Agendashift roundup, May 2022

In this edition: June workshop; Academy Update; A fight worth fighting; New podcast interview; 15-minute FOTO version 12; Upcoming; Top posts

June workshop

Plenty of reasons to put this one first: It’s less than 3 weeks away, there’s a 10% discount on offer, and it’s my first public workshop in quite a while:

Academy update

For Agendashift Academy subscribers, the fifth and final chapter of Inside-out strategy: Fit for maximum impact was released last Friday and already we’ve issued the first certificate of completion for this self-paced training.

Currently live:

  • Leading with Outcomes: Foundation (do this one first)
  • Inside-out Strategy: Fit for maximum impact

In production, chapter 1 due for release in June, announcement to follow:

  • Outside-in Strategy: Positioned for success

In development:

  • Adaptive Organisation: Business agility at every scale

Not only are we on track for releasing the whole of the planned Leading with Outcomes curriculum this year, we have plans for some ‘bitesize’ content that we’ll be able to drip out on a weekly basis.

A reminder of our intended audience:

  1. Leaders in transforming organisations – at whatever level of experience and in whatever role
  2. Those that aspire to that – whether that’s aspiring to leadership or to be a leader in an organisation that’s transforming healthily
  3. Those who support the above

Check out our subscription plans for both businesses and individuals; both have monthly and yearly options. And talk to us if you might be interested in the trainer or facilitator programmes which we’ll be announcing soon.

A fight worth fighting

As featured on the Agendashift and Agendashift Academy homepages, the three strategies thing is brewing nicely. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means – all is explained in my latest article on InfoQ:

That’s pretty definitive, well worth the read if you want to understand where Agendashift is right now. And inspired by my current reading (Bateson):

Read both and the connection between the two will be obvious enough. The punchline to the second one:

In the methods & frameworks world, I believe there is only one fight worth fighting, and it is not between frameworks. It is between those who would fit people and organisations to frameworks (branded or otherwise), and those who find that idea intolerable.

New podcast interview

Last month’s roundup went out early, and it missed a podcast interview that went out on the 30th. It was with Shahin Sheidaei of the Elevate Change podcast, and you can find it here and on the usual podcast platforms:

15-minute FOTO version 12

A small tweak to our Clean Language-inspired coaching game 15-minute FOTO, further emphasising the Host role:

Upcoming

Top posts

  1. 15-minute FOTO, version 12
  2. On values, meaningfulness, and change – parallels with Bateson and Mead
  3. You can’t deliver a task (August 2018)
  4. My favourite Clean Language question (January 2019)
  5. Big changes for the Agendashift Academy (April 2022)

Agendashift™: Serving the transforming organisation
Agendashift  Academy: Home | Store

Links: HomeSubscribe | Become an Agendashift partner | Events | Contact | Mike
Resources: Tools & Materials | Media | BooksAssessments 
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

Agendashift roundup, April 2022

In this earlier-than-usual edition (you’ll see why): Friday is pivot day; Interviewed by Mike Leber; Agendashift as framework, 2022 edition; German translations; Upcoming; Top posts

Friday is pivot day

Friday would have been roundup day, but we’re saving that for the next big announcement from the Agendashift Academy. Yes, there’s new content, the expected next module in the Leading with Outcomes curriculum, but the real news is more significant than that, a lot of hard work (and not just by me) coming together in a really exciting way.

If you’re not already on the mailing list, now would be a good time to subscribe.

Interviewed by Mike Leber

I was interviewed recently by Mike Leber – see below for the recording, and see also What I really think about Kanban, highlighting what was just one part of what was a wide-ranging conversation.

Hot on the heels of that one, Friday or soon after I’ll be making an appearance on the Lean On Agile (& Elevate Change) Show, interviewed by Shahin Sheidaei. I’ve had the chance to listen to the podcast already and look forward to sharing that one too.

Agendashift as framework, 2022 edition

As announced earlier in the month I’ve updated agendashift.com/framework to lead with the three strategies:

If you have access to Agendashift’s Commons or more specifically to Agendashift assets, there’s a new framework overview deck, Agendashift framework overview 16x10 2022-04 v3.pptx. Best viewed full screen and with the Source Sans Pro font installed. If you don’t have it, you can request access via the framework page.

