Colonel Ranjeev Babu VSM - An Ontological Perspective of Agile Leadership : Does it have relevance in a VUCA world?

What is the background situation/context for your probe?

Having operated in a VUCA environment for 25 years as a counter-terrorist specialist and combat helicopter pilot, I have been witness to the emergence of leadership where ordinary people performed extraordinary results. I have been witness to live instances where a seemingly ordinary man performed extra ordinary work. What they performed was from what they were 'Being' and not 'Doing'.

I have questioned the prevailing presupposition in the corporate mindset that a leader has to have certain prerequisite traits to be an effective leader. Imbibed either through an elaborate certification process or through industry-specific skill sets. My inquiry is to invalidate the perception in the Agile environment that it takes special skill sets to be a leader, that can only be harnessed through programs,workshops and training. Through my personal experience and emperical data, i wish to support my hypothesis that Agile Leardership is more an ontological phenomena that has great relevance in a VUCA environment.

What is (or has been) your hypothesis?

Leadership is an inborn characteristic of every human. It has an evolutionary existence for survival. Leadership is not about leading others to execute a task, but how to lead oneself along with others towards mission accomplishment. My hypothesis is that Agile Leadership is an ontological phenomenon that occurs in one's Beign and not in one's attitude, character or personality.

What is the experiment you would like to run (or you have run) and how can this experiment validate or invalidate your hypothesis?

 Leadership is a natural expression of 'Being' and not special traits to be demonstrated. Leadership is just not about leading the way and getting things done.

  The constraints of the past, impinge this natural ability. Once, they are free from the constraints of the past, they are free to explore into new realms of possibilities. I wish to validate my hypothesis by proving how effective coaching conversations from an ontological perspective can effectively make a person become more self-aware of his or her existing 'blind spots' and how he or she can become more self-regulated and self-controlled thereby becoming a natural expression of their inborn leadership.

Is there a specific skill/technique you would like to learn/explore at this coach camp?

I would wish to know how critical are coaching conversations in Agile transformation from an ontological point of view. Why, How and What are the essentials to create coaching conversations as part of organisational culture. How such conversations and interactions reveal the natural leadership ability of a human from a 'Being'perspective, thereby making them more self-expressive, socially adaptable and free.

Call for Papers CLOSED
Ended on Jan 25 '20 05:29 AM IST

Interested in attending the Agile Coach Camp on Oct 11th in Bengaluru? Read on...

It's been 12 Years and almost 110 viral Agile Coach Camps since our very first coach camp experiment. This year, Coach Camp co-creator Naresh Jain along with Jutta Eckstein and John Buck will lead participants in this Coach Camp in Bangalore, organized as part of the Agile India 2020 Conference.

Coach Camp Theme

As a coach, you're often the one who needs to drive and sustain change. Yet, how do you do this? What has helped and hindered you doing so and how can you best pass your experience on to other coaches or how can you best learn from other coaches?

This is the theme for this year's coach camp. To tackle this challenge, we invite you to try something new:

  • Currently, we face the following situation: Constantly driving change is getting more and more important for companies to survive in this VUCA world. At the same time, it is (or should be) the core skill of every coach – no matter if you coach individuals, teams, or organisations. However, sometimes it seems every coach has to come up with her own experience on how to drive change successfully.
  • Our hypothesis is that for driving change, every coach uses so-called probes, that are defined by small, safe-to-fail experiments based on hypotheses derived from reflection on the current situation as well as on theory. So, probing allows discovering (based on the hypothesis) what's working and what is not through one or several experiments. This allows to make sense of both the current situation but even more important of the situation we are aiming for. And if we create a knowledge base of our collective wisdom on probes we used (or intend to use) we can learn from each other.
  • Therefore, as an experiment we want to invite this year's coach camp participants to jointly discover, share, create, improve, and finally publish probes that help(ed) driving and sustaining change. As in a typical coach camp, we will use the Open Space format to explore different topics for driving change and we invite you to use probes to focus the discussions on these different topics. We anticipate as a result that the discovered and created probes will provide a foundation for such a knowledge base.

Registering for the Coach Camp

The coach camp is free of charge (financially) yet, for registration we ask you for the following:

  • Please click on the Add Paper button and submit your position paper. In your position paper, you will be asked to share an idea for a probe, consisting of a background situation (context), a hypothesis, and an experiment. This can be a probe you've implemented before, one you've discovered/heard of others implementing it, or you intend to implement. The probe should focus on the coach camp's theme: Driving Change.
  • The discussed probes provide a basis for a free and publicly accessible knowledge base.

Final Note

Please note, we want to invite you to use probes for the discussion and recording of the Open Space sessions. This is by no means an enforcement. We are well aware that there might be situations where probes are not the right means for discussing or/and recording a particular topic - and that is of course fine. After all, using probes for this coach camp is a probe in itself (and we are open to possibly invalidate our hypothesis.)