Category Archives: Leadership

Topics around leadership: How to shape teams where the whole is more than the sum of the parts.

Agile – mindset or toolset?

“Agile” is becoming a “slow hype”. Originating in IT, where it has turned everything upside down many years ago, the desire to “be agile” is starting to spread into other industries. Especially where feedback cycles are a lot slower than in IT, leaders would like to benefit from the “toolbox” of agile without recreating the entire company culture.

On the other hand, every serious practitioner of agile is going to tell you “agile is an attitude” or some such. Agilists tell you that agile is a mindset, and that that mindset has created a matching toolset, and that the toolset without the mindset has questionable value.

In a sense, both are right. In another sense, both aren’t.
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Learning to love the rain

From the attic: I’ve written this years ago but didn’t publish it for one reason or another. It’s not recent, but worth a thought or two anyways… Whatever, here comes:

The other day, I had a very interesting discussion with a friend-colleague-mentor about unpopular truths in large corporate environments.

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Brainstorming with an Anecdote

Time to kick off a brainstorming session. How to do that? – Reminding everybody about how brainstorming works? Focussing people on the topic at hand?
Fortunately, I ran across this nice article “Twitter Strangers” just in time. I re-told the article (admittedly in a creative interpretation), roughly with the following key content: about the tendency to get stuck in the same associations, about the challenge to be really creative and about a simple experiment that shows the value of unexpected contributions. It was just the material I needed to wake everybody up, establish some cliff-hangers and so on to bring some spice back into the heads.
In the workshop summaries, the resulting brainstorming was repeatedly highlighted for its energy level 🙂
For me, this proves once again: The success of any kind of group activity is determined by the ability to put everybody into the same frame of mind.

Image Credit: kevindooley / Flickr

Functional Fixedness: Real-world examples

You may remember the candle experiment from the recent post “Motivation 2.0: Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation“. The whole point of the candle experiment is to demonstrate that overcoming functional fixedness can not be accelerated with carrots and sticks – on the contrary.

Here, I’d like to give three real-world examples for overcoming functional fixedness. Or actually… one example for, two examples against it.
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