What’s your Passion #5 – the 4R Model

The 4R Model is the basis for ALL religions & philosophies and the 1st three “R’s” (Right Truth, Right Values & Attitudes and Right Actions) are from the early 1980’s with the 4th “R” (Right Results) being added in the late 90’s. In the marketplace of ideas in the relativistic culture in which we live, with rapid redefinition occurring at an astonishing pace, the simplicity and power of the 4R’s is more relevant than ever.

Philosophers and theologians have debated about “Truth” for thousands of years.

We’re not going to settle that debate in this article. The “Aha!” moment for me was that in the situation ethics world in which we live that I would be facing thousands of “truths” each and every day at work. So, in order for me to help a person transition from A to B in business, then I would need a way to identify, quickly, each team member’s truth. The way that is done is through observation and I use the 4R Model in reverse as a root cause analysis tool to do that.

The only way that you can smoke out a person’s “truth” is to observe their results and actions. From those you can, within a range, deduce the team member’s real values & attitudes and, ultimately, their “truth.”

The reality is that people’s “walk” doesn’t always align with their “talk.”

This is where the power of the 4R Model manifests itself as it shines a bright light into the dark corners of a person’s soul. It’s not perfectly transparent, but it is good enough to help you understand your team members better and to help guide them in their professional journey.
Since the 4R Model is primarily used in the Individual lens, having the Right People on your team is crucial to your success and if you have the wrong people, then anxiety will manifest itself (as we will see when we look at the Flow Formula and the Flow Friction Analysis – stay tuned).

Since every organization claims their culture is unique (which most of the times it isn’t … the same issues and disfunction appear time and time again across all industries), the roles may or may not match-up to modern, Agile thinking.

Whatever HR description that is given to any role is inconsequential. Companies routinely rename / change the roles in order to make it their’s and so that it will “work here in our culture” (we’ll look at culture in a future post).

The main thing is to make sure that all four lenses (Individual, Team, Product and Organization) have the Right People doing the right things, at the right time, in the right way … if you have that, then you just increased your odds of success dramatically.

And, on the average, we’ll be right.

Want to know more?
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me to continue the conversation…

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

What’s your Passion #4 – the Aha! Curve

It never ceases to amaze me how something so simple and powerful is routinely misunderstood. But, then again, the predecessor to this was a bell-curve distribution.

The Aha! Curve emerged from a conversation I was having with a management consultant (seven years ago in Stockholm) that clearly couldn’t grasp what was being communicated with (what I thought) something so simple as a bell-curve. I was stunned and almost speechless.

Half-amused, half-annoyed, I walked up to the white board and, in order to make it even more simple, drew four clouds ascending in a line upwards, drew a vertical line in the middle between them (with the word “Aha!” at the top of the vertical line) and then wrote one word in each cloud: fail, motions, perform, high-perform. 

This was the birth of the Aha! Curve:

Since Scandinavians reacted negatively to the word “fail,” I eventually switched it to “struggle.” 

Over time I also added in the concept of “hands-on” for the left two items and “hands-off” for the right two. As you can imagine, the Agile purists jumped all over that and claimed I was advocating “command-and-control.” Nothing could have been further from the Truth:

  • In reality, I define hands-on as “train, coach and mentor.”
  • Hands-off is just continuing with “coaching and mentoring.”

People don’t like to change their minds.

That’s why transformations fail routinely. The level of organizational resistance to change is always stunning. People get comfortable and get stuck in ruts (a rut is just a grave with the ends knocked out of it).

But, I have discovered that most reasonable people are willing to make a new decision based on new information. This is the simple, yet profoundly powerful, way to transition people from where they are at to where they need to be. 

Everyone is chortling about having the right “mindset” these days without understanding the fundamentals of how to instill and breathe life into the mindset that is desired in order for your teams, products, programs and portfolios to succeed. 

Teaching people to mindlessly follow preset (and in some cases very rigid) delivery models, methodologies and frameworks will NOT change people’s minds. It will have the opposite effect.

In the Flow Leadership Framework we train, coach and mentor leaders on how to successfully guide people into the right way of thinking. 

Btw, the real “Aha!” in all of this is that you don’t need everyone to actually move up the Aha! Curve in order to more than double the performance of and value-add to your organization. 

Want to know more?
Let’s chat!

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

Whats your Passion #3 – Flow VALUE Defined

My Definition for Flow (and Flow Leadership) is V.A.L.U.E.

  • Vision
  • Aligned
  • Leadership
  • Unifying
  • Everyone

The “E” at then end of V.A.L.U.E. can also be viewed through the four lenses we use in Flow:

  • Expectations (Individual)
  • Everyone (Team)
  • Engagement (Product, Customer)
  • Enterprise (Organization) 

