Announcing 15-minute FOTO version 11

The facilitation deck for our Clean Language-inspired coaching game 15-minute FOTO is now at version 11. Minor tweaks aside, the two main changes:

  1. The tip to “start small” with 5% and 15% outcomes
  2. The four roles of the Classic edition of the game have been reduced to three (the Lite edition doesn’t mention roles until the debrief)

You can read some background to the “start small” advice in the recent post Get unstuck and get going: Starting small with 5% and 15% outcomes. Thinking about it more tactically, if the objective of the game is to produce a quantity of outcomes, jumping straight to “world peace” leaves a lot of space unexplored! So start small, see where “Then what happens?” takes you, and in the process uncover not just meaningful objectives to pursue, but places to start, outcomes to organise around, outcomes that tell us when we’re winning, outcomes that (at the right time) will lead to solutions, and so on.

The change to the roles in the Classic edition takes us from the four of Client, Coach, Scribe, and Observer to the three of Client, Coach, and Host. The host’s job subsumes scribe and observer but goes further: it is to ensure that within the deliberate constraints of the game, everyone has an enjoyable and productive time. It covers things like:

  • Making sure the client and coach who they are and what they are meant to be doing
  • Making sure the client has chosen the obstacle that will be the focus of the next conversation
  • Making sure that outcomes get captured – whether or not that means performing the scribing task themselves
  • Safety officer (noting that whatever the coach might think, “I can’t answer that” is a valid answer)
  • Referee – keeping the conversation to the rules (it is a game after all)
  • Time-keeper – it takes some time discipline to ensure that everyone gets to play every role within the game’s 15 minutes
  • Intervening when a conversation hasn’t got started (distracted by meta conversations perhaps) or is running out of steam (perhaps it’s time to choose another obstacle)
  • Observer – from a perspective outside the conversation, noticing things that might be useful to recall later in the debrief

As per the 2014 book Host by Mark McKergow and Helen Bailey, hosting is a powerful metaphor for leadership. If ever you’ve struggled with the notion of servant leadership or feel that the leader’s responsibility to “create the environment” is never properly explained, then host leadership is for you. It’s worth noting also that Mark McKergow is also a co-author of one of the references / inspirations for 5% outcomes – see the abovementioned post for details.

As ever go to agendashift.com/15-minute-foto for tips, download instruction, and an ancient but still fun video.

15-Minute-FOTO-cue-card-2020-09-v16


What if we put authentic agreement on meaningful outcomes ahead of solutions?

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Get unstuck and get going: Starting small with 5% and 15% outcomes

In chapter 1 of Agendashift (2nd edition 2021) you’ll find a crucial but awkwardly-named exercise, Practice Outcomes. It’s there because the main event, the Clean Language-inspired coaching game 15-minute FOTO, goes so much better if players have been primed to start small. If your first outcome is a small one, the chain of consequences that follows – “Then what happens? Then what happens?” – is so much more productive.

5% outcomes, getting unstuck

I’ve been working on making not just the exercise of Practice Outcomes but its outputs and its rationale easier to reference. Hence “5% outcomes”, the kind of teeny-tiny outcomes you get from the miracle question (source: Solutions-focused brief therapy, via the 2006 Jackson and McKergow book The Solutions Focus). The version of the miracle question we use in Practice Outcomes isn’t exactly canonical but it’s close enough:

  • If that obstacle disappeared overnight (it doesn’t matter how), what would be the first thing you would notice? (something positive)

The rationale? Make your outcomes small enough, and perhaps they’re there already if only you knew where to look. And if they’re there, so are what causes them – solutions! A great way to get unstuck.

If you find yourself not wanting to explain the miracle question, something simpler:

  • What first, tiniest signs of success might we see?
  • And before that, even tinier?

