What Is Protected in Your Organization?

More importantly, what does that tell you?    It’s a simple question—and one of the most powerful ones you can ask.   Are some of your teams not producing like you think they should? Ask what the members are protecting.   Are some of your change initiatives halted? Ask what is being protected in the status quo.   Are …

Framework vs. Framework: Agile and Waterfall

This isn’t a competition, and one isn’t better than the other.  Coming out of the agile world, waterfall development is often vilified. That’s not how we approach conversations at Sketch, even though we’re an agile shop. The truth is it’s just a different type of tool for a different type of work.   One isn’t better or superior. In my …

Harnessing vs. Resisting Change

Agile Principle #2:  “Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.”     OK, yes, everyone talks about harnessing change. There is even a book on Amazon with the title, and it’s just one of hundreds of books about change and change management. But talking is one thing, and …

4 Ways DiSC Personalities Might Resist Change

Everyone has their comfort zone—especially during an agile transformation.  Now that your agile transformation is underway, some cracks may be beginning to show. Maybe tasks aren’t getting done and are just being pushed from sprint to sprint. Or meetings are dragging on and they don’t yet feel productive. Or maybe some people are just uneasy, …

Recognizing and Preventing Agile Burnout

Agile burnout isn’t something you’re going to find in a Google search, but it’s something that may be happening right in front of you right now.    Agile is at once a massively ubiquitous term, and often deeply misunderstood. Agile mindsets and environments are often implemented in a patchwork way. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing (we …

Is Management Just a Relic of the Past?

Modern management is not inevitable; it was a set of practices invented for a specific place and time. Could it be that the very idea is now outdated?   OK, I have something to confess. When I told a few colleagues what I was writing about—that modern management was an outdated concept—they laughed. “Beating up on …

How HR Can Help Managers Lead Virtually

Working from home is the new normal, and it is affecting how organizations manage and retain talent. That’s where HR comes in. No one is quite prepared to take the overall emotional temperature of a company quite like HR, and it’s hard to imagine anything that has impacted your company culture more than the abrupt …

QUIZ: Which Problematic Leader Are You (Dealing With)?

Before You Update Your Resume, Try Some Agile Thinking about Your Boss...and Take This Quiz! Effective or ineffective leaders dictate not just how happy you are in a job, but the overall nature and success of your products. But leaders are, like the rest of us, human. Your very human leader has strengths and weaknesses …

[INFOGRAPHIC] 11 Mindset Shifts Leaders and Teams Must Adopt Now

Are you overly focused on what you or your team are doing at the expense of remembering why you're doing it in the first place? Do you constantly find your team in execution mode, churning out work that's measured by output rather than outcome? Are you a leader who believes managing a team means commanding …