Why is this important? Well, one important source of struggle for organisations and their leaders is that those 1990’s models of change (models still accepted as “doing it properly”) don’t work for most interesting kinds of business challenges, certainly not the kinds of challenges associated with transformation. As my friend Patrick Hoverstadt puts it:

If the model doesn’t work more than half the time, the model is wrong – so wrong indeed that it can’t be said to be useful.1

What if we stopped leading with solutions – solutions that are not only likely to be a poor fit to their intended context, are hard to implement, and meanwhile deny everyone the opportunity to do something better – and started leading with outcomes instead? What if we could hold the right conversations – strategy conversations – at the right time, agreeing on outcomes, organising around outcomes, and steering by them? And not just “rinse and repeat” (glibly assuming that this happens for free) but seeking opportunities to do this at every scale?

Only after the Why and the What if comes the How – Agendashift’s patterns and tools. I’m learning not to get to those quite so quickly as I used to, and the strategies bridge the What if and the How really nicely 🙂

1 See Patrick’s new book The Grammar of Systems: From Order to Chaos and Back. From memory, so I’m paraphrasing. Highly recommended.

German translations

A quick reminder that all of my books are now available in German:

I still have a few review copies of the recent Agendashift translation left. If you feel a review coming on, please get in touch!

Over the coming weeks, some of our translated resources will receive updates.​​

Upcoming

Top posts

  1. What I really think about Kanban (April)
  2. Updated: Agendashift as framework, 2022 edition (April)
  3. What I really think about Scrum (August 2020)
  4. Video: Leading and Transforming with Outcomes (March)
  5. What I really think about SAFe (October 2019)

What if we put agreement on outcomes ahead of solutions?

Agendashift™: Serving the transforming organisation
Links: HomeSubscribe |
Become an Agendashift partner | Events | Contact | Mike
Agendashift  Academy: Home | Store
Resources: Tools & Materials | Media | BooksAssessments 
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

Agendashift roundup, March 2022

In this edition: Serving the transforming organisation / Three meta strategies; Agendashift 2nd edition in German; Academy update; Upcoming events; Top posts

Serving the transforming organisation / Three meta strategies

New strapline, new pitch! Agendashift’s “Serving the transforming organisation” complements the Academy’s “Leadership and strategy in the transforming organisation” and expands on the latter’s audience of “leaders in transforming organisations”.

Settling down nicely after several iterations is Agendashift’s new elevator pitch. Check out:

  1. The Agendashift home page, the top section in particular
  2. The meetup video published earlier this month, Leading and transforming with outcomes

Showing some of my working (accidentally published as two separate posts, also a little out of date now):

  1. Updated: Agendashift’s three meta strategies (March)
  2. Agendashift’s three meta strategies (February)

What you’ll see as it continues to develop – and I with it – is more time developing the highs and lows of the pitch. With the help of Academy co-founder Kjell Tore Guttormsen I’m learning to resist the urge to get to the detail of how Agendashift works, instead telling a story that is easily relatable. That urge in me is so strong, so be patient with me…

Agendashift 2nd edition in German

I’m thrilled to announce that the German translation of the Agendashift 2nd edition is out, translated by Björn Jensen and Jennifer Pfahl and published by dpunkt.verlag. That completes the set! Most recent first:

  1. Agendashift™: Ergebnisorientierter Wandel und kontinuierliche Transformation in agilen Organisationen (original: Agendashift: Outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation)
  2. Right to Left: Der Leitfaden zu Lean und Agile für Digital Leader (original: Right to Left: The digital leader’s guide to Lean and Agile)
  3. Kanban: Verstehen, einführen und anwenden (original: Kanban from the Inside)

A sincere thank you to Björn and Jennifer, also to Christa Preisendanz and her team at dpunkt.verlag.

Academy update

Big announcement next month. More than that I can’t say right now, but don’t worry, it’s going well 🙂

Upcoming events

Top posts

  1. Video: Leading and Transforming with Outcomes (March)
  2. No longer doing business in Russia (March)
  3. The 1967 Manifesto for The Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (October)
  4. Updated: Agendashift’s three meta strategies (March)
  5. Out of beta, Leading with Outcomes: Foundation goes fully live today (February)

What if we put agreement on outcomes ahead of solutions?

Agendashift™: Serving the transforming organisation
Links: HomeSubscribe |
Become an Agendashift partner | Events | Contact | Mike
Agendashift  Academy: Home | Store
Resources: Tools & Materials | Media | BooksAssessments 
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

Agendashift roundup, February 2022

In this edition: Leading with Outcomes: Foundation is live!; Agendashift’s three meta strategies; Upcoming events; Top posts

Leading with Outcomes: Foundation is live!