Context for those questions might be a some kind of obstacle, an outcome (a larger one, obviously), or even our overall objective. Here I’ve visualised it in terms of the IdOO (“I do”) pattern:

5-percent-outcomes

15% outcomes, getting going

If we get unstuck with 5% outcomes and their corresponding 5% solutions, then 15% outcomes and their corresponding 15% solutions are how we make faster progress. I’m riffing on the Liberating Structures pattern 15% Solutions, whose rationale speaks to the stuckness issue but invites us to think a little bigger. If our attitude is that “15% is always there for the taking”, then we’re primed to iterate towards our goals. Faced with an adaptive challenge, the sooner we embrace that kind of approach, the better. Here, 100% solution are worse than unlikely, they’re a route to failure.

15% is always there for the taking

15% Solutions: Discover and Focus on What Each Person Has the Freedom and Resources to Do Now (liberatingstructures.com)

The questions here:

  • “How will we know that we’ve made a small but significant step in the right direction?”
  • “And then what happens?”

Anticipating one of the three most important questions in 15-minute FOTO, the “And then what happens?” is already getting us to think more iteratively. Visualised:

15-percent-outcomes

5% and 15% outcomes, yes outcomes

You might be wondering why I start with Solutions Focus and 15% Solutions and invite participants to capture not solutions but outcomes. Is this some strange insult to my sources? Not a bit of it!

Think of Agendashift as a two-pronged approach to adaptive strategy:

  1. its formation through an ongoing process of meaningful participation
  2. integrated with innovation and learning processes

In the context of an adaptive challenge in a changing environment (one we’re actively changing, no less), if we take the attitude that solutions are always there for the taking – a core premise of both our sources –  the right time for solutions is just in time. To solutionise sooner is to invite solutions that may be beyond their shelf life by the time they’re really needed. Worse, having them designed only by the people who happen to be in the room at the time is another recipe for failure.

We are not merely counting on but institutionalising the emergence of solutions “from the people closest to the problem”, to quote my friend Karl Scotland. Keeping that innovation process well fed, appropriately oriented, and with room to breathe, strategy is developed in the language of outcomes.

Going as far as mostly as avoiding the term change management for fear of being associated with it, this is the very antithesis of 1990’s-style managed change. Great for upgrading your email server, but completely the wrong paradigm for anything transformational. Catch yourself thinking that a preconceived solution – worse, a borrowed one – should be your main response to your adaptive challenge? Tempting, but think again. You’d be making a category error, already a terrible place to start. Rolling it out, overcoming resistance to change and all that? Well that would be doubling down, compounding the mistake, and the consequences will be yours to own.

So solutions come well after outcomes, not before. But if you hear a solution prematurely – even a 5% or 15% solution – don’t worry. They’re easy to deal with:

  • Then what happens?

Get unstuck and get going with 5% and 15% outcomes. Small – tiny even – but powerful!


What if we put authentic agreement on meaningful outcomes ahead of solutions?

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All Agendashift assessments now available in Korean

With thanks to Seungbin Cho, all of the Agendashift assessments are now available in Korean. That includes:

The Delivery Assessment and its several variants have been translated into 12 languages but this is a first for the Right to Left and Deliberately Adaptive Organisation templates. Thank you Seungbin for breaking some new ground 🙂

Try the mini version of the Delivery assessment in any of the supported languages for free:

The full version of the Delivery assessment features in these training modules:

For the full set of templates (and more):


What if we put authentic agreement on meaningful outcomes ahead of solutions?

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

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Agendashift: Outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation

Pilots wanted

As of the past week or so, Agendashift partners now have access to a new assessment template, a spin-off from the 2nd edition of the Agendashift book. It’s an Agendashift-style (non-prescriptive, non-judgemental, outcome-oriented, trust-building, etc) assessment tool for the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (deliberately-adaptive.org) and a significant development.

It’s a key part of the roadmap for 2021, both in its own right and as a stepping stone to Transforming with Outcomes, the third of three self-paced training modules (the first, Leading with Outcomes, is already up and running and the second, Outside-in Strategy with Outcomes, launches soon). The assessment is highly accessible and requires no special knowledge on the part of participants; nevertheless, the underlying model is super interesting.

