Agility hinges on the prevailing assumptions about human nature in the organization. Wherever people are generally distrusted and where the belief prevails that people must be motivated to perform, agility will not thrive, but only fear, cargo cult and label fraud. The problem is not people, but demotivating and dehumanizing structures and processes.
There’s a lot of whining and complaining. After all, it is very easy to be outraged about the mistakes made by others and especially by “those up there”. However, this way we focus our thoughts on deficits and problems and tend to ignore the fact that the half-empty glass is also half full. This negativity bias, i.e., the tendency to perceive the negative more strongly than the positive, has been well researched scientifically and seems to be deeply rooted in our human nature. Therefore, it takes mindfulness and practice to overcome it. A nice start is to show appreciation in the form of the new Kudos Cards for the Manifesto for Human Leadership.
Only those who can lead themselves can lead others. This is how Father Anselm Grün sums up the essential challenge of self-leadership. Those who want to serve life and unleash human potential as described in the Manifesto for Human Leadership need first and foremost clarity about the nature of life and especially about their life. Only who has? And who takes the time today to think about the nature of life? A short excursion into Taoism exemplified by the evolution of the Manifesto for Human Leadership.
From his decades of experience with the agile transformation of organizations and in particular with the introduction of the LeSS framework developed by Bas Vodde and himself, Craig Larman has summarized several observations as “Larman’s Laws of Organizational Behavior“. These “laws” nicely describe in various facets the inertia of hierarchical structures that implicitly always tend to preserve the status quo of middle and top management and established power structures in general. This hits the misunderstood and underestimated role of the Scrum Master particularly hard.
The Manifesto for Human(e) Leadership is on the one hand a useful stimulus for personal reflection on one’s own leadership qualities, especially in the form of the recently published e-book. On the other hand, its theses also provide a useful framework for an interactive workshop in which leaders can reflect and discuss those theses and their respective stances. Exclusively for my readers I offer for free this brand-new workshop format.