Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Management, Time management

Summary of Agile

The principles of Agile can be applied to any team they are not exclusive to software development.

The Agile manifesto with its 12 principles was created back in 2001. Underpinning the concept is creating a learning culture which came out of the Toyota Production System. This was the Lean principle one of the foundations of Agile.

All of the 12 principles can be put into 3 main categories:-

  • Clarity & Transparency Delivery – approaches to improve how teams understand their system of work
  • Learning & Leaning – Approaches to improve and optimise team processes
  • People focus – Approached to creating an autonomous and engaged culture

The set of principles increases the awareness of the team to different approaches that lead to improvement over time.

Clarity & Transparency Delivery

  1. Regular measurements & milestones
  2. Clear intent & continuing prioritisation – vision and goals
  3. Understand what is valuable – to the customer
  4. Visualised work – white boards

Learning & Leaning

  1. Minimise waste
  2. Repeating tasks to spot incremental changes
  3. Limit work in progress
  4. Short feedback loop

People focus

  1. Team effort and collective ownership
  2. Empowered to improve as a team
  3. Collaborative learning
  4. Driving process through people interaction

 

Advertisements
Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Time management

Taking back control…

Don’t just be a follower in the office world, start to lead your behaviours and your thinking.  Take back control of your time and your mental well being.

Challenge your attendance at meetings by ensuring you know the purpose before you attend.  If you are chairing the meeting keep it short and memorable. More than three participants will it really give you the answers you need.

Manage your email by booking an appointment with it, don’t drift in and out of your in-box, a lot will be irrelevant and take your mind away from work.

Type messages on a proper keyboard, nothing is that urgent that you have to resort to a tiny phone key pad or use emojis for real actions.  Everyone can wait.

Always have a proper to-do list and rank the items in order “what if…?” If that task was not completed what would be the worst that could happen.

Be realistic and only write down the tasks you will really complete that day.  Create buckets for the other tasks, e.g. weekly, monthly and overall project list.

Pick up the phone more and speak to a “real” person, often quicker than the email, to get your view across takes many written words.

Ensure that you do not have your phone with you at meal times, enjoy the ritual of eating again. Go a stage further and ask that there are no phones at your meeting, (it will be a lot faster with no distractions).

Give yourself space and time for thinking, book an appointment for it.

Take back control and lead your life.

Please do get in touch for 1:1 coaching or a Time Management workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Leadership, motivation, personal impact

Entrepreneurial Spirit…

Many organisations are now looking for that edge, employees who although part of a company have independent thinking.  The group operate as entrepreneurs, thinking their department is a business and being open to new thinking and new ways of working.

In Sahar Hashemi’s book “Switched On” she gives a route as to how to engage with your entrepreneurial spirit.

  • Believe anyone can do it – use the skills of everyday life in your life at work.
  • Put yourself in your customers’s shoes – Jeff Bezos famously has an empty chair at every meeting for the client
  • Get out of the office – Engage with the wide world – leave the office and know what is going on around you
  • Become clueless – Forgetting how you do things – dump the baggage or the language “we have always done it this way”
  • Prototype – What does your product or service look and feel like? – gain insight from something tangible
  • Notch up Nos – Change your attitude to a “no” – try harder and see a “no” as a challenge
  • Bootstrap – Get things done with limited resources, work really hard and then harder
  • Take 100% of yourself to work – 100% effort + 100% personality = being you

 

Each of these tips are new habits that you need to work into your diary so that they become rituals and disciplines that you adopt.

Involve your team with the ideas and initiatives you will then be a group of entrepreneurs totally switched on.

For a workshop on creative thinking please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

Posted in Decision Making, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation

Being a Washington Correspondent…

The St Catherines School auditorium was packed with political enthusiasts waiting for the interview with the BBC Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue.

We were only two minutes in before President Trump was mentioned. The special relationship between the UK and the US in Trump’s eyes was helped with us leaving the EU. Although Gary did say it is very hard explaining to everyone in the US that we haven’t actually left yet…

The next term or election in the US will be key to the political landscape. Names to be aware of are Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and of course Trump himself. The encumbancy carries force although there is a feeling that Trump may simply get bored.

How serious is the Muller investigation for Trump, and the answer was not necessarily the Russian collusion, but more importantly the obstruction of justice by firing the Head of the FBI.

The constant turnaround of Advisors and the ability to second guess Trump’s thinking makes for constant instability.

Understanding the gun culture in the US and the 2Nd amendment is hard for us in the UK.   The beliefs for the right to own a gun are engrained. A constitutional amendment will not happen. However awareness since the Las Vegas mass shooting rose to 40% and then more recently with Florida to 50%. There have been and will be more changes around gun control.

“Black lives matter” has been amplified by social media however statistically there is much disparity with length of life still in the US.

The US is polarised on so many fronts, whether it be north/south, black/white, Democrats/Republicans…the list goes on.