The Deliberately Adaptive Organisation integrates Agendashift and the Deliberately Developmental Organisation (see Bob Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey’s 2016 book An Everyone Culture) into the Viable System Model. VSM is Stafford Beer’s classic at-every-scale (fractal) model of systems that “have the desire to meet the demands of a changing environment”, and it’s a model of extraordinary diagnostic power. Combining it with Agendashift creates the opportunity to use it in a dialogic way – not diagnosing and prescribing, but helping the organisation have the conversations it needs to have with itself.

The assessment comprises 35 prompts across 5 categories:

  1. Intentful Knowledge Discovery
  2. Mutual Trust Building
  3. Adaptive Strategy
  4. Between and Across Levels
  5. Self-governance, Self-development, and Self-organisation

I’m looking for potential pilots to test the assessment, complete with its accompanying Agendashift-style debrief and followup exercises.

Further to the fourth of the above categories, Between and Across Levels, I’m particularly interested in contexts where there’s the potential for strategy to develop at and across multiple levels of organisation – in teams of teams for example.

To set some expectations:

  • There are no set limits to the number of survey respondents – typically most will respond online in their own time but scheduled one-to-ones for a selected few can work well too
  • The debrief workshop requires 6-25 participants, ideally representing at least 3 levels of seniority

The debrief workshop identifies the raw materials for an Agenda for Change, a shared organisational strategy:

  • Survey results sliced & diced in various ways
  • Survey prompts prioritised in breakout groups of 3-5 people
  • In those groups, consideration of what those most important prompts could mean for you in context, when they’re working at their “ideal best” for you
  • Obstacles and outcomes, in each breakout group’s own words

The IdOO (“I do”) pattern and very much as recommended in the book (the Exploration chapter specifically), with room also to explore the models behind the new tool. The process for moving forward from there is well practiced; I can get you started in a few hours if you’d appreciate help with organising outcomes strategically, designing some initial experiments etc.

All in all, it comes to a few hours to at most a few days work at heavily discounted rates – I am not in the market for longer engagements. Think of this as sponsored research for mutual benefit. I’m looking to do a few of these between now and late autumn – mainly to test the assessment, to compare results within and across diverse organisations (so there’s no right kind of organisation if you were wondering about that), and later in the year perhaps to pilot the training (interactive &/or self-paced).

Interested? Contact me here!


What if we put authentic agreement on meaningful outcomes ahead of solutions?

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Agendashift roundup, May 2021

In this edition: Conferences (I): Agendashift comes of age; Conferences (II): Lean Agile Global and the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation; Xagility podcast interview; Upcoming; Top posts

Conferences (I): Agendashift comes of age

2021 will go down as an epic year for Agendashift – the 2nd edition, the Agendashift Academy, and now (last week) our first conference. More than 400 registrations taken over a highly compressed launch period (500, if you count those who asked to register after the event), great feedback, and given that it was neither instigated nor organised by me, proof that Agendashift has a life of its own! Expanding on that thought, I blogged about it the following day:

If you have a paid ticket, you have access to the recordings already. Log back into the conference site, visit the auditorium, and find the plenary sessions (my introduction and opening and closing keynotes), the two main tracks, and a bonus session. If you don’t have access, watch this space – we’ll make an announcement on that soon.

Conferences (II): Lean Agile Global 2021

This week I spoke at Lean Agile Global 2021 (which we sponsored) with a brand new talk titled ‘Up and Down the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation – business agility at every scale‘. As per the last couple of chapters of the Agendashift 2nd edition, it’s Agendashift plugged into the classic Viable System Model, a model that scales like no other. Check out deliberately-adaptive.org both for a flavour and for some clues of future developments.

deliberately-adaptive-image

Xagility podcast

I had the pleasure of doing a podcast interview this month with John Coleman for the Xagility podcast. Listen to it on your favourite podcast platform (where you can leave a rating/review) or here:

This and past recordings both audio and video are available listed on our media page.

