Sunday, September 25, 2016

Leadership and Vision

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders.  Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. – Antoine De Saint-Exupery,  Author of The Little Prince

When you’re working to change the way things work, always strive to provide a strong and compelling vision. If you’re simply telling people to do ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’, and you have the authority to do so, then you’ll most likely get compliance. You’ll also probably get something done in the near term but it’s very unlikely that the change will sustain itself.

Instead, share the the vision of a better world with the team, share the hoped for impact of the change and share why it might be better. Share too the idea that it’s an experiment to be better. If the team can see the vision, have them provide the way to achieve it. Then, serve the team by helping them achieve it.

Try these three steps: Vision, Actions, and Outcomes.

Vision: As a Scrum Master or as a Product Owner, I see the Team talking with customers, understanding their pain points; getting to the heart of the problem the customer most wants solved.

Actions: Create an interview script that has the interviewer asking some questions. Pair off the team members so that only two meet with the customer. Identify what customers to talk to and arrange a casual meeting over coffee. Conduct the interview using a pull technique to get their number one problem and what their world would look like with it solved.

Outcomes: A Lean Business Canvas to make visible the hoped for business outcomes, a release plan if the the business plan is feasible

The Vision in the example above doesn't specify what happens afterward but only after the vision is established do the Actions and Outcomes become apparent.