Agile or not, lots to reflect on and love in this thread on agile teams.
Skip the hype cycle, recognise your biases and default position as well as other’s biases and default positions to look at problems in context of their changing conditions. This is the overriding message of The Heretics Guide to Management by Paul Culmsee and Kailash Awati. This book was recommended to me by a sage and savvy colleague and friend. It opened my eyes to just how attached I was to certain tools, processes, and practices — namely Design Thinking. This book challenged me to think about just how unproductive we can be when we don’t acknowledge our professional culture wars. If you hold on to traditional strategy methodologies, if you think the latest innovation model is the best way, if you think design thinking is the only way, read this book.
If you find yourself unable to think in your open plan office you may be interested in reading this New York Times article The Rise of the New Group Think that argues the case for private space to be productive and creative.
So did that last brainstorming session you were in that was meant to generate a hundred ideas deliver? If not, here’s why:
Sylvia Pennington reports on the characteristics of the perfect boss. How does your boss stack up? Or if you’re the boss how do you stack up? The cheat sheet list is:
Productivity versus collaboration. Isolation versus distraction. The pros and cons of working from home and “telecommuting” were making the rounds last week with articles about Google and Yahoo policies. Google, despite enabling its users to collaborate remotely doesn’t favour the practise itself. The positions of these companies on the matter are summarised by Asher Moses and Ben Grubb with some additional research facts, stats and links. Here’s a sample:
The image FAST COMPANY chose to lead this article isn’t quite representative of the ideas discussed. They should have chosen something more like this …
Collaboration is as different from cooperation as the word transformation is from change. When you and I cooperate, we work separately and make accommodations for each other. When we collaborate, we are not simply making room for each other’s creations; we are co-creating the future together.
“the idea behind brainstorming is right. To innovate, we need environments that support imaginative thinking, where we can go through many crazy, tangential, and even bad ideas to come up with good ones. We need to work both collaboratively and individually. We also need a healthy amount of heated discussion, even arguing. We need places where someone can throw out a thought, have it critiqued, and not feel so judged that they become defensive and shut down. Yet this creative process is not necessarily supported by the traditional tenets of brainstorming: group collaboration, all ideas held equal, nothing judged.
Firms are holding training sessions to teach employees the basics of what’s known as visual note taking. Others, like vacation-rental company HomeAway Inc. and retailer Zappos, are hiring graphic recorders, consultants who sketch what is discussed at meetings and conferences, cartoon-style, to keep employees engaged.