Your organisation in 5 networks

Updated 2022-11-17: Renamed network #2, minor edits elsewhere

Expanding slightly on yesterday’s LinkedIn post (linkedin.com), your organisation in 5 networks:

Network #1: Your reporting network. This is just your formal structure – typically a hierarchy, perhaps with the occasional bit of dual reporting thrown in – seen here as lines of communication. Because sideways communication has to be implemented indirectly via upward and downward communication, it can be highly inefficient.

Network #2: Your delivery operations network. I am referring not to material flows or to the knowledge work equivalent, but to the interactions between people that make those flows what they are, performing as they do. In siloed organisations, the delivery operations network cuts across the reporting network, sometimes uncomfortably.

Network #3: Your strategy network. Typically richer than the reporting network, this connects everyone involved in anybody else’s strategic decision-making – any decision-making at any level of organisation that impacts on things like identity, purpose, objectives, learning, and adaptation. A more abstract and less messy version of this network connects not people but domains of responsibility at varying levels of granularity (see circular organisation).

Network #4: Your trust-building network. This is the network of all connections that are enhanced by meaningful efforts to build or maintain mutual trust. In a high-trust organisation, this can be expected to overlap significantly with the preceding three networks.

Network #5: The social network: All the above and more – the totality of your organisation’s network of interaction and influence, covering all the conversations that contribute to making your organisation what it is and what it is becoming.

And two hypotheses (with caveats):

Hypothesis 1. The more that networks 2, 3, and 4 are healthy, the more that networks 1 and 5 look after themselves.

Hypothesis 2. The richer you can make them, the more likely is the serendipitous conversation, increasing rate of innovation.

As rightly observed in some of the questions and comments on the first version of this post, these hypotheses are slightly in tension. Rich is good, richer would be better for many if not most organisations, and​ leaders within them would do well to pay attention to those networks. You can however have too much of a good thing, not to mention that some innovation happens in the darker corners, so to speak. In my use of the word “healthy” in hypothesis 1 I did intend a sense of balance, and I should have worked that sense into hypothesis 2 also. Instead though, this paragraph’s caveats 🙂

Some questions for you:

  1. In your organisation, which network or networks dominate?
  2. At what cost?
  3. Given where you sit in each of these networks and the reach that they afford you, what might you do?

Your answers, questions, or feedback can go on the original post (linkedin.com).

You can also take them to one of the upcoming webinars – the first three (December 8th, January 12th, February 2nd) finish with an AMA (Ask Mike Anything) session. Including that webinar series, The questions that drive us (eventbrite.co.uk), all our upcoming events:


Agendashift™: Serving the transforming organisation
Agendashift  Academy: Leading with Outcomes | Facilitator and Trainer Programmes

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We help leaders and engaged team members at every level to gain fluency in the language of outcomes – developing and pursuing strategies together, innovating, learning, and adapting as the organisation renews and transforms itself from the inside.

PS The slide below is adapted from the talk I gave last week at SEACON (the Studies in Enterprise Agility Conference). Video to follow.

Free webinar series: The questions that drive us

Starting December 8th, a rolling series of free webinars, each taking on one of the three questions that drive Leading with Outcomes:

  1. Thursday 08 December, online, 15:00GMT, 16:00CET, 10am ET:
    What if we put agreement on outcomes ahead of solutions?
    Mike Burrows
  2. Thursday 12 January, online, 15:00GMT, 16:00CET, 10am ET:
    How do we keep bringing outcomes to the foreground?
    Mike Burrows
  3. Thursday 02 February, online, 15:00GMT, 16:00CET, 10am ET:
    Where – and where else – could we be doing strategy?
    Mike Burrows

Series link: The questions that drive us (eventbrite.co.uk)

In the absence of a featured guest, each webinar will finish with an Ask Mike Anything (AMA) session. After the initial (and relatively short) presentation, feel free to raise topics outside the session’s theme.

In March, we cycle back to the first question, joined this time by special guests Stephen Dowling & friends. Note the change of time – our guests are dialling from Melbourne, Australia:

  1. Wednesday 08 March, online, 09:30GMT, 10:30CET, 10am ET:
    What if we put agreement on outcomes before solutions?
    Mike Burrows, Stephen Dowling & friends

Bookmark the series link and join us when you can!