As announced earlier this month:

The short version: The “old” Leading with Outcomes (online self-paced training from the Agendashift Academy) is replaced with a foundation module, the beginnings of a new three-track curriculum. We’re very excited about it! Two and a half hours of video in tasty bitesized chunks taking you through 18 practical exercises. If by any definition you could describe yourself as being (or aspiring to being) a leader in a transforming organisation, then it’s for you – and for many of your colleagues also.

Sign up here:

Very happy with feedback so far. Happy also to report meanwhile that recording of Inside-out Strategy: Fit for maximum impact is going well. And to complement it in the Inside-out Strategy track we’ll be announcing an interactive workshop soon.

certificate-079mZeQ-07RXRNG-1920-1080

Agendashift’s three meta strategies

Or less grandly, three things to keep doing if you’re doing anything strategy-related.

It’s early days, but it seems likely to me that these will supersede the principles that in the Agendashift 2nd edition were already de-emphasised:

Upcoming events

As mentioned, we’ll start scheduling workshops again as the new Leading with Outcomes curriculum gets up and running.

Several private speaking engagements happening – can’t talk about those of course but one public one is imminent:

Top posts

This month’s top five most-read posts are the three already mentioned plus a couple of old favourites:

  1. Out of beta, Leading with Outcomes: Foundation goes fully live today
  2. Agendashift’s three meta strategies
  3. Agendashift Academy has a community on Circle
  4. The 1967 Manifesto for The Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (October 2021)
  5. My favourite Clean Language question (January 2019)

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

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
Links: Home |
About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
Academy: Home | Store
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

Agendashift roundup, January 2022

In this edition: Leading with Outcomes: Foundation launches next week; Celebration-5W version 7; Upcoming events; Top posts

Leading with Outcomes: Foundation launches next week

We’ve been in beta a few weeks now, reworked a couple of things that didn’t land quite as well as I would have liked, and now we’re finishing off the final touches. We have a launch day in mind, but if it’s a day or two later, that’s ok!

If you’re a subscriber, you’ll know when it’s ready. A taste of what to expect meanwhile:

  • A Foundation module (launching next week) that will be the main entry point to the rest of the Leading with Outcomes curriculum, available initially as online self-paced training, later as classroom training (online or in person, public or private)
  • Primarily for “leaders in transforming organisations”; if you think there’s a chance that this description might fit you, your colleagues, and/or (if you have them) your clients, then it’s relevant – likewise if it describes something you could aspire to
  • Applicability at all levels of organisation, with something fresh and accessible to offer leaders at all levels of authority and experience
  • Plenty of practical exercises relevant to your context – 18 in Foundation alone! Spoiler alert: you will be doing some actual strategy work
  • Over the course of 2022, modules both study-based and experiential (public or private) for each of the following three tracks: Inside-out Strategy, Outside-in Strategy, and Adaptive Organisation

Celebration-5W version 7

More than just a version announcement, this post reveals some development work that I’m already testing privately and will include and explain in the Outside-in Strategy track of Leading with Outcomes:

Celebration-5W deck 2022-01 v7

Upcoming events

We’ll start scheduling workshops again as Leading with Outcomes gets up and running. A couple of planned speaking appearances will hit the events page in the next few days.

Top posts

  1. Celebration-5W version 7
  2. Leading with Outcomes: a cheat sheet (March 2021)
  3. Get unstuck and get going: Starting small with 5% and 15% outcomes (October 2021)
  4. Celebration-5W version 6, “your next big breakthrough” (September 2021)
  5. My favourite Clean Language question (January 2019)

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

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
Links: Home |
About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
Academy: Home | Store
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

Agendashift 2021 roundup

In this year-end edition: Top 10 new posts of 2021; Still going strong, our most-read classic posts 

Top 10 new posts of 2021

1. Leading with Outcomes: a cheat sheet (March)

Back in March, this post anticipated the launch of the Agendashift Academy and the first version of Leading with Outcomes. Today its replacement, Leading with Outcomes: Foundation, is in private beta and its launch is imminent. We’re ready to reach a broader audience now – leaders in transforming organisations – and the feedback so far has been great 🙂

And the cheat sheet itself:

leading-with-outcomes-cheat-sheet-2021-03-14-v1

2. Eating our own dog food (1/n): Our outside-in strategy review (OI-SR) (February)

The first in a short series of three posts, in which we used our own outside-in strategy review tools on ourselves.

