Applied Servant Leadership: Let’s recap

Our series on Servant Leadership draws to a close.

The premiseIt’s time to reclaim Servant Leadership. Instead of describing Servant Leadership through the lens of the Scrum Master (an understandable but limiting perspective), let’s put it in the context of Lean-Agile transformation. After all, what is leadership if it is not transformational?

Six areas for attention

The six leadership concerns here correspond to the six main strategies in our white paper 6+1 Essential strategies for successful Lean-Agile transformation. Take a few moments to reflect on themnow:

  1. Skills: Do you know what a modern, fast, customer-focussed delivery capability looks like? All the way upstream and downstream from your core development process? Did you remember skills of leadership and change management? Think about where your organisation needs to be, and don’t make the mistake of using your own skillset as the baseline.
  2. Needs: It might seem a funny question to ask, but are you meeting needs? Are needs the true focus of your process? Do you understand how radical and transformative this change of perspective can be? Does your organisation?
  3. Team: Through service – not just to the team, but by the team and by teams in combination – we help the organisation continue to become what it needs to become. What is your contribution to that transformational process?
  4. Improvement: Are you giving what it takes to sustain improvement? The attention to organisational design, the significant management effort, the ongoing leadership? Will you make it it a personal priority, ensuring sponsorship, safety, and commitment? Or will you see it fall by the wayside, as so often it does?
  5. Alignment: Where’s the follow-through? Are your improvement and transformation efforts supported by the same (or equivalent) feedback loops that keep your delivery work on track? Or are even those inadequate?
  6. Purpose: Can every member of your team describe with confidence what (collectively) you deliver, to whom and why it matters? Can you do the same on behalf of your peers and seniors? How often do you dig deeper to rediscover and reaffirm the things that keep you moving together in the right direction?

Why this campaign, what does it have to do with Agendashift?

We – like you perhaps – are in the business of Lean-Agile transformation. Purposeful transformation requires leadership, we know of no better leadership model that Servant Leadership and it deserves much better than the shallow treatment it tends to receive.

As Agendashift we ask servant-leaders and their organisations to reflect and dig deeper, but we know that this is hard work. So we help! Taking together the tools and the workshops (both of which we will very soon be making available to other facilitators) and the training:

  1. Skills: We bring hypothesis-driven (Lean Startup-inspired) techniques to the fore, fully integrated into our explicitly values-based treatment of Lean-Agile and Kanban. Add generous sprinklings of complexity (Cynefin), A3 (Lean) and coaching techniques (Clean Language) into the mix too.
  2. Needs: Whether or not it because we love to share our first-hand experiences of working in needs-first environments, repeatedly we find that users of our tools choose to prioritise these aspects.
  3. Team: Right conversation, right time, between the right people. This is our goal not just within teams but between them. And it starts with digging deeper and reaching meaningful agreement on things that matter.
  4. Improvement: We wouldn’t be too offended to hear Agendashift described as “improvement on steroids”. It is significantly more than that, but we definitely have this one covered!
  5. Alignment: As you might expect, alignment to values is baked in. We pay careful attention to other forms of alignment too, and Agendashift has been recognised by others as a Strategy Deployment approach.
  6. Purpose: We love to work with mixed groups – frontline staff rubbing shoulders with senior managers (right up to the C-suite) and their customers. We can (and do) work explicitly on purpose, but any agreement here is gold!

That’s the series wrapped up. If you enjoyed it, do give our white paper a read! Get it here: 6+1 Essential strategies for successful Lean-Agile transformation.


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