Leading in an Agile environment is all about mindset and understanding what motivates people. This interactive workshop will unpack the superhero archetypes of Agile leaders with their related Agile leadership anti-patterns.

Many leaders come into an Agile environment and feel threatened by a perceived loss of control. Successful Agile leaders empower the team and acknowledge that they can choose their own work and solve their own issues, pull themselves out of the detail and focus on supporting the team, know that if the team succeeds they do too, and are emotionally mature and are not constrained by ego.

The best paradigm to frame the concept of leadership in Agile is that leadership is encouraged at all levels. As such everyone working in an Agile environment is a leader. In smaller organizations this is probably easy to encourage. In larger organizations, where the “Title” or “Position” predominates defines who is a “leader” and who is not, anti-patterns tend to emerge which do not support an Agile culture, even if it is the organisation’s stated vision to become Agile.

In this instance the physical manifestations of Agile are put in place such as physical boards, Scrum ceremonies and an attempt at co-location are put in place. The danger here is that the Agile adoption will be a shallow one and will remain superficial. When the awesome magic of implementing Agile right is not achieved then people blame Agile as being the problem. It is not Agile that makes teams, projects and adoptions fail; it is people that cherry-pick those aspects of Agile that they like and are easy to implement that put the adoption on the path to failure.

All too often leaders dismiss Agile as something the development teams do, rather than as something which affects them too, and that their role is important for its successful adoption. The role of leaders cannot be underestimated to turn a shallow adoption of Agile and make it a deep and lasting change for the organisation’s benefit. In this case, adoption in a small team or program will start the journey toward the tipping point that will make it a lasting organizational change.

This may cause confusion, manifested as cognitive dissonance, in the leader. They may be asking themselves these questions:

- How am I supposed to behave in a changing environment?

- What behaviors am I supposed show to support the values and principles of Agile?

- How do I support support the teams now?

This workshop is based on my learnings and experiences as line manager of a development team in a large organisation, and Agile coach in large organisations in how leaders can in many instances unknowingly "sabotage" Agile initiatives, as well as experiential insights on what the enabling leadership behaviours and characteristics are.

As part of this talk I will share the following:

  • What are the superhero archetypes of Agile leaders.
  • What are the related Agile leadership anti-patterns?
  • Discover the antidote to these anti-patterns (or the good patterns to replace the anti-patterns).

 

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

  1. Setting the stage - I will introduce the superhero archetypes and the related leadership anti-patterns via slides.
  2. I will distribute an individual self-assessment to each participant so that they can identify which superhero archetype they map to. Participants will have a few minutes to complete this in silence.
  3. In the groups formed by each table, each table will splice one of the superhero archetypes' and use The 4Cs (components, characteristics, characters, challenges) to gather and organize information on the useful leadership patterns. I will walk around and offer assistance where needed.
  4. The organisational contexts that encourage anti-patterns will be spliced next, and participants will have the opportunity to identify additional anti-patterns to those presented. 
  5. I will present slides to show the antidotes to common anti-patterns based on experiential insights.
  6. Finally, the workshop will end with each person writing an individual commitment to themselves about improving one of the leadership dimensions identified in the self-assessment, and placing it into a sealed envelope to open at a time in the future to see how they have improved.

This session is aimed at people who are not new to Agile and have been working in an Agile environment for about a year - enough time to allow insight into leadership anti-patterns - their own and/or other people in their environment.

Learning Outcome

  1. In Agile leadership is encouraged at all levels and each participant in the Agile process plays an important role in their team. Self-awareness is a key characteristic to have in personal improvement. Each person has different leadership traits and recognizing what they are and which needs to be developed is an important discovery.
  2. There are a host of leadership anti-patterns that do not support an Agile culture. Participants will assist in discovering these.
  3. One cannot paint all organizations with the same brush. Each organization has different enabling and non-enabling contexts to. Participants will discover the organisational contexts that encourage leadership anti-patterns that do not support an Agile culture.
  4. Participants will be equipped with examples of the correct leadership patterns.
  5. Participants will learn how they can best support their team and the organization.  

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Development Managers, Project Managers, Programme Managers, Development Teams.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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  • Naresh Jain
    By Naresh Jain  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    I'm not able to view the slides. Can you please see if the link is correct? Also searching online we could not find any of your presentation video. Can you please point us to a video as well?

  • Venkatraman L
    By Venkatraman L  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Dear Regina,

    Thanks for the proposal. 

    Can you please update the proposal with the following 

    • Video Links of this or past presentations that you have done ? Else, would be great if you can shoot a quick one explaining this proposal and let us know

    Please do also review http://2016.agileindia.org/#speaker/tips-for-proposal and also check out other proposals to get some more idea of additional information to be provided with the proposal.

    Would be good if you can complete the proposal in all aspects, so that reviewers can take this forward. 

    Thanks

    Venkat

    • Regina Martins
      By Regina Martins  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      Dear Venkat,

      Thank you for the feedback. I have updated the proposal with additional information. I have presented at a conference before and also at the Scrum User Group on another topic. Unfortunately I do not have video or audio of either of these presentations (I have included a link to the slides).

      I am doing this workshop at the Scrum Gathering in South Africa next month and I will ensure that it is recorded on video.

      I also do public speaking in a club as part of Toastmasters International, and am an Agile coach, trainer and facilitator, so I am comfortable speaking in front of people.

      Please let me know how else I can improve the proposal to make it easy for the reviewers to make a decision.

      Regards,

      Regina

      • Ravi Kumar
        By Ravi Kumar  ~  1 year ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Regina,

        This is an interesting topic. In your learning outcome you've mentioned about the leadership traits and the organization context which I believe would give rise to some of the agile leadership pattterns/anti-patterns. Can you share few samples of the leadership traits and the patterns/anti-patterns?

         

        Thanks,

        Ravi

      • Venkatraman L
        By Venkatraman L  ~  1 year ago
        reply Reply

        Thanks Regina. Great to know you are a speaker at multiple events. Would you mind shooting a quick video of yourself explaining this proposal, the outcomes etc in the interim till you can post the SG @ SA Video, if you get a chance to shoot that too ? Good luck to your SA event ! 

        Thanks

        Venkat


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