving flow in your organization:
Continuous improvement of work
Part of the continuous improvement of work talks to the importance of challenging the status quo, something that can be difficult without psychological safety. Both are necessary to deliver better outcomes from working together.
Let’s delve into these two ideals.