Agile Leadership: Building Shared Responsibility Teams
Of the many benefits of agility, none is more transforming than the power of self-organizing teams. Yet, building such teams remains one of the most elusive goals. This is due to the challenging transition functional managers must make to develop the right organizational environment for teams to mature. This session is for managers who are challenged in building strong self-organizing teams. This session will develop your agile organizational leadership awareness and competencies to build committed, disciplined and self-organizing teams who share responsibility.
This session guides participant leaders from a leader-focused heroic approach to a team-focused post-heroic approach through lecture, activities, discussion and self-assessment. It is based on the work of David Bradford and Allan Cohen in their books “Managing for Excellence”, and “Power Up: Transforming Organizations Through Shared Leadership” and adapted to focus on agile development leadership.
The 90 minute session introduces the model of heroic and post-heroic leadership styles, provides participants with an opportunity to self-assess their leadership style and exposes them to the organizational structures supporting and hindering those leadership approaches. We explore expert and conductor leadership styles and how they perpetuate a negative responsibility cycle; we relate leadership styles to organizational structures to explain when and how they are effective; and we learn about the developer style and how it can be used to build strong, self-organizing, disciplined and shared-responsibility agile teams both through organizational and people development.
An extended version of this Agile Leadership Workshop has been conducted in full-day offsite leadership retreats for organizations and has received very positive feedback from product, process and functional leaders of all levels. This 90 minute session for Agile 2009 is a subset of the full-day workshop.
- Identifying two of the most common heroic leadership styles (expert and conductor) and the responsibility cycle driven by them
- Relating traditional organizational structures from which heroic leadership styles emerge and align: functional hierarchy and matrix organizations
- An introduction to flexible organizations, task-based leadership, and the new dynamic software economy driving changes in traditional leadership styles and organizational structures
- An understanding of a post-heroic leadership style (developer) and the skills, competencies and behaviors of a post-heroic leader: Creating commitment to a tangible vision, building a shared responsibility team, and enhancing power through mutual influence
- Participants self-analysis of behaviors, characteristics and competencies on the heroic/post-heroic leadership matrix
- Agile leadership is not new and is not isolated to software development, but rather is a challenge and goal in organizations of all types and sizes