Agendashift™: Serving the transforming organisation
Agendashift  Academy: Leading with Outcomes | Facilitator and Trainer Programmes

Links: Subscribe | Events | Contact | Mike

We help organisations, leaders at every level, and engaged team members to pursue strategies developed together in the language of outcomes – and as they progress, to innovate, learn, adapt and transform.

Agendashift roundup, October 2022

In this edition: November is Foundation month; December is TTT/F month; The questions that drive us (free webinar series); Coming to Berlin; A quick note from the department of administrative affairs; Upcoming; Top posts

November is Foundation month

Leading with Outcomes: Foundation that is, and in two formats.

The self-paced format first: Coming in at 1 hour 50 minutes in 25 short videos across three chapters, the next and greatly improved iteration of Foundation is 26% shorter, a year fresher, and much better structured than the one it replaces. It is currently in beta and goes fully live this coming Friday. If you plan to start your Academy subscription before then or you have one already don’t worry – we’d be glad to add you to the beta.

Later in the month, we’re running it as an online event. It is already well subscribed but there are still places available:

More:

December is TTT/F month

We’re running our second Train-the-Trainer / Facilitator (TTT/F) in December:

The later timing will be more convenient for the Americas this time round. Again, it is already well subscribed but there are still places available (3 at the last count).

The questions that drive us (free webinar series)

Starting December 9th, we’re starting a monthly series of free webinars, open to all. Initially at least, the format will be as follows:

  1. A short presentation on one of the three questions that drive both Agendashift and Leading with Outcomes
  2. Ask Mike Anything – in addition to the Academy-only AMA sessions (two of those per month), your chance to, erm, ask me anything

To that basic structure we will add guest appearances too in due course.

December’s question (book your place here):

In future months:

  • How do we keep bringing outcomes to the foreground?
  • Where – and where else – could we be developing and pursuing strategy?

Three questions, three principles, three ways in which leaders can help themselves be more effective in a transforming organisation.

For the big strategy occasions, for those everyday interactions, and for everything in between, we help leaders at all levels put those principles into practice:

  • Having the kinds of conversations that too often get missed, fostering authentic engagement on the issues and the opportunities
  • Helping their teams work backwards from key moments of impact and learning, innovation focussed on the right objectives, pursued in the right way
  • Engaging with their organisations in all of their complexity and potential

Coming to Berlin

For my first trip outside the UK since covid, I need to be in Berlin on February 9th. Thanks to my friend Markus Hipelli at Leanovate, we have a venue for a 1-day Foundation or 2-day TTT/F on the day or two immediately beforehand. If interested, let me know, and let me know which of those you’d prefer!

A quick note from the department of administrative affairs

Positive Incline Ltd has officially changed its name to Agendashift Ltd. The old company name is most prominent to mailing list subscribers (for annoying technical reasons it remains so for now); other details such as company number, VAT number, bank account, etc stay the same. The changes will take a while to fully work through but still it’s another nice milestone.

Upcoming

And as mentioned above, watch this space for a Berlin-based event in February.

Anytime (self-paced):

Top posts

  1. Better user stories start with authentic situations of need (October 2016)
  2. Leaders as keepers of context (September)
  3. A leaner, fitter Foundation (October)
  4. My favourite Clean Language question (January 2019)
  5. Meaningfulness, significance, and direction (October)

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Agendashift roundup, October 2020

In this edition: Media – recordings, articles, etc; November Deep Dive; Updates to Celebration-5W; Progress on the 2nd edition; Top posts

Media – recordings, articles, etc

Released this month:

I’ve taken the opportunity to gather these and similar resources from the past year or more on a new media page, agendashift.com/media. Over time I’ll add dig out some Agendashift-era conference recordings etc also. If you have any favourites you think I should add, let me know!

Thanks for those I’ve added so far go to the Cutter Consortium, Jay Hrcsko (Agile Uprising podcast), Martin Aziz & team (SquirrelNorth), Joe Auslander & Jakub Jurkiewicz (Joekub podcast), Ben Linders (InfoQ), Rahul Bhattacharya (Agile Atelier podcast), Mo Hagar (Agile on the Edge podcast), John Rouda (A Geek Leader podcast), Paul Klipp & Justyna Pindel (Agile Book Club podcast).

