Agendashift roundup, Right to Left edition

In this edition: Right to Left; Gearing up for the autumn; Top posts

Right to Left

The title says it all:

Specifically, it’s out in print and Kindle; epub format is on its way (I’ve seen it, so now it’s just a question of distribution). I get asked about doing it as an audiobook, and whilst I’m certainly considering it and wrote it with that possibility in mind, the answer for now is not to wait for it.

Launching in mid August might not have been the smartest thing to do – it was an act of impatience, having failed to launch in June as first hoped. That said, the feedback so far has been great – a common theme being that people are already buying multiple copies! As per my original concept for the book, it’s “a book you’ll give your manager and hope they’ll give to theirs”. So be like Paul (below) and buy three – you’ll need your own copy of course! And I’ll keep saying it: do please leave a bookstore review – you’ve no idea how much they help.

Screenshot 2019-08-29 10.13.31

With Mathias Tölken I’ve recorded a series of short videos that hopefully I’ll be able to include in a series of follow-up posts to this one:

Meanwhile, three longer podcast interviews in quick succession! Here:

Last but definitely not least, for this InfoQ article I am interviewed by Ben Linders:

Gearing up for the autumn

Not that I’m wishing for summer to be over, but on top of all the Right to Left excitement I have been getting ready for a busy season of public Agendashift workshops. Benefiting all supported workshop formats is this visual language for explaining how the various exercises fit together:

Thank you Steven MackenzieMike Haber, and Teddy Zetterlund for your help on this one.

The workshops themselves kick off soon but there are still places. Early bird for London expires very soon, August 31st. Details on Stockholm, Athens, London, Istanbul, Berlin, and online workshops:

Top posts

  1. It’s out! Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile
  2. Agendashift in 12 icons
  3. Visualising Agendashift: The why and how of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation (June)
  4. A week since publication, Right to Left in five tweets
  5. A question among the good luck emails

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A week since publication, Right to Left in five tweets

Six if you count the introductory tweet; it’s pinned to my personal Twitter profile (@asplake) and you can easily view the thread from there. You are very welcome to share any/all of them (and/or this post)! And apologies for the odd typo; I can’t go back and fix them.

Starting next month I’ll expand on each of the five in separate posts, with – fingers crossed – a short video interview for each. I’ll maintain this post as an index to the series, so watch this space!


As for the book itself, you’ll find it here:

Ignore estimated shipping dates for the print edition – they’re ludicrously (and perhaps even mischievously) pessimistic. This being the 21st century, it is printed on demand and it ships quickly.

And when you’ve read it, do please leave an online review – I can’t stress enough how much it helps. Thank you!

cover-right-to-left-2019-04-26.001 border


Autumn workshops
– Stockholm, Athens, London, Istanbul, Berlin, and online


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It’s out! Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile

Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile is released out today in both print and Kindle editions, with other e-book formats to follow. Find it here:

  • Amazon UK (amazon.co.uk) and Amazon US (amazon.com), disregarding Amazon’s incorrect estimated shipping dates
  • Waterstones (waterstones.com)
  • Barnes & Noble (barnesandnoble.com)
  • Or search “Right to Left Mike Burrows” at your favourite online bookstore

And when you’ve read it, do please leave a review – it really helps.

Whoop – I was lucky enough to read Mike’s new book as it formed. It somehow manages to be a crisp, articulate read with depth and reflection. Mike has written an essential read for anyone interested in people-centric, pragmatic, outcome-based change. I’m very happy to recommend this and excited for Mike!

Angie Main (linkedin.com), Change & Organisational Development Lead, UK

A third book, and so soon after the last one! Why this one, and why should I read it?

Most people reading this announcement ve rcould easily describe themselves a digital leader of some kind, whether that’s understood in some corporate sense or perhaps as a practitioner of Agile, a movement whose co-evolution with the rise of digital technology is no accident. Whichever way you respond to the term, this book is for you.

Both audiences – and yes, there’s a challenge there – deserve a book that does all of these things:

  • Speaks with empathy and from experience to anyone who is called to digital leadership or might have it thrust upon them
  • Speaks respectfully, insightfully, and at times firmly to Lean, Agile, and its other key sources and communities – avoiding lazy dogma and tribalism, and not excusing failures and excesses either
  • Represents a clear departure from 20th century thinking, not falling into the trap of trying to explain Agile and Lean-Agile in the terms of past models

To give a sense of what makes this book different, let me present two representative elements: the Right to Left metaphor, and my kind of Agile. In place of a glossary, a selection of short and characteristic extracts such as the two below are collected in Appendix B, My kind of…

Right to Left:

A whole-process focus on needs and outcomes … Putting outcomes before process, ends before means, vision before detail, “why” before “what”, “what” before “how”, and so on. It can also mean considering outputs before inputs, but give me outcomes over outputs, every time.

