Personal Improvement

1. Decide what you will place at stake, let go of, reconsider, and reinvent about yourself in service to achieving your highest goal.
Why? So you won’t keep getting the same results you’ve been getting.

2. Set out on a relentless journey to discover whatever is available and relevant to your organization’s improving and reinforces the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto for Software Development.
Why? So you will be unstoppable to anything that crops up.

3. Voraciously learn. Dedicate your mind to advancing your mastery of the fields of social technology, self-management, psychological safety, collaboration, ontology, group relations, systems-thinking, or better. Trade skills within your team first. Then search outward.
Why? To accelerate the growth of effectiveness and clarity across the organization.

4. Discover everyone’s needs, challenges, strengths and intentions in the Sprint Retrospectives. Honor them. Tend to them. Leverage them. Revise a written Working Agreement.
Why? To remove the incentive for sub-optimization, infighting, and collective self-sabotage.

5. Proclaim yourselves an archetype and codex for all other teams in your purview to emulate. Be on display. Adapt yourself to feedback when unintended consequences arise.
Why? To be the change you want to see in your organization. Nothing else will work.

6. Find an accountability buddy (coach) who is not susceptible to your reprisals. Relentlessly press them to challenge your complacency, goading you out of it.
Why? Every coach needs a coach.

7. Be your best self in uncertainty. Take risks. Commit before you know how to make it happen.
Why? That’s what leaders do. Your people need that.

Fortify the Structure

1. Create large scale, optional attendance events for people throughout the organization to discover new ways to translate the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto into their work context and propose new ways of working.
Why? Because VUCA* requires too many conversations to coordinate them centrally. Running them in serial takes too long. Have them happen in parallel, spontaneously.

2.Explicitly grant dispensation for anyone Willing to form new teams with goals, members, accountabilities, and authority to deliver customer value. Allow those teams to persist as long as they wish.
Why? Less bureaucracy and lower cost of delay.

3. Minimize the avg. time & effort it takes for info to travel round-trip across your organization: Up, Down, Side to Side, and Back again for anything including Goals, Decisions, Plans, and Actions. Shoot for less than 1 day round-trip, with no loss in fidelity.
Why? Power is proportional to the velocity at which words turn into action. Your org needs much more power to win in VUCA*.

4. Dream big. Look for openings to pull new services, products, businesses, or industries out of. Hunt for clues to how your organization could modularize into a platform that hosts a thriving ecology of ongoing concerns (3rd party or micro-enterprises.)
Why? It engages people, promotes healthy growth, and it feels good.

Instate New Ways of Working

1. Find a small team of transformation helpers. Agree to Scrum together through whatever it takes to accomplish the goal in 1. (Product Goal)
Why? It takes a village. Several lumps of coal burn brighter together.

2. Look for ways to double-team, cluster-clobber, posse-pounce difficult goals, all at once. Run tandem plays on 1 item. Single-piece flow. Always ask for help.
Why? Because many hands make light-work and sustainable pace.

3. As PO, Unequivocally prioritize by constantly comparing the ROI of each Product Backlog Item vis a vis another. As developers (leaders), estimate both the relative difficulty in completing them.
Why? To enable focus and single-piece flow.

4. Focus on resolving any open Questions, Risks, Impediments or Requests waiting for your response (in the Product Backlog). Be preoccupied over whether or not the person at the source of it really got what they wanted in directing it to you.
Why? Languishing in FUD** doesn’t give your organization more power.

5. Search for new ways to intentionally disrupt traditions and superstitions pervasive in the organization. “This is how we’ve always done it.” -Is an indictment, not a rational justification.
Why? The old right ways are now counterproductive. And you are blind to this fact.

Refine Transparency

1. How will applying an Agile Mindset figure into achieving the organization’s goals? Publish that as a time-bounded goal, and what achieving it will look like for everyone.
Why? So everyone can optimize their actions toward achieving the same goal.

2. Collaboratively create a Product Backlog which reliably delivers progress toward the Product Goal. Visualize all the work anyone on the Scrum Team at the Leadership level has to get done. Relentlessly: eliminate, automate, or delegate. Drive decisions down to teams.
Why? Transparency, clarity, scrutiny and creativity happen this way.

3. Broadcast what your organization learns about working in Agile-minded ways across the entire organization, and out to the entire world of work.
Why? A network of conversations accelerates systematic evolution, smart risk-taking, and confidence.

4. Leadership Storytell the exploits of individual/team exemplars whenever an audience gathers. Inspire, assure, and support those who are Willing but not confident. Curate and increment the level of detail to the Vision you extoll.
Why? You’re a fortune teller. They need to know what “winning” looks like to you.


1. Be Agile in order to be Agile.
Why? Business Agility is not a subtle disruption to the status quo. It is designed to create an elusive but real business capability.

2. Dictate how people will work to achieve your Vision, Goals, and initiatives.
Why? You’re not likely to know the best approach beforehand, and your organization has already evolved to prevent those kinds of achievements.

3. Work in big batches, build up risk, inventory, unrecovered cost, or inflate delays.
Why? Big batches create more business problems than they address.

4. Hatch big plans, or wait to do the right thing, or wait till the perfect time to please customers.
Why? Time is money. Agility is a bias toward action learning.

5. Tell people how to work or live.
Why? They won’t do it your way. It’s too expensive trying to make them.

6. Fix, rescue, nag, manipulate or pressure people to do stuff.
Why? They don’t need it and resent your pushing. They’ll blame you when it fails.

7. Moralize to people about what “should be” so. Don’t preach dogma, harbor contempt, or distrust co-workers.
Why? It alienates everyone. Their psychological defenses go up.

8. Say 1 thing and do another.
Why? It doesn’t give you power. People grow cynical about anything you say.

9. Manage people.
Why? It’s disrespectful and unrealistic.

10. Outsource or offload learning to “other” people, inside or outside the organization.
Why? It’s too expensive. Only by “out-learning” other organizations, can yours survive in VUCA*.


*VUCA: volatile, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity
**FUD: fear, uncertainty, doubt