Upcoming

My apologies for the postponement for family reasons of the June Deep Dive. That leaves no interactive public workshops in next month but don’t forget the self-paced option! It’s a great place to start and there’s plenty of time to complete it before Coaching with Outcomes in July.

Not that it’s compulsory but there’s easily time to complete this before the next of our scheduled interactive workshops:

*Expanded from 2 hours

Top posts

  1. What do I mean by ‘generative pattern’;?
  2. Agendashift came of age yesterday
  3. The IdOO pattern as leadership model
  4. From Reverse STATIK to a ‘Pathway’ for continuous transformation (October 2019)
  5. Announcing 1) our first self-paced training Leading with Outcomes (LwO) and 2) the Agendashift Academy (April)

What if we put authentic agreement on meaningful outcomes ahead of solutions?

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
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What do I mean by ‘generative pattern’?

That question came up recently in our weekly #community Zoom and again afterwards so I thought it would make sense to write it up here. I have two possible definitions, but before I get to those, some lower-level building blocks:

  • Generative and generative process: Generative has two meanings, (i) capable of creating something, or (ii) something with finite rules that when applied repeatedly can produce things of arbitrary complexity (for example the production of language from the rules of grammar; computer-generated art or music). Both of these meanings have some relevance here; I use generative process when referring specifically to the second of those meanings.
  • Generative image: words or images designed both to challenge and to inspire a wide range of possible responses, usually achieved by taking care not to prescribe or otherwise over-specify, perhaps to the extent of deliberately introducing ambiguity or paradox. Two notable examples, beginning with the most famous of them all: “sustainable development” and “Agile Software Development”. Examples from Agendashift include our True North statement, “wholehearted organisations” (best left under-specified), and the assessment prompts (inspired by practice but carefully non-prescriptive); we have others. These examples are all carefully crafted well in advance but they might instead be harvested from the organisation or created through (say) a workshop exercise; one of the earliest exercises in  Gervase Bushe’s The Dynamics of Generative Change (2020) has the objective of crafting a generative purpose statement for the change initiative in question.
  • Generative question: open-ended questions that can be used in a wide range of contexts and generate a wide range of valuable but unpredictable answers, perhaps provoking some insight in the process. Examples: setup questions such as “For this ___ to be really useful for you, it will be like what?” (from Clean Setup) and menus of questions that can be used repeatedly within a generative process, for example “Why is that important?” and “What stops that?” (from Challenge Mapping), and the Clean Language questions (our Clean Language-inspired coaching game 15-minute FOTO includes 8 of the 40+ canonical questions)

Rather like the word generative, the term generative pattern could have several meanings. Literally “things that as patterns recur in different contexts and that are generative”, would do. Then there’s the more specialised, “patterns that combine in a pattern language” – think for example Christopher Alexander’s pattern language for architecture and the facilitation patterns of Liberating Structures.

Agendashift’s usage is tends to be more specific but still compatible with both of those meanings. Usually I’m referring to higher level structures into which which all of the lower-level generative elements mentioned so far can be plugged in. The design community’s double diamond would be an example of that, a recognisable pattern with applicability in a wide range of innovation contexts, within whose overarching structure a wide of generative tools can be used.

The most memorable generative pattern in Agendashift is the IdOO pattern (“I do”, for Ideal, Obstacles, Outcomes) and it meets all of these definitions. It’s clearly a pattern (it’s recognisable in different contexts), it combines with other patterns (even with itself – the landscape of obstacles and outcomes is fractal), and it’s a structure into which other generative elements can be inserted:

  • Ideal: typically a reflection on a generative image and often with the aid of a setup question; sometimes it’s just a question, perhaps with the hint of a generative image embedded in it (see the Outside-in Strategy Review template for at least one example of that)
  • Obstacles: “What stops that?” as a generative question or something more elaborate, the TRIZ exercise from Liberating Structures for example
  • Outcomes: SFBT’s miracle question on its own or as a precursor to 15-minute FOTO, generative question and generative process respectively

What it does of course is keep that generative conversation moving forward in a productive direction. Unconstrained, the random walk might be enjoyable for a while but trust in the process would diminish rather quickly.