Simultaneously visualising this and echoing Agile’s manifesto, what if Agile meant putting the things on the right (needs met, outcomes realised) ahead of everything to their left (process, tools, practices, and so on)? Happily, an explicitly outcome-oriented Agile is straightforward enough to describe, and it makes me wonder why it is not done more often. Perhaps Right to Left will change that!

Agile (short version):

People collaborating over the rapid evolution of working software that is already beginning to meet needs

Whether or not you get the references, if you get that definition, you will love this book. If you don’t get it, you need to read it.

Across chapters 1-4, Right to Left is both the metaphor by which the fundamentals are (re-)introduced and the fresh perspective from which the Lean-Agile landscape is surveyed. The last two chapters, 5. Outside in and 6. Upside down, take complementary perspectives on issues of organisation, change, governance, strategy, and leadership, drawing on Viable System Model (VSM), Servant Leadership, Sociocracy (aka Dynamic Governance), and of course Agendashift for inspiration. In case you’re wondering why I reference models from outside the Lean-Agile mainstream, let it be said for now that process frameworks, the Agile practitioner’s stock-in-trade, will never be enough. For a more considered treatment of frameworks than that, you’ll have to read the book!

Readers of my previous books will have some sense of Right to Left‘s humane and optimistic philosophy already. My first, Kanban from the Inside (2014), was organised around values and it’s only a short step from values to outcomes. Agendashift: Outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation (2018) describes a 21st century approach to change; for reasons of focus it leaves behind a Right to Left-shaped hole that I knew would be exciting to fill. If you’ve read neither of those, start instead with my latest and see where your interest takes you – I give full credit to my sources and provide an extensive recommended reading list.

For further book-related news and conversation, follow us on Twitter, join the #right-to-left channel in the Agendashift Slack, and check out blog posts tagged right-to-left. Via the Right to Left page on agendashift.com you can send book-related questions direct to my email inbox (or simply wish me luck!) and subscribe to the mailing list.

Enjoy!
Mike

cover-right-to-left-2019-04-26.001 border


August 15th 2019: Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile is released today in both print and Kindle editions, with other e-book formats to follow. Find it here:

Agendashift founder Mike Burrows is known to the Agile and Lean-Agile communities as the author of Kanban from the Inside (2014) and Agendashift (2018), the creator of the Featureban and Changeban simulation games, a keynote speaker at conferences around the world, and as a consultant, coach, and trainer. His new book Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile is published August 15th 2019.

Right to Left‘s foreword is by John Buck, Director at GovernanceAlive LLC (MD, USA), co-author with Sharon Villenes of We the people: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy (2nd Ed. 2019) and co-author with Jutta Eckstein of Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy: Survive & Thrive on Disruption (2018).

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: New Generation Publishing (15 Aug. 2019)
ISBN-10: 1789555310
ISBN-13: 978-1789555318

A question among the good luck emails

There’s a contact button on the landing page for Right to Left, and through it I got this question which I have permission to reproduce:

Keep up the good work, and btw how do you use the Kanban Method these days, after your current progression?

My reply (verbatim):

In Right to Left you’ll see Kanban as just one of a set of complementary patterns in the Lean-Agile space (none of them more important than the others), and a more general approach to organisation development and the leadership that goes with that.

In my own work, Kanban is still in the mix but I’m very definitely needs & outcomes first, not solutions/framework first. STATIK tries to do a bit of that* but it does rather presuppose the answer! I prefer Reverse STATIK anyway, and my very occasional Kanban training uses that. The principles and practices are abstracted in the values, and they live on through the Agendashift delivery assessment (a conversation-starter, not a checklist of practices).

*To be fair, it does this quite valiantly and self-consistently compared with peer frameworks, but my comment stands.

And a PS, sent moments later:

One thing to add: this is not to diminish anyone’s work on Kanban (my own included) or any other framework. Testing boundaries is learning. But it’s also healthy to draw back a bit and broaden one’s horizons from time to time. And integration is also learning.

Some links to help with decoding the above (I knew my correspondent to be familiar with most of them):


Autumn workshops
– Stockholm, Athens, London, Istanbul, Berlin, and online

Leading change in the 21st century? You need a 21st century engagement model:

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Agendashift in 12 icons

Ten days until the big one – Right to Left comes out on the 15th – but still time to squeeze in something Agendashift-related…

Count carefully! Agendashift in 12 icons:

discoveryexplorationmappingelaboration-operation

They have a new section on the Agendashift home page and a dedicated page at agendashift.com/icons, both with links to related resources.

