Welcome Derek Huether and Denise Taylor to LeadingAgile

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 June 2012 01:07 Written by Mike Cottmeyer Saturday, 30 June 2012 01:05

Hey everyone… LeadingAgile is growing again.

Derek Huether of The Critical Path and Zombie Project Management fame is joining LeadingAgile effective this afternoon.  Derek is going to be busy right out of the gate helping us spin up public training around the Southeast and assisting with some of our larger client engagements.  I’ve known Derek since my days at VersionOne… back when he was still doing government work at the National Archives. It’s great to have the opportunity to work with someone you know, trust, like, and respect… who also happens to be a great agile coach.. and incidentally shares the same love of coffee and beer!  Click here for more info on Derek.

Welcome Derek!

Denise Taylor joined LeadingAgile back in January as our Office Manager.  Right after Dennis and Dean joined in 2011 and we hired Rick… I knew LeadingAgile was going to need some office help pretty quick.  I’ve known Denise nearly my entire life and she is a great friend… a great person… and is super awesome at keeping our finances in-line and doing all the administrative stuff I don’t have time to do.  Denise also happens to be my sister… which only means she has practice looking after me and doesn’t put up with any of my crap.  That last bit may be her most valuable skill and key to her long term success with LeadingAgile ;-)

Welcome Denise!

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Getting Started

Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 11:15 Written by Dennis Stevens Monday, 25 June 2012 12:41

Synaptus and LeadingAgile came together in January. It is pretty compelling. Mike and I are both in Atlanta. We enjoy hanging out together. We have been collaborating on content, supporting the Atlanta Agile community, and sharing clients for a few years. We have started to build toward our vision in a way that would be challenging individually. The future for LeadingAgile is really exciting.

One of the outcomes from coming together was that I would start contributing to the LeadingAgile blog. I know how write blog posts. I have over 200 blog posts from my last two blogs – around a blog post a week for almost 4 years. Mike is a great model of successfully building a strong community by writing here. I have the access to post anytime I want. And I believe that it is important for me to start posting here to accomplish our vision for LeadingAgile.

Yet, here is it the end of June and I am just putting up my first post. It is interesting that I haven’t gotten started before now. What’s going on here?

Change Management

Last week I was in the office with Brian, the CTO at a client. We have had some challenges with a few of the Product Teams changing their behaviors to really be Agile. We were discussing strategies for getting the change we were looking for to take root.

We have told a compelling story and everyone is “bought-in” to the change. We have done training and provided one-to-one coaching so they believe they have the competence. The teams that have switched to Agile are having success and have been recognized as role models. The organization structures, goals, and incentives are aligned with the outcomes. Yet we still have a couple teams procrastinating in the desired changes. What’s going on here?

Resistance Management

The CTO and I recognize we are into the tough part of change management – resistance to change. After pursuing basic change management, resistance to change is personal. It involves individual’s WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?” It comes up when the person doesn’t feel dissatisfaction with the current state, doesn’t have a desire for the future outcome, and doesn’t sense safety in making the change.

Resistance to change is irrational. The compelling story, competency, role models and organization structures are external. But feeling, desire, and safety are internal to the individual. At the root of irrational resistance is an innate desire to be successful. Our brains remember that there was a time when being certain about the future meant staying alive. When the future is uncertain resistance is expressed as fear, embarrassment, and loss.

Just Get Started

Brian related getting past this resistance to change to his experience fixing the railing on his deck. He had talked to a guy at the local home improvement store and had been shown what to do. He was sure he had the right tools and materials. But he felt uncomfortable getting started. So he focused on a small task – creating one joint for the railing. Through this task he would learn if he could do the work, needed to ask a few more questions, or needed to hire someone. Once he got started he realized that while he didn’t have a perfect understanding from the local home improvement store – he was able to figure it out by trying some things. In the end it was a lot less painful than he had imagined.

As I was sitting in the office with Brian I had a “the cobbler’s kid has no shoes” moment. I needed to do some personal resistance management. We have addressed all the rational issues (compelling story, competence, role model, and incentives). My procrastination is irrational resistance.

Brian’s story demonstrates a proven pattern for addressing this resistance. Become aware of the resistance. Pick a specific behavior to work on. Make sure you have the right tools and skills to get started. Use getting started is the beginning of the process. Then get started and learn from the result.

The key is to get started. So I did. As I get ready to post this I realize it was a less painful then I imagined it would be.

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