Postscript 1

It’s about time I announced the IdOO breakout generator tool. I’ve been using it in meetups for a few weeks now. It’s simple online tool to help you facilitate breakout discussions or personal reflections with the Ideal, Obstacles, Outcomes (IdOO) pattern. These convenience links will take you to first user-facing page with an Agendashift-related challenge already configured for you:

You can also configure it to use a challenge of your own. Read the tips and gave a play!

Postscript 2

Talking of structure, while this post was already under construction I saw in a community forum this from Ian Phillips . With his permission:

…so I know a few people on here attended the MindShift Conference on ING’s. Am reflecting a bit on Jesko von den Steinen and:
  • “There is intuition in your structure.”
  • “Structure your intuition.”

Love that! It took a while for Agendashift’s patterns to crystallise out but it was well worth encouraging that process. After doing it once with the IdOO pattern (and it took much of the time between the 1st and 2nd editions of the book), it got easier. 2MBM took only hours 🙂

Related

agendashift-2nd-ed-sharing-1200x628-2021-02-10

agendashift.com/book (March 2021)


Upcoming

Listed now on the Agendashift Academy’s Store page are our scheduled workshops:

And my apologies: June’s Deep Dive workshop (Americas) must be rescheduled for family reasons.

Always now the self-paced option (and it’s a great option):

Selected appearances by Agendashift partners, me where unspecified:


What if we put authentic agreement on meaningful outcomes ahead of solutions?

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Links: Home | About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
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Agendashift came of age yesterday

Yesterday was Agendashift 2021, our inaugural conference, and by all accounts it was a big success. I’m hearing words like “inspiring”, “wonderful”, and (importantly) “valuable”, and we got past 400 registrations in the limited number of weeks available for marketing it.

We can truly say now that Agendashift has a life of its own. The conference wasn’t my idea (I always saw it as something that would happen one day, not something I felt ready to instigate), and of the committee members, I was actually the least involved! A heartfelt thank you therefore to Kjell Tore Guttormsen, Andrew Jones, Karl Scotland, and Russ Lewis – outstanding work! My most sincere thanks also to our two keynote speakers Pia Maria Thorén and Gervase Bushe, all our other speakers, and our generous sponsors. So much there, so well presented, and so aligned.

Given that there were two tracks, I haven’t been able to watch every presentation yet. Two quotes of the day stood out for me though. They’re from the Agendashift and Transformation tracks respectively, the first from Dragan Jojic:

Invite people, or invite resistance

The second is from Daniel Mezick:

Agile transformations around the world are epic train wrecks

What ties the two quotes together isn’t just the idea of invitation to participation – Daniel literally (co)-wrote the book on that – but the sad fact that too much of the change industry still sees resistance as something to overcome, not the massive clue that they’re approaching transformative change completely backwards. This is of course Agendashift’s starting point, its big “what if” question and the opening of my introductory talk: What if we put agreement on outcomes ahead of solutions?

2021 is a year not to squander and we won’t be resting on our laurels. The 2nd edition is out, the Agendashift Academy is launched, and the first few participant are approaching the end of Leading with Outcomes, our first self-paced training. Beyond LwO we have a training roadmap not quite ready for publication but it’s already the focus of partner discussions and I’m ready at short notice to do a quick Zoom on it with any prospective partner or corporate client. There’s opportunity too for the partner programme to evolve, allowing partners to deliver a wider range of hybrid solutions with different combinations of self-paced and in-person training, integrated with hands-on client work such that it can be recognised for its developmental value. I’ve no doubt that we’ll see some some real innovation there.

