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“We are utterly Agile!

The freedom employees have to move around and across the organization is remarkable. It is the perfect manifestation of cross-functional individuals.

I used to be a traditional project manager. A year ago, I became a Scrum Master. I took not only the two-day class but also the test –so I am a certified SM; I am a real, solid Master!

At work, I usually follow the Scrum Guide and also a 450-page Scrum Playbook that I received from my instructor. I am friendly and I like helping my coworkers.

However, things with my team are very hard to handle. They do not listen, try to avoid the meetings and do not seem as excited as they should be.

Leveraging the freedom Agile provides to my organization, I am thinking about switching. I am deciding between taking a 2-day class to become a proud certified Product Owner or a 4-day class to become a SAFe Agile instructor. With either certification, I will be able to move to a different department.

Agile makes cross-functionality a reality in my company!”

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Using terms such as “leadership team” or “leadership meeting” when referring to management or executives, disempower and discourage people across the organization.

Such type of terms suggest that:

  • Leadership is held only by a selected group of individuals –the organization’s elite.

  • Only the cream of the company has the power –knowledge, experience and/or rank– to perform/conduct leadership.

They encourage the concept of organizational hierarchies and inhibits proactivity by/from non-executives and non-managers.

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MENTORSHIP ⇒  Focus on character rather than competency

Too many mentors see mentoring as a training program focused around the acquisition of job skills (technical, hard skills).

Certainly, one element of mentorship involves mastering the necessary competencies for a given position. However, the best leaders go beyond competency.

They focus on helping shape other people’s character, values, self-awareness, empathy and capacity for respect.

They know that in the long run values-based qualities matter a lot more than skill enhancement.

There are many ways to mentor people around these values and to build greater self-awareness. That is “What the Best Mentors Do.”

Anthony K. Tjan

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“For many years I’ve brought the best ideas to my department and started the best initiatives in the company. I like winning. I love shining. One of the secrets to advance my career: ‘who has the information has the power.’

I like what Agile is about. It seems cool stuff. However, it brings a lot about participation, consensus and collaboration. It sounds against what has made my career a success.

Why should I support it?”

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Become a mediator not a ‘decision-make’…a ‘judge’

People matter and finding a middle ground during conflict will help your team, coworkers, community or family weather any storm.

Unlike a judge or an arbitrator, a mediator will not decide the outcome of “the case.” In fact, since the mediator should not have authority to impose a decision, nothing will be decided unless both parties agree to it.

The process focuses on solving problems in a way that tends to be beneficial to everyone. The primary goal is for all parties to work out a solution they can live with and trust.

The mediator’s job is to help the parties resolve the problem through a process that encourages each side to:

  • Air disputes.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of their case.
  • Understand that accepting less than expected is the hallmark of a fair settlement, and
  • Agree on a satisfactory solution.

PRO-TIP: Rather than focusing solely on decision making, define a plan –short, clear, not-detailed– that encourages, raises and respects the diversity of the people in the group –their opinions, views, beliefs and ideas.

Quickly you will see how different the process and the outcome will be.

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I think the biggest change is how consumers obtain information on businesses, products and services. The internet has made it much easier to find information but much more difficult for businesses to stand out from the crowd.

Most businesses must now create new and more exciting ways to attract potential customers while remaining professional and not offending which has really become a tight rope obstacle course in the last 10 years or so.

Also, I think business is becoming less cut throat in the way of we need to kill every form of competition out there. Small business owners especially see the importance of supporting one another and lifting their industry as a whole rather than focusing on cutting down their competition.

The business mindset has evolved over the last 30 plus years to reflect the changing world. Attire has become more casual. Corporate policies have become more lifestyle friendly. And the interaction consumers have with businesses have become more personal.

While some may disagree that business changes from the 80’s is a positive thing, I tend to lean toward the idea that like humans, business is still evolving and will continue to evolve to reflect society’s changes and this is necessary for economic prosperity.

Joel Lutfiyya
(Entrepreneur, Startup & Business Strategist)

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Learning and growing

  • Do you want to remember thoughts?  Type them and share them.
  • Do you want to fix in the/your mind tips and insights? Get engaged in conversations.
  • Do you want to think critically? Let others challenge your views.
  • Do you want to be relevant? Strike a critical note.

When you share your thoughts, knowledge and point of views, you learn, become useful and feel great!

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