What needs to change in top management during an agile transition? Top management must learn to lead more “value-orientated”. To do this, explicit values must first exist. The agile manifesto proposes four values:
1. individuals and interactions – more than processes and tools.
2. functioning products – more than comprehensive documentation.
3. collaboration with the customer – more than contract negotiations.
4. reacting to change – more than following a plan.
But every company should consider for itself which values are the right ones in the respective phase of the company. They should not contain standard phrases, but should be individualised and appropriate. One thing is particularly important: top management must exemplify the values.
But that is not so easy. Intelligent top managers know this too. They are supported by a coach who gives them honest and personalised feedback. Good feedback is all the rarer the higher up you are in the hierarchy. But if you no longer receive honest feedback, you become more and more detached from reality. You are lonely at the top.
People no longer work just for money. Of course, the money has to be right. But if someone only works for money, then something is wrong. If the purpose is right, the effort no longer plays the same role.
“You’re not working on a stone – you’re building a cathedral!” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
Giving meaning is a fine art. It always takes creativity and time to find and formulate the right meaning in the right situation. Your key players need meaning in order to be highly motivated to achieve their goals. These are the real tasks of a top manager.
AGILE offers the opportunity to create SENSE every 2 weeks during the sprint transition – take advantage of it!
Praising incorrectly is harmful. You can praise your dog when it parries.
Waldorf education avoids praising children. Why? Because it prevents children from becoming independent.
My youngest son once said at the age of 3: “I did a good job!”. And I could see from his face that any comment from me was unnecessary, perhaps even harmful.
Appreciating value is different from praising. Appreciating value requires being very attentive. “Catch them when they are good!” This is the simple formula of a very successful basketball coach that I will never forget. It expresses so beautifully that you have to keep looking.
Appreciating value does not mean that you are not allowed to criticise. I have experienced excellent managers who did not suppress their outbursts of anger. Nobody took offence – it was authentic. I wouldn’t derive any rules from this – leadership remains individual and situational – everyone is different. Find your own individual style.