Gary was asked how he coped with his blindness in regard to his job. He admitted to falling off 3 train platforms but was still here to tell the tale. He wore down many girlfriends in the early days by getting them to read press cuttings out loud. He is now very liberated by the use of his iPhone.

He explained how he started as a freelancer for the BBC through a friend of his fathers. Commitment and new ideas are the ingredients to being a successful journalist.

How does living as a blind person in the US compare to the UK. In the US you can plug in headphones to cashpoints in the UK you rely on honesty and kindness. Gary showed his notepad which he described as his 2nd right arm.

Cane or Guide Dog is evidently like the marmite question to a blind person. Gary favours cane at this stage in his life, with his job and travel.

Before we led into the numerous questions – Gary introduced the charity for the retiring fund – Clear Vision. The books are for sighted and unsighted individuals so the joy of reading can be shared by both at the same moment in time.

Gary said that politicians in general aim to “simplify and exaggerate” and he certainly as a journalist demystified for the audience the US, The White House, Washington and being blind. It was a privilege to be a member of the audience.

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership

Big Picture Thinking…

We all need to have a view internally and externally of an organisation to gauge new opportunities and threats from competitors.

On a nugget workshop we conduct an exercise called “Being Savvy” the idea being that you can understand where areas of growth might be and how to communicate to your team.

There are three areas of being “Savvy” and when they connect – you have your eyes wide open.

See the diagram below:-

Savvy

The delegates fill each of the circles – e.g.:-

  • Organisationally savvy
    • Understand all internal policies
    • Know the right people within the company who make this happen
    • As an individual match the culture of the organisation
    • Embody the values and therefore are a really good role model
  • Business savvy
    • Know the results and revenue details of the company
    • Aware of main competitors
    • Clear view of everyones objectives
    • Sponsors new product and services
  • Contextually savvy
    • Aware of the impact of new legislation
    • Understand the political landscape and the effect on the company
    • World events awareness to ensure that the organisation supports or champions the right causes
    • UK culture, society trends that may impact the business

This is a good start to get your employees adopting “Big Picture Thinking” – there is a world out there so we need to understand the impact on us inside and outside.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Big Picture Thinking – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, Management, Problem solving

Redefine failure…

“If we wish to fulfil our potential as individuals and organisations, we must redefine failure” – Matthew Syed author of Black Box Thinking.

At school they used to say mistakes were learning opportunities and all too often you would raise your eyes incredulous at the platitude.

However now we can see that effective cultures are the companies that have an environment that is open to mistakes.  Organisations that provide an open forum to talk about challenges and errors, means they are open to new ways of working.

In the book “Black Box Thinking” the culture of the aviation industry is compared to the NHS.  The safety record of aviation is phenomenal with every incident being thoroughly investigated with the help of the Black Box.  The NHS culture is still incredibly hierarchical with a fear of admitting mistakes.  We are now in a world far more litigious where there is a threat of liability hanging over people’s heads.

To implement Black Box Thinking into your organisation here are some tips:-

  1. Create a progressive attitude to failure – confront mistakes
  2. Team meetings and team briefings where everyone has a voice
  3. Empower everyone to speak – create linear management structure
  4. Break down a big problem into small parts and rigorously establish what works and what doesn’t
  5. Ensure that blame language is not used or individuals targeted – group responsibility
  6. Create systems like the Black Box investigations where you review success and failure in the same way every time
  7. Apply creative thinking to resolve problems
  8. Be open to change when analysing and during problem solving – do not focus on just one part or one error
  9. Explain the benefits of learning from failure – reduce costs, advocating practising, as it is better to fail within the company than to the Client
  10. Wash up meetings and reviews should be common place and enjoyable leading to effectiveness and ultimately success

Please do get in touch if you would like a 90 minute workshop on Black Box Thinking.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, Management, Relationships

Keeping stars…

The old saying was “People leave People not jobs” therefore we must treat are star employees like people.

Invest in a relationship with them, understand their values, what do they get out of bed for in the morning.  Some people say work is work, however there is always something behind their motives.  Work is a need to fulfil all other areas of life.

Therefore when we are in work how can you ensure they stay on the journey with you:-

1. Get to know your employees.  

Meet with them for 1:1 meetings once a fortnight.  Take time within those meeting to go beyond current workload.

2. Make it fun

Look for opportunities to build enjoyment into their role.  The brain absorbs more when it is relaxed and having fun.  Laughter releases endorphins, all the ingredients of creating the right atmosphere for work.

3. Meaningful interactions

Employees who understand the big picture and feel connected to the purpose of the business, foster more loyalty.  Get your team members to connect with clients make them feel a part of the whole thing.

4. Harness strengths

Identify the strengths of your employees and make sure they are exaggerated.  Leveraging what some-one is good at, could be a better investment than developing an area of weakness.  The opportunities within their strengths can lead to new areas of expertise.

5. Invest 

Invest your time and money in your employees.  Pay for them to be developed and give them your time to understand the future they see for themselves.

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for a workshop on Career Development