To see them in a bit more context, check out these workshop-related pages:

Other opportunities to experience all of this for yourself this autumn: Stockholm (9-10 September), Athens (17-18 September), Istanbul (26th October), and Berlin (13-14 November).

*The early bird discount for the London workshop expires at the end of this month so grab it while you can!

Credits:

  • Idea: this was one of several ideas discussed at the last Berlin workshop (writeup here, though this particular idea isn’t mentioned)
  • Produced in collaboration with Steven Mackenzie with the encouragement of Mike Haber, whose Celebration-5W template design is reflected in its icon
  • I appreciate also Teddy Zetterlund‘s input on naming of items in the third and fourth rows – I’m pleased how options emerges more clearly as a theme, with Mapping (the fourth row) bringing about the shift in perspective
  • Inspiration: Liberating Structures (www.liberatingstructures.com) and The Noun Project (thenounproject.com)

And as you’d expect, Creative Commons. See the icons page for details.


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Agendashift roundup, July 2019

It’s the summer, so I’ll keep this short. In this edition: Right to Left comes out August 15th; Updates to open source (Creative Commons) resources; Autumn workshops – Stockholm, Athens, London, Istanbul, Berlin, and online; Top posts

Right to Left comes out August 15th

This being my third time you’d think I’d know better by now, but getting a book out takes longer than expected! Anyway, I’m thrilled to announce that Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile comes out on August 15th.

The print edition is actually available for preorder on Amazon now, the Kindle edition soon. Naturally I’ll have more to say around launch date. Keep an eye out for interviews & stuff too.

Updates to open source (Creative Commons) resources

Some updates not quite big enough for separate announcements:

  • 15-minute FOTO has has some slides specific to online and in-room use
  • Aleksei Pimenov has translated both Featureban 3.0 and Changeban into Russian

    into

  • Massimo Sarti has translated Featureban 3.0 into Italian (having previously contributed a translation of an older version of Changeban)
  • Very minor tweaks to the Celebration-5W deck

Slack channels #cleanlanguage, #featureban, #changeban, and #workshops respectively. More resources here.

Autumn workshops
– Stockholm, Athens, London, Istanbul, Berlin, and online

I’ll be adding a couple of online workshops also, likely the during the week of October 14th (two consecutive UK afternoons, two hours each) and the first week of December (UK mornings). If you have preference for days, let me know soon.

Top posts

  1. Visualising Agendashift: The why and how of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation (June)
  2. What scales up should scale down (July)
  3. How Agendashift scales (July)
  4. At last! Featureban 3.0 and Changeban 1.2 (June)
  5. What kind of Organisational Development (OD)? (And a book recommendation) (May)

Most recently this month:


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Making assessments more visible

Summer means programming, still a passion 🙂

Along with some bigger updates that are hidden for now, I released a minor change to the design of agendashift.com today.

Gone is the old navbar menu called ‘Context’, replaced by one called ‘Assessments’. The old name was uninviting and potentially confusing (“context menus” were already a thing). Hopefully, the new one – in that prime position on the left of the navbar –  suggests something that might actually be of interest to the casual visitor!

Here’s how it looks if you’re not signed in:

Screenshot 2019-07-23 15.31.20

Much more self-explanatory, and a call-to-action too!

For partners and trial users this menu is a key launching point. Here’s mine:

Screenshot 2019-07-23 15.20.52

How it works now:

  • ‘Activity’ is lit up to indicate that there is some recent activity (ie people responding to my surveys) that I haven’t reviewed yet.
  • ‘New survey…’ comes next. This is a fairly recent addition; previously surveys could only be created after visiting its containing context* – sensible enough from a data model point of view but hardly the pinnacle of usability!
  • After that come handy links to surveys that I’ve visited recently – the Spanish (ES) language version of the public survey and the surveys set as prework for the recent online workshops
  • ‘My contexts’, which takes you to a list of all your contexts, has been demoted. Originally the topmost menu item, now it’s “below the line”, heading a list of contexts that I’ve recently visited.

The help pages have of course been updated accordingly.

*It’s ancient history now but I just couldn’t bring myself to call it a ‘project’!


Upcoming public Agendashift workshops
– Stockholm, Athens, London, Istanbul, Berlin


Leading change in the 21st century? You need a 21st century engagement model:

Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
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