3. The 1967 Manifesto for The Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (October)

What might have been…

4. Get unstuck and get going: Starting small with 5% and 15% outcomes (October)

On the benefits of starting small. See also the 15-minute FOTO update below.

5. Up and Down the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (September)

Video explaining a modern take on a 70’s classic, the basis for the new Leading with Outcomes’ third track (the other two being inside-out strategy and outside-in strategy).

6. Why the Agendashift 2nd edition? What happened? (April)

A big, big update to the Agendashift book. Your holiday reading?

7. Announcing 15-minute FOTO version 11 (November)

Recent updates to our Clean Language-inspired coaching game 15-minute FOTO.

8. What do I mean by ‘generative pattern’? (May)

A detailed answer to a question that came up in a #community Zoom.

9. Inside-out or outside-in? A strategy warmup (June)

A question that split the audience 50:50.

10. Celebration-5W version 6, “your next big breakthrough” (September)

Seemingly just a small tweak but we’re still building on it!

Still going strong, our most-read classic posts

  1. From Reverse STATIK to a ‘Pathway’ for continuous transformation (October 2019)
  2. My favourite Clean Language question (January 2019)
  3. What the (Lean-)Agile scaling frameworks don’t give you (December 2020)
  4. How the Leader-Leader model turns Commander’s Intent upside down (June 2018)
  5. I’m really enjoying Challenge Mapping (June 2020)
  6. What kind of Organisational Development (OD)? (And a book recommendation) (May 2019)
  7. #2MBM: Meaning before Metric, Measure before Method (July 2020)
  8. ‘Right to Left’ works for Scrum too (July 2018)
  9. What I really think about SAFe (October 2019)
  10. Stringing it together with Reverse Wardley [Option Relationship Mapping] (February 2019)

Have a great Christmas! We’ll be back in the New Year with Leading with Outcomes: Foundation!


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

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
Links: Home |
About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
Academy: Home | Store
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

Agendashift roundup, November 2021

In this edition: Leading with Outcomes: Foundation; 15-minute FOTO, version 11; New video on Agendashift assessments; Top posts

Leading with Outcomes: Foundation

As announced this morning to current and existing students, the “old” Leading with Outcomes will be retired soon, and its replacement will look and feel strikingly different.

Leading with Outcomes: Foundation goes into limited private beta this week, to be launched in full around the end of the year. We’re aiming for a much broader audience – all “leaders in transforming organisations” – and as the name suggests, it’s also the starting point for more. Henceforth, the name “Leading with Outcomes” covers a whole curriculum that reorganises the Agendashift Academy’s existing offerings (both self-paced and interactive) into three parallel tracks, for which the highly accessible Foundation module will be a prerequisite.

For more detail than that, you’ll have to wait for the announcements. Remember meanwhile our guiding principle: Agreement on outcomes before solutions – literally, leading with outcomes! If you share our desire to see more of that, up and down transforming organisations everywhere, then you understand the level of our ambition. We’re going to make it easier for more people to participate in the realisation of that vision, so if you’re with us, get ready.

15-minute FOTO, version 11

The latest version of our Clean Language-inspired coaching game 15-minute FOTO was announced this week, and the announcement drew a lot of interest. Read it here:

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

New video on Agendashift assessments

Added this month to our media page:

Top posts

  1. Announcing 15-minute FOTO version 11
  2. Get unstuck and get going: Starting small with 5% and 15% outcomes (August)
  3. The 1967 Manifesto for The Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (October)
  4. My favourite Clean Language question (January 2019)
  5. Up and Down the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (September)

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

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
Links: Home |
About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
Academy: Home | Store
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

Agendashift roundup, October 2021

In this edition: Agendashift Academy update; The 1967 manifesto for the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation; Get unstuck and get going; Upcoming; Top posts

Agendashift Academy update

What really happened: on the brink of releasing a new intermediate-level self-paced training module Outside-in Strategy with Outcomes, we decided that it would be much better to revisit Leading with Outcomes, our first self-paced training module. A big decision not taken lightly! As part of a significant pivot for the Academy itself, we’re now re-recording it, repositioning it for a much broader audience.

We’re adding, not taking away, and if you’re a practitioner of some kind (the main audience for the first version) there’s still plenty to be had from the second version. Still the familiar and well-tested exercises, but every session now connecting with leadership, speaking to a specific leadership theme, and with practical takeaways for leaders at all levels of experience. We think of it now as doing something foundational for transformational leadership, the Academy aimed squarely at “leadership and strategy in the transforming organisation”.

