Power, Rank and Privilege in an "Agile" Environment
At the core of Agile was the attempt to strip away the traditional hierarchical structures in order to empower people and help teams to succeed. However, just because some job titles and line management lines may have gone: power, rank and privilege can still stalk these organisations in many guises causing confusion, conflict and potentially toxic environments. Some might argue, that even with all the best intentions in the world, what we have actually created is a "Lord of the Flies" situation where that flat heirarchy and "empowerment" has actually stripped the support structures away from people who needed them most (such as minority groups, gender, race). Has "better ways of working" actually propelled us backwards? Have we forgotten to support and nurture the "people and interactions" piece with our focus on stripped down process? Or has helped shine a light on issues long covered up by making them more visible but we now have to find out new ways to approach power, rank and privilege in our modern environment.
In this workshop we will explore this usually avoided topic in the modern Australian Workplace (and within the Agile community) using an organisation and relationship systems coaching (ORSC) approach where we can start to reveal a system to itself and then start to use the natural intelligence and creativity within the group to help address this difficult but fundamental issue.
This is a very interactive workshop, with no slides and those that will be attending will be expected to do most of the work(!) while guided by the experienced ORSC facilitator. Therefore each session of these workshops can be profoundly different depending on the system of people who attend. However, all participants should leave with a deeper understanding (or at the very least a whole new set of questions) on the meaning of "power" within a working environment and also an experience of how a systems inspired approach can help address such "edgy" topics.
Outline/Structure of the Simulation
- Welcome. Get everyone seated and settled into the circle
- Introduction. Introduce the topic with some key stats and information as prompts
- DTA. Run a quick "Designed Team Alliance (DTA)" session to ensure respectful basis for moving session forward
- Informal Constellation. The bulk of the first part of the session is an "Informal Constellation" where attendees are invited to walk around topics put in the centre of the room by the facilitator and gravitate to where they feel comfortable. Within close pairs they will discuss why they are standing where they are. We will then invite voices from the centre to the outside edge to share with the larger group. The topics are designed to be deeper and more controversial to increase intensity and provoke thought and discussion!
- Circle Discussion. Bring everyone back to the circle to share the key insights. We might run a quick "Appreciation Loop" at this point to bring people back to more positive thoughts.
- Wrap Up. Thank everyone and point them in the direction of further resources, books, podcasts that go much further than the surface explored today.
The learnings are two fold
- The first should be an appreciation that there are some profound issues that the agile community needs to address around power, rank and privilege. Stripping away structures and replacing them with new ones does not necessarily make things better - especially for marginalised groups. Hopefully we get to explore some solutions as well.
- An experience of a more ORSC-like systems coaching approach which they can use to address not just this but a myriad of other topics.
This is open to everyone from the most junior and inexperienced to senior leaders who grapple with this day to day. An openness of mind and a respectful curiosity is needed however.
Prerequisites for Attendees
There is no explicit prerequisites before attending apart from thinking about how power, rank and privilege might have played out for them and those around them particularly (but not exclusively) in an agile or a better ways of working environment.
- Power. Much of this session covers topics introduced by Julie Diamond in this profound book (Power : A Users Guide).
- BVSSH. The context is probably best summarised by Better Value Sooner, Safer, Happier. BVSSH does not go into this explicitly but does discuss some of the profound problems with a traditional approach to "transformations" - Power is yet another angle.
- ORSC. Even if you are not that interested in the topic, the way the session will be run is very different and quite "ORSC-like"! If you want to know more about ORSC this is a good chance to dip your toe in the water
schedule Submitted 10 months ago
People who liked this proposal, also liked:
David Morris - Co-design the CYNEFIN gameDavid MorrisBare Foot TravellerSophorum
schedule 11 months agoSold Out!
The Cynefin framework has had a huge impact on being able to talk about complexity in systems thinking, and its widespread use facilitates many of us situationally finding which approach might suit our current problems. However, as simple as it looks, it can be difficult to learn and use.
Sure, there are alternative ways of exploring Cynefin. I've used the corridor game, designed a 3D printed model (see below), and even scripted a Lego stop-animation movie for it -- but recently got a lightbulb over the head moment -- maybe it would be easier to learn as a board game?
I've had some initial thoughts, but thought it would be fun to collaborate with others on this, to co-design what it could look like. Dave Snowden is already on board and keen to see what could be developed (he's also keen on the Lego movie, but that's for another day).
Katrina Kolt - Three practical techniques to overcome conflict in teams or organisationsKatrina KoltAgile Capability LeadColes
schedule 11 months agoSold Out!
Whether it’s lack of alignment between team members, or friction between areas within an organisation, conflict leads to unhappiness and poor flow of work. Learn how to run a workshop to surface the antidote to conflict – empathy and common ground.
This workshop is designed to support teams or organisations who are eager to find a functional way beyond either silent, or outspoken conflict. It uses several tools from systems coaching (Relationship Myth, Lands Work and Third Entity), but no special skills are required to adapt it to your own team or workplace.
You can use this workshop in contexts such as team or organisational reset activities, or as a standalone conflict resolution intervention.
This is a learning by doing workshop, so expect to jump in and have a go!
David Williams - Creating a dream workplace using an informal constellationDavid WilliamsAgile CoachANZ
schedule 11 months agoSold Out!
Learn how to run a workshop to build a collective vision of a team's dream workplace and then reveal their current state and collective agency to create their dream. This workshop was designed to help teams in their early forming stages, but can be used at any time that they are missing the spark and energy to work better together.
The workshop uses a tool from Organization Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC) called Informal Constellation. This tool is one of my favorite tools that I often design into various coaching situations. ORSC works with teams as a whole and seeks to improve the intelligence of the collective or system by revealing what is not seen.
This workshop works well as a precursor to creating a social contract, team agreement, team charter, or designed team alliance DTA (an ORSC tool ).
You will learn how to run the workshop by doing it. This workshop is a cut down version of the actual workshop that I use with teams.
Chris Chan - How to Coach for ImpactChris ChanOrganisational & Leadership CoachANZ Bank
schedule 11 months agoSold Out!
Coaching is one of the biggest drivers of performance improvement. This workshop will help everyone, in particular Team Leaders, Technical Leads and Managers understand and practice the basics of coaching which will enable you to to be a more effective leader and coach.
International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.
LAST (Lean Agile & Systems Thinking) involves many changes in mindset, process, practice and ways of working. We often get stuck as we try to figure out how to incorporate LAST into our daily work. Coaching is an approach for helping people to get unstuck and trying to accelerate their transition to a different way of thinking and working. In this workshop we will also move away from Agile and Agile Coaching and explore Professional Coaching as described by ICF and how it can help people's personal and work lives in general.
In this workshop we will explore two parts of coaching. The first part consists of supportive behaviours and the second part the coaching-specific skills. We will then have the opportunity to practice coaching skills in pairs.
Christiane Anderson - Leading with empathy during change using systems coaching (ORSC tm)Christiane AndersonEnterprise CoachPeople Over Process
schedule 10 months agoSold Out!
Crossing edges - the challenges and path through change - what happens when an organisation changes its identity and what to do about it
Organisational changes such a restructures, transformations and agile operating model implementations are prone to many challenges. Agile Coaches, Change Leaders and the Business Leaders themselves can struggle with guiding others towards the new world and ultimately a lot of transformations fail due to change fatigue and lack of engagement.
In this talk we will use theory and practical examples to explore how sustainable change can occur.