If I may, let me briefly mention another conference, next week’s Lean Agile Global 2021. Not just because we’re sponsors, but because my brand new talk Up and Down the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation will reveal more of where we’re headed content-wise. For some hints of what’s in store, visit deliberately-adaptive.org.

So, once again, thank you everyone who participated yesterday. A milestone moment, the day Agendashift came of age, definitely well worth being there 🙂

Agendashift 2021 May 18th Page Image

One last thank you to our sponsors:

Gold

Silver:

Bronze:


Upcoming

Listed now on the Agendashift Academy’s Store page are our scheduled workshops:

And my apologies: June’s Deep Dive workshop (Americas) must be rescheduled for family reasons.

Always now the self-paced option (and it’s a great option):

Selected appearances by Agendashift partners, me where unspecified:


What if we put authentic agreement on meaningful outcomes ahead of solutions?

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Links: Home | About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
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One week to Agendashift 2021!

Only a week to go until Agendashift 2021 on Tuesday May 18th, and some great speakers to look forward to, including:

  • Keynote speakers Pia-Maria Thorén (Agile People, contributor of the Agendashift 2nd edition’s foreword) and Professor Gervase Bushe (author or co-author of two of the Agendashift 2nd edition’s most important references)
  • Daniel Mezick (Open Leadership Network, OpenSpace Agility), contributor of the 1st edition’s foreword which contained the gift of the term engagement model, two words that describe Agendashift so well
  • Caitlin Walker (Clean Language, Systemic Modelling), author of another key reference and a prime example of the generosity and support offered by the Clean Language community
  • Evan Leybourn (Business Agility Institute), who shares in our pursuit of better organisations
  • Karl Scotland, Dragan Jojic, Kjell Tore Guttormsen, and Steven Mackenzie – all of them big contributors in Agendashift’s development
  • Andrew Jones, whose Agile Listening Project is powered by Agendashift

If – in whatever capacity – you’re in the business of building wholehearted, deliberately adaptive organisations, then this conference is for you. If you’re at all curious to hear a range of answers to Agendashift’s big “what if” (below), this event is not to be missed.

What if we put agreement on outcomes ahead of solutions?

While we’re counting down the days, I was interviewed the other day for the Orderly Disruption’s Xagility podcast, one of our sponsors. Listen to the episode here:

The conference is a half day event timed for maximum reach. If you’re based in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, it takes place in your afternoon and evening. If you’re in the Americas, it begins in your morning. You can attend for free, or pay just €10 for access to video recordings of every session. And starting at just €99, there are some fantastic sponsorship packages too.

10% of all revenue goes to global Covid relief – an issue that affects us all – and thanks to the extraordinary commitment of the organising team who I just can’t thank enough, every last penny of the remainder will be reinvested into community development, education, and future events.

I’d like to think that we’ll do something like this every year. 2021 is special in that it’s our first one and it comes at such an exciting time. The 2nd edition of the Agendashift book came out only a few weeks ago, and since then we’ve launched the Agendashift Academy and our first self-paced training, Leading with Outcomes. So come and be a part of it – join us!

Agendashift 2021 May 18th Page Image

Book your place now: academy.agendashift.com/agendashift-2021

And a big thank you to our sponsors:

Gold

Silver:

Bronze:


Upcoming

Listed now on the Agendashift Academy’s Store page are our scheduled workshops:

And my apologies: June’s Deep Dive workshop (Americas) must be rescheduled for family reasons.

Always now the self-paced option (and it’s a good option):

Selected appearances by Agendashift partners, me where unspecified:


What if we put authentic agreement on meaningful outcomes ahead of solutions?

