Sunday, 29 April 2018

How to get it done in organisations

I was attending a course during 2016. Attending were a whole bunch of people from many different walks of life, and many different organisation experiences and levels.

Out of the blue, one of my fellow trainees was explaining how they, in their role of working with many organisations on big business-to-business transactions, had discovered a very useful approach to getting things done in their own organisation, as well as client organisations.

"Want something done? Give it to a busy person"

This statement about "how to get it done" in large organisations drew quite a negative reaction from within me.

I realised the statement was right and wrong at the same time.

Busy people have figured out ways to give and to create more value to the organisation - by being of good service, they are asked to do more and more. They figure out ways to do more and more - usually alternative work practices that make them more streamlined / efficient. They become extremely knowledgeable across the whole organisation - knowing who's who, and who to go to directly and for what. Also importantly, they know which avenues to not even bother to try - saving everyone time and frustration.

So...the statement still makes me feel a bit ill, but I also recognise the truth in it. Many organisations I have worked within are literally functioning mostly as a result of these very busy network nodes.

For managers and leaders - look after your ever-busy people - they are busy keeping things moving in the right direction. You may not know what keeps them so busy - but perhaps that's where a little more curiosity and study will be quite revealing!

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Agile in four or 4 words

I've been heavily reflecting on last week's post agile in 3 words and I'm not happy enough with it.

So this is a response to that previous thought - to bring in a previous previous thought I captured in this older post Open question how.

I think the shortest summary to what is agile - other than "collaborative lightweight working practices" that means many different abstract things to many different people I've tried it on...and gotten nowhere with, is actually:

"How can I help?"

This one induces in the person asking out loud or silently to themselves the teamworking principles, the proaction, the learning, and more. That lovely "how?" question really opens things up a lot more.

Especially in response to my earlier attempt "Can I help?" - a simple "No" would stop anyone in their tracks. And that "No" is to be expected when people are massively in a state of focus and don't want any interruptions.

The simple introduction of the "How" makes this a question that a team member can get creative with by themselves and come up with more creative suggestions - even innovative practice improvements.

How do you think this is better or worse than the earlier version?

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