Month: January 2018

Agile? Nice and orderly, please!

From Lenin comes the statement, which unfortunately cannot be denied entirely: “Revolution in Germany? It’s never going to happen. If those Germans want to storm a station, they’ll still buy a platform ticket!” We Germans are known and appreciated for such virtues as diligence, conscientiousness, and sense of order. Even though we sometimes overdo it, complain about over-regulation and incapacitation and then demand a reduction in bureaucracy, our relationship with creative diversity is somewhat strained. We prefer it neat and orderly. Without having checked it scientifically, I would assume that most of the lawn edges are sold and laid in Germany. Everything has to be in its proper order. Even our striving for agility, which then, of course, falls into the category “You can’t have your cake and eat it!”

Social Media Icons on a Smartphone

Employee Advocacy: Word of Mouth in the Digital Age

Many organizations struggle to deal in a positive way with social media. Internally, a lot of the potential of networking in an enterprise social network is still untapped and externally, the use of social media is in many cases limited to the distribution of press releases via the official channels of the organization. In most cases, employees are significantly more experienced in this field than their employer. Digital natives, in particular, inhabit this virtual public space quite naturally as private persons and get involved on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. That is what it is and cannot be avoided or banned. So how should the organization deal with this?

The Aesthetics of Failure

In Japan, there is the art of Kintsugi. In this traditional repair method, broken ceramics are glued with a lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. Rather than concealing the fractures in the best possible way, they are then highlighted. The blemish is seen as an important part of the history of the object and it is precisely in this unique imperfection that the actual beauty is seen. This artistic repair work clearly shows the principle of Wabi-Sabi, which is aptly described by Buddhist author Taro Gold as “the wisdom and beauty of imperfection”.

Agile without a Plan?

Planning replaces coincidence with failure. This bon mot is attributed to Albert Einstein. It’s not the first time I’ve used it in this blog. Already the second article bore this title. The right degree of planning and the purpose of plans has occupied me ever since – especially in the light of the agile transformation. After all, the Agile Manifesto says, “Responding to change over following a plan.” And quite a few conclude from this that there is no longer any need for planning in Scrum and Co. In fact, however, the opposite is true, it is being planned more and more often on different levels. But not for the sake of the plan itself but for the common understanding of the project.

Lead like a Gardener

The military is often cited as an example and blueprint for hierarchical organizations. With good reason, because in the course of industrialization, many companies were indeed inspired by the organization of the military. And quite a number of companies are still managed with command and order today. It is often forgotten that the military, especially in complex and ambiguous situations – and these are becoming more and more – has long been relying on the speed and effectiveness of autonomy and self-organization.