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Links: Home | About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
Workshops: Transformation strategy | Outside-in strategy | Short training
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

The IdOO pattern as leadership model

The IdOO pattern (below) is integral to the first two chapters of the Agendashift 2nd edition (March 2021) and also to our Leading with Outcomes and Coaching with Outcomes training (self-paced and interactive workshop respectively). It hardly seems possible that the pattern is only a year old, but this post from April last year really does seem to be my first mention of it.

agendashift-framework-overview-16x10-2020-12-07-idoo

So what is it? Well, it’s at least four things in one, demonstrating its considerable “stretchiness” in terms of the timescales involved:

  • It’s a leadership routine – three or four quick questions, some quick answers, taking just moments
  • It’s a coaching pattern – a higher-level structure to wrap around your favourite coaching tools to bring some strategic perspective – less emphasis on getting to the next commitment, more on the strategic landscape in which options will be developed
  • For facilitators, it’s the overall arc for a string of workshop exercises, whether that’s an hour’s worth or a day’s
  • For consultants, it’s a way to frame a client engagement – as helping them understand where they’d like to get to, what’s in the way of that, and what they might achieve along the way

When taken slowly enough it’s fractal: there may be obstacles in the way of any outcome, and there is always the opportunity to bootstrap the process and identify new ideals at different levels of detail.

This post relates most closely to the first of those uses, IdOO as leadership routine. Here is the IdOO mnemonic not as the structure of a conversation but as an easily-remembered leadership model:

  • Ideal – sustaining a sense of overall direction, connecting people to purpose, helping people find meaning in their work
  • Obstacles – building trust and empathy by recognising the obstacles that people face – their everyday frustrations, the “struggling moments” of actual and potential customers – everything that stands in the way of performance and success; real, relevant, and representative problems that better-designed organisations or products would alleviate
  • Outcomes – keeping at the forefront the goals around which work is organised and to which streams of work are aligned; remembering to celebrate their achievement and to focus the associated learning (both organisational and individual) to the maximum

It’s not a million miles away from my 3-point summary of Servant Leadership. Here in the last chapter of Right to Left I’m channeling Greenleaf, noting what I describe as his “masterful systems thinking”:

  1. The first responsibility of the Servant Leader is to help others to be successful – removing impediments, ensuring that basic needs are met
  2. For people to remain engaged, the Servant Leader must help others find autonomy and meaning in their work, together discovering, developing, and pursuing the organisation’s values, mission, and purpose in society
  3. For this process of transformation to be sustained indefinitely, Servant Leaders must help develop Servant Leadership in others

Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile, Mike Burrows (2019, audiobook 2020)

I wouldn’t for a moment suggest that IdOO supersedes any of that (IdOO only scratches the surface of point 3, for example), but it could be a good starting point if you find Servant Leadership hard to grapple with.

Sources

I’ve mentioned my Agendashift (2021) and Right to Left (2019) already; let me mention some other books I’ve referenced in one or both of those:

  • Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, Robert K. Greenleaf (Paulist Press, 25th Anniversary edition, 2002) – decades ahead of its time and still an inspiration; I re-read it every few years
  • The Serving Leader: Five powerful actions to transform your team, business, and community, Kenneth R. Jennings & John Stahl-Wert (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2nd edition, 2016) – a recent take on servant leadership and a tweak on the language that some will welcome; I’m grateful to Agendashift partner and Servant Leadership champion Angie Main for finding that one
  • Host: Six new roles of engagement, Mark McKergow & Helen Bailey (Solutions Books, 2014) – a change of metaphor and one that brings new insights
  • Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders, L. David Marquet (Portfolio, 2013) – another great book all round; helpful advice here with regard both to obstacles (when and when not to take them away, for example) and to the learning and development aspects of the model

Not referenced but worthy additions to that list:

  • Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything, Stephen M.R. Covey (Free Press, 2006)
  • Demand-side Sales 101: Stop Selling and Help Your Customers Make Progress, Bob Moesta (Lioncrest Publishing, 2020)

I’m currently listening to the audiobook of Covey’s Speed of Trust, good stuff so far. Bob Moesta’s book fits here better than you might guess from the title; it’s a great book on Jobs to be Done, and it’s my source for the the phrase “struggling moments”.