What to expect:

  • We’ll release each session of the new Leading with Outcomes as it becomes available, the first one mid-November and the remaining three sessions at intervals of a couple of weeks (ish). While it remains incomplete (we know that some of you like to binge on these things) we’ll offer it at a discount.
  • As a thank you and in the hope of fresh feedback, past purchasers of the old one – even those whose purchases have now expired – will be granted access to the new one up to the end of January 2022
  • We’ll announce the next interactive workshop Coaching with Outcomes soon, conducted now over four sessions to match Leading with Outcomes – you can take them in either order but you’ll be encouraged to take them together as cohort-based training, publicly or privately
  • The two in combination effectively replace the first half of the old Agendashift Deep Dive; its eventual replacement will go quite a bit further, covering the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation also
  • A re-recorded Outside-in Strategy with Outcomes (intermediate) and a new Transforming with Outcomes (advanced) will follow in the early months of 2022; complementing them will be more interactive workshops both old and new

As allowed by the quantity and growth rate of the content – soon if we hit our stride as we expect – we plan to move to a subscription model, covering what will be an ever-growing portfolio of self-paced material and offering substantial discounts on interactive workshops. Meanwhile, we’re putting in place the infrastructure to better support corporate purchasers also.

Let me finish this update with a massive thank you to everyone who gave feedback on LwO version 1. Highly encouraging for the most part, and we took to heart your ideas for improvement. We think you’ll love version 2 – not just a refinement but a bold step!

The 1967 manifesto for the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation

The first of two more-than-usually successful blog posts this month:

It has provoked some interesting conversations and no doubt I’ll be returning to the topic soon.

Get unstuck and get going

The second of those posts was this one:

For “Practice Outcomes” (the name of a warmup exercise), now think “5% Outcomes, 15% Outcomes”. Typically we do it just before doing 15-minute FOTO for the first time, and an updated 15-minute FOTO will make reference to it. There’s another change in the wings to come on top of that, so watch out for version 11 soon.

Upcoming

Per my Academy update above, there are still no workshops in the calendar but we’ll be addressing that soon. Other events:

Top posts

  1. The 1967 Manifesto for The Deliberately Adaptive Organisation
  2. Get unstuck and get going: Starting small with 5% and 15% outcomes
  3. My favourite Clean Language question (January 2019)
  4. I’m really enjoying Challenge Mapping (June 2020)
  5. Celebration-5W version 6, “your next big breakthrough” (September)

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
Academy: Home | Store
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

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?

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
Links: Home |
About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
Academy: Home | Store
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter

Agendashift roundup, September 2021

In this edition: Academy update; Up and down the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation; Celebration-5W version 6; Upcoming events; Top posts

Academy update

Time to come clean: our next public workshops (there are still private workshops taking place) won’t happen until the new year. Honestly, the desire was there, but with all the behind-the-scenes work we’re currently doing, it just got too complicated.

For a taste of things to come, Coaching with Outcomes will return in the format of four 2-hour online sessions over four weeks. Although (like the current one) you will be able to take it standalone, it will also:

  1. bring together cohorts of students taking Leading with Outcomes, and
  2. form part of a modular replacement for what was the Deep Dive workshop (actually we’re up to something more ambitious than that, but more than that I can’t say at this stage)

Outside-in Strategy with Outcomes (originally planned to be out by now) and the advanced modules based on the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (more on that below) are similarly postponed. We’re confident though that the delay will be well worth it.

Up and down the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation

This month’s big event was the webinar Up and Down the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation. Read about it and watch the video!

Meanwhile, the Deliberately Adaptive assessment pilots are going strong – three have their debrief workshops scheduled for October.deliberately-adaptive-image

Celebration-5W version 6

Also this month, an update to our context-creating workshop kickoff exercise Celebration-5W. Read about that here:

I am also testing some changes to 15-minute FOTO, our Clean Language-inspired coaching game. More on that next month I hope, and in the #cleanlanguage channel in the Agendashift Slack meanwhile.

Upcoming events

Top posts

Predictably perhaps:

  1. Up and Down the Deliberately Adaptive Organisation
  2. Celebration-5W version 6, “your next big breakthrough”
  3. My favourite Clean Language question (January 2019)
  4. From Reverse STATIK to a ‘Pathway’ for continuous transformation (October 2019)
  5. ‘Right to Left’ works for Scrum too (July 2018)

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

Welcome to Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model

Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
Links: Home |
About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Media | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
Academy: Home | Store
Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
Community: Slack | LinkedIn group | Twitter