November Deep Dive

17th-20th November: Agendashift Deep Dive: Coaching and leading continuous transformation – eight 2-hour sessions over four days, EMEA-friendly timing. A practical, hands-on experience of Agendashift, the wholehearted outcome-oriented, engagement model.

All the usual discounts apply: repeat visits (not uncommon), partners, gov, edu, non-profit, country, un- or under-employment, bulk orders. If you think that one might apply to you, do please ask. We have a quorum already but the more the merrier.

Updates to Celebration-5W

There is a new version 4 deck for our workshop kickoff exercise, Celebration-5W. Like most of our exercises, games, templates etc it is Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA) and you can obtain it via its resource page agendashift.com/celebration-5w.

The main changes:

  • I’ve tweaked a key slide – see the image below – to suggest some initial iteration between When and What; the discussion (if not its later presentation) begins here
  • Unhiding the initial slides for facilitators – they weren’t showing up in Dropbox
  • In those initial slides for facilitators, the quote from Agendashift is now from the pending 2nd edition (more on that in a moment)

celebration-5w-2020-10-30

Progress on the 2nd edition

A couple of blog posts this month flow from (among other things) work on the 2nd edition of Agendashift:

From the second of those, nearly 3 weeks old now:

I’ll be pulling out all the stops, integrating (as Agendashift has done consistently for a long time) ideas and experience from Lean-Agile, organisation development, and strategy

Glad to report that this work on the 5th and final chapter is not only well underway, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now! Just a few more sections and I’ll have a first complete draft and I’ll be at the “90% done and still half the work to do” stage. I’m not quoting dates yet but quarter 1 of 2021 seems very doable.

Top posts

Recent:

Classic:


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Good obstacle, bad obstacle: The recording

The recording of yesterday’s webinar Good Obstacle, Bad Obstacle is now live on Youtube. You can find it and all the links mentioned in it gathered together here:

I’ve added the deck to the Agendashift Assets Dropbox and you can request access to it via the above page. It’s CC-BY-SA, so feel free to have some fun with it.

While we’re here, let me repeat Monday’s updates, starting with the November Deep Dive:

Don’t hesitate to ask for a discount code if you think you might qualify on grounds of country, non-profit, government, educational, etc. Also if you’d be a repeat participant, of which there have been a good number!

Jay Hrcsko interviewed me the other day for the Agile Uprising podcast and you can listen to the recording at the link below. Thanks Jay, that was a lot of fun!

Also in the “just happened” category, Cutter Consortium has just published an article of mine in the form of an Executive Update. It’s a little dense compared to my books but it was fun rehearsing that particular chain of thought for the Agendashift 2nd edition. Grab it here:


Agendashift™, the wholehearted engagement model
Links: Home |
About | Our mission: Wholehearted | Become an Agendashift partner | Assessments | Books | Resources | Events | Contact | MikeSubscribe
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Blog: Monthly roundups | Classic posts
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From: Good Obstacle, Bad Obstacle

Happening (or just happened)

Update: The webinar recording is now live – see here

Happening: Good Obstacle, Bad Obstacle; Agendashift Deep Dive. Just happened: Agile Uprising podcast; Cutter Consortium paper

Tomorrow’s free webinar is sailing close to the 100 participant limit (to the point that I’ve asked anyone who can’t attend to cancel) but there are at the time of writing a single-digit number of tickets available. Get yours here:

After that, the next big event is the November Deep Dive:

Re that one, don’t hesitate to ask for a discount if you think you might qualify on grounds of country, non-profit, government, educational, etc. Also if you’d be a repeat participant, of which there have been a good number!

Meanwhile, Jay Hrcsko interviewed me the other day for the Agile Uprising podcast and you can listen to the recording at the link below. Thanks Jay, that was a lot of fun!

Also in the “just happened” category, Cutter Consortium has just published an article of mine in the form of an Executive Update. It’s a little dense compared to my books but it was fun rehearsing that particular chain of thought for the Agendashift 2nd edition. Grab it here:

And thank you Andrea Chiou, Jonathan Sibley, and Jon Cashmore for your help – very gratefully received!


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

From: Good Obstacle, Bad Obstacle