IdOO at the the conferences

Don’t forget the Agendashift 2021 conference on May 18th – not long now! The IdOO pattern will certainly get a mention in my opening introduction (not keynote – that honour goes to Pia-Mia Thorén). And I’m thrilled that Gervase Bushe will be speaking on leadership in the closing keynote. He is the author or co-author of two of the 2nd edition’s key references, The Dynamics of Generative Change and Dialogic Organisation Development.  

Possibly a mention of IdOO in one form or another in my LAG21 talk on the 25th, trust-building being a key element of the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (see the last couple of chapters of the Agendashift 2nd edition). Agendashift Academy is proud to sponsor that conference too.


Upcoming

Listed now on the Agendashift Academy’s Store page are our scheduled workshops:

And always now the self-paced option:

Selected appearances by Agendashift partners, me where unspecified:


Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
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Agendashift roundup, April 2021

In this edition: Leading with Outcomes launch offer; Agendashift 2021; LAG21; Featureban milestone; Upcoming; Top posts

Leading with Outcomes launch offer

academy-sharing

Our new (and first ever) self-paced training Leading with Outcomes is off to a flying start – a pleasing number of signups and excellent feedback so far. Our launch offer expires April 30th (tomorrow) so get in there quickly! Use coupon code LEADING-WITH-OUTCOMES-20 and join for €71.20 instead of €89. Our next self-paced offering (strategy-related) will have LwO as a prerequisite, so grab it now.

Agendashift 2021

Agendashift 2021 May 18th Page Image

Not long either to the Agendashift 2021 conference on May 18th. The programme is nearly complete, and already a great lineup, including:

  • Keynote speakers Pia-Maria Thorén (Agile People, contributor of the Agendashift 2nd edition’s foreword) and Professor Gervase Bushe (author or co-author of two of the 2nd edition’s most important references)
  • Daniel Mezick (Open Leadership Network, OpenSpace Agility), contributor of the 1st edition’s foreword which contained the gift of the term engagement model, two words that describe Agendashift so well
  • Caitlin Walker (Clean Language, Systemic Modelling), author of another key reference and a prime example of the generosity and support offered by the Clean Language community
  • Evan Leybourn (Business Agility Institute), who shares in our pursuit of better organisations
  • Karl Scotland, Dragan Jojic, and Kjell Tore Guttormsen – all of whom instrumental in Agendashift’s development
  • Andrew Jones, whose Agile Listening Project is powered by Agendashift

I could go on, and watch out for further announcements on speakers and sponsors! A massive thank you meanwhile to the organising team, Andrew Jones, Kjell Tore Guttormsen, Karl Scotland, and Russ Lewis.

LAG21

We’re also sponsoring another conference: Lean Agile Global 2021, organised by Agendashift partners Jose Casal & JP Bayley and their team. It takes not long after Agendashift 2021 on the 24th and 25th, and I’m a speaker on the 25th with first outing for a brand new talk based on the closing chapters of the 2nd edition. So sign up and join me for Up and down the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation – business agility at every scale.

If you’re very quick, you can join me also this evening (UK time) for a pre-conference meetup:

Featureban milestone

Via the #featureban-changeban channel on Slack, Kaiten founder and CEO Slava Tsyrulnik tells us that their online version of my Kanban simulation game Featureban has reached the impressive milestone of 5,000 games played. Moreover, the community has now contributed six language translations in addition to their two. Congratulations!

Upcoming

Listed now on the Academy’s Store page are our scheduled workshops, the next one only days away:

And always now the self-paced option: Leading with Outcomes.

Top posts

  1. Why the Agendashift 2nd edition? What happened?
  2. Announcing 1) our first self-paced training Leading with Outcomes (LwO) and 2) the Agendashift Academy
  3. What’s in a name? Coaching with Outcomes (CwO)
  4. Join us on May 18th for Agendashift 2021, our inaugural conference
  5. If Agendashift is the answer, what’s the question?

Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
Links: Home |
About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
Workshops: Transformation strategy | Outside-in strategy | Short training
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter