Whats your Passion #25 – Stakeholder Influence

Are you “influencing up?” 
Or are you being “managed down?”

Old-school thinking used to be that we “manage up, down and sideways.” The game has changed and how to influence up, down and across the organization (without authority) is the new way to get things done.

In the Flow Leadership Framework, we have a unique way of mapping Stakeholder Power + Interest and Stakeholder Power + Effort.

Each Stakeholder is identified as a +, – or a 0 (is the Stakeholder for, against or neutral to your assignment?). We then layer-in is the Stakeholder for, against or neutral toward you.

In any political campaign, it is important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t waste any effort trying to convert the heretics (or those that don’t like you). Skeptics, on the other hand, are worth the effort to win them over to your mindset. 

Of course, you don’t have any politics where you work, right? 

Let’s chat!

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PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform

What’s your Passion #24 – Change Vision

How is your organization doing?

Is the Vision both effectively Cascaded -and- is every Individual, Team and Product (Service/Result) linked back to that Vision?

“Most companies under communicate their visions for change by at least a factor of 10. A single memo announcing a big new change is never enough, nor is even a series of speeches by the CEO and the executive team.” 

– Dr. John Kotter

Without a clear, concise, agreed-to & cascaded Vision it will be tough to lead or inspire anyone. Worse, there is a high risk that hard conversations that need to happen, won’t. 

Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

The Flow Leadership Framework’s Cascading Vision helps create the right communication Flow and increases your chances of success by multiple factors.

Let’s chat today about how to get your Vision communicated in the right way…

PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform

What’s your Passion #23 – Ford and Toyota

When learning from a source, how far back do we go to gain wisdom? 
25, 50, 100, 250 or even 2,500 years?

In my book “The Nehemiah Effect,” Ted and I reached back 2,500+ years into the past to share about the worlds first Agile projects:

Nehemiah Effect – Click image for link to Amazon…

When I did my MBA in back ‘93 one of my professors shared the story about a group of Ford executives that visited Japan to find out why the Japanese were performing so well.

In the meeting when asked about it, the Japanese executives took out a copy of Henry Ford’s book on production and showed it to the Ford team. Rather embarrassing for Ford’s leadership.

It is amazing to me that one of the sources for Japan’s remarkable results was Henry Ford himself. Ford’s leadership either ignored or forgot about their own founder, W. Edwards Deming, et al, to their own detriment.

Today I found a peer-reviewed article on this very subject and the link to that journal article is here.

It is often overlooked that the seeds of greatness are already present in our own organizations and that those are, sadly, missed (or outright spurned) by the next generations.

In my book “Flow: Get Everyone Moving in the Right Direction and Loving It” Ted and I documented 13 Case Studies (well, actually 14 since SingTel is the featured case study the main body of the book, but it’s also included in the edgecom case study at the end of the book) across all industries (during the past 26 years) where teams successfully applied the principles of the Flow Leadership Framework and delivered some pretty amazing results:

Flow – Click image for link to Amazon…

Let’s chat today about how to mine the hidden gems in your own organization…


PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform

What’s your Passion #22 – Poll Results

The Results of the LinkedIn Poll from 08 May 2021 are now in.

This was an interesting experiment.

  • Am pleased that 79% are pragmatic.
  • Enjoyed the input from the 12% that voted “other” and their suggestions.
  • Impressed that only 9% are purists

It is interesting that the participation rate in the poll was 1.09% (based on total view of 3,109 with 34 votes).

Although this poll was not scientific by any means, it is still indicative & qualitative for my network here on LinkedIn. 

And that gives me hope for the future.

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PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

What’s your Passion #21 – LinkedIn Marketing

What are your thoughts … is LinkedIn Marketing worth the effort?
What are you doing to get your message out to your target audience?

Although I was among the first 70,000 people to sign-up for LinkedIn, I still consider myself a novice regarding using LinkedIn as a marketing channel.

Here’s one of the marketing images and motivation for using LinkedIn from Entrepreneur Magazine (click image for link to article):

8 Lessons in Using LinkedIn for Marketing

Moving both existing and new contacts & followers from interest to action appears to be quite a challenge. Here’s another image for increasing APP downloads (click image for link to article):

5 Ways LinkedIn Marketing Can Boost App Downloads

Btw, for those that have been participating in the poll I shared last Saturday, today is the last day to vote (I’ll drop the link in the comments). On Wednesday, 12 May, I’ll share the results and some additional thoughts in a post.

Do you have any good marketing tips that have worked for you on LinkedIn?


PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform

What’s your Passion #20 – Management?

Curious what your thoughts are on managers … and what to do with them from an Agile perspective? Today I’m doing a poll on LinkedIn with these questions:

  1. Repurpose them?
  2. Remove them?
  3. Other? (share your thoughts in the comments on the LinkedIn poll)

Recently, a customer that has been struggling for years about what to do with their managers, after observing the remarkable value-add that the Flow Leadership Framework delivers, he remarked:

“Flow is the puzzle piece that plugs the Management gap and disconnect that exists in all Agile & Scaling Methods and it answer the question of what do we do with our middle layer of management!”

It begins to be a little more clear when we use the Four Lenses and combine that with Roles:

Without winning the hearts and minds of middle management in the Team, Product and Organizational areas, it will be tough to transform the culture into a resilient organization that can be nimble and quick.

Let’s chat today about turning your management into cultural transformation champions.

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PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform

What’s your Passion #19 – Friction

Is there Friction in your teams?
Are they experiencing confusion?
How is their performance?

There is both good and bad friction. To me it is self-evident that thought-leaders, like Peter Drucker, when talking about friction in business are usually referencing the bad kind.

– Peter Drucker quote

The Flow Friction Analysis I use is jaw-dropping simple, powerful and can be put to use with your teams today. My brother Dan is undoubtedly the originator of this model when he used something similar back in the 90s in a leadership class he taught.

The Flow Leadership formula for success is: 
Vision + Right People + 4D Model = Success.

And the analysis based on that formula looks like this:

  • No Vision? —> Anarchy
  • Wrong People —> Anxiety
  • Wrong Definitions —> Confusion
  • No Distilled Agreement —> Politics
  • Can’t Deliver —> Chaos
  • Unable to Drive —> Division
Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

For example, if your team members exhibit anxiety, then the team itself is sensing that there is a wrong team member is on the squad. If you have a team member that is confused, then the definitions in your product backlog are most likely incorrect, etc.

Quickly detecting a friction points empowers you to eradicate them and to free your team to succeed.

What will you do today to create friction-free teams?

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PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform

What’s your Passion #18 – Hugging Porcupines

The joy of working with toxic people!

The topic of how to deal with toxic people has popped up multiple times during the last six months. During the holidays at the end of 2020 I came across and read a book written by Dr. John Lund titled, “How to Hug a Porcupine: Dealing With Toxic & Difficult to Love Personalities.” Click picture to see the book on Amazon:

A few of the takeaways from his book include:

  • First, you will never change a porcupine
  • Second, a porcupine seldom understands that they are toxic themselves
  • Third, you simply can’t hug porcupines

If you are having to mitigate temper tantrums thrown by an adult “two-year-old-self-entitled-brat” that never grew up, I would highly recommend Dr. Lund’s book.

In addition, I would suggest that you apply Vision, 4R Model and 4D model from the Flow Leadership Framework to stop them in their tracks, since most porcupines are self-centered, manipulators and control freaks. I have discovered that if you successfully remove emotion from a situation, then you almost completely disable the porcupine.

How to use Vision

Most porcupines are charming. They use emotions like a double-edged sword to get their way, even if it’s the wrong way.

For example, I had a situation where a porcupine was continuously trying to emotionally guilt-trip the rest of the team into doing what she wanted. So, I set-up a spread-sheet with one section on Vision, another with Strategy, the third with the Project & People and the fourth section labelled Tasks.

Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

After interviewing all of the teams members for their VSPTs (Vision, Strategy, People, Tasks) for the project, I summarized it in a one-page table in Excel. Then I reviewed the table with each team member to ensure that I had their input correctly captured.

Then I called a team meeting.

As I handed-out printed copies of the table, I noticed that the porcupine immediately became agitated. As I walked the team through the results, it was clear that the porcupine was on the edge of an emotional outburst.

But she didn’t erupt like she had in other meetings. There, in black-and-white on the paper, it was clear her way was the wrong way and that the rest of the team was heading in a much better direction.

By demonstrating that her Vision was not aligned with the team’s Vision, all she could do was acquiesce to the will of the team. No tantrums. No theatrics. She was neutralized, for the moment. The disruptions ended. And eventually she got bored and left the team.

The 4R Model

The results that the porcupine was demanding from the rest of the team were borderline ridiculous. She was continuously interfering with the other team member’s daily work and felt that only her values & attitudes were the right ones. Ultimately, it was her core “truth” that was out of step and misaligned with the rest of the team.

Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

Porcupines are not reasonable or rational people. They are highly efficient emotional manipulators. Trying to help a porcupine make a new decision based on new (rational) information won’t work, unless you’ve done your homework with the “VSPT” for the team.

The 4D Model

Porcupines love politics and drama. The phrase “drama queen” didn’t emerge in the English language by accident. A porcupine will only back-off when confronted with the fact that they are out of step with the rest of the group. Peer pressure still works, to some degree, with a porcupine. But the surrender on the part of a porcupine will be short-lived, at best.

By distilling agreement with the balance of the team, you can isolate the porcupine. As they understand that they are more-and-more out-of-step with the rest of the team, it is only then that they will get bored and start to look for some other interesting project where they can share their “valuable knowledge, skill and experience.”

Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

Distillation is one of the key tools for mitigating politics, eliminating situational emotion and for preventing group-think. When you can remove these three from a team or an individual, then it is game, set and match. As much as they want to, even a porcupine can’t resist good technique (even if it shuts them down).

Only a porcupine can fix themselves

You can’t fix porcupines unless they themselves recognize that they both have and are the problem. Recognizing there is a problem is the first step to recovery. Most porcupines are not that self-aware to even be able to do that. They think they are God’s gift to humanity. They’re not.

So, unless you are a Psychologist like Dr. Lund, then you probably can’t even come close to fixing a porcupine, let alone hugging them. Feel free to try. And my 38+ years of working with people & teams tells me Dr. Lund is right.

And until the porcupine is “fixed,” the best you can do is to use peer pressure, Vision, the 4R Model and the 4D Model to either mitigate or eliminate the porcupines in your life.

If you’re not using the Flow Leadership Framework to mitigate and/or eliminate the porcupines in your life, then maybe we should be chatting about how to do that with your team members?

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PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform

What’s your Passion #17 – What’s your Why?!

The Four Whys

Paul DiModica in his book “Value Forward Selling” (pages 26-27) outlines the three (3) whys that anything is done in an organization:

  • Increase Income
  • Decrease Expenses
  • Manage Business Risks

In the Flow Leadership Framework, we added a fourth item to Paul’s list:

  • Do the right thing

Some people will argue that the fourth one should be put first. I understand that view. However, I chose to put these in the order of ease of measuring. Measuring both Risks and Doing The Right Thing are more difficult because they are more subjective and abstract than measuring real numbers.

If there is no profit, it is not sustainable.

We also updated income to revenue and expenses to costs to reflect the Four (4) Whys in Flow:

Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

If your personal “why” is not linked to your team, product and/or organization, then you need to do some deep soul searching.

This disconnect is one of the key reasons that we see between 64% (US) to 85% (Globally) of team members that are either disengaged or actively disengaged at work. Between 14% and 18% are actively working against (sabotaging) the organization’s Vision, Mission and Purpose. No organization can afford to have pools of poison this large and expect to survive!

People need to shift their mindset and think about how they, personally, are contributing to the “Why” of your organization. If your value-add doesn’t exceed your cost, by multiples, no organization will keep you around for long … you’re dead weight. That’s a brutal, but necessary, fact to understand.

In this post we show how these four whys link directly to Purpose, which is one part of Flow’s definition of Culture (third on this list):

Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

As shared in an earlier post, the $223+ million performance delivered by the teams using Flow has been carefully documented for 26+ years:

Copyright © 1972 – 2021 Kallman AB all rights reserved

If you’re not using Flow, why?

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PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform

What’s your Passion #16 – Four Lenses

The Four Lenses of transformation and leadership used in the Flow Leadership Framework are the foundation on which the 18 tiles (or focus areas) are built.

The four lenses are:

  • Individual
  • Team
  • Product (Program, Process, Project, Line Management)
  • Organization (Portfolio on up)

Here’s how the Four Lenses look:

The Four Lenses

This is simple, easy and quick to understand and apply.

When we add in the 18 tiles, it get’s slightly more complicated:

The 18 Leadership & Transformation Tiles (focus areas) of the Flow Leadership Framework

Nine of the tiles are all about Vision.
Three of the tiles are about people, roles and the team.
The final six tiles are about transformation, measuring your transformation, the key tools that we use in the Flow Leadership Framework and additional ways that we measure Flow.

Leadership and transformation are simple to understand, but they are definitely not easy to do.

Let’s chat about how Flow can help you reach higher levels of performance individually, as a team, in your product development as well as your whole organization.


PS Here are the associated links to this blog post for:

#culture #scrum #agile #pmi #pmp #kanban #lean #flow #scaledagile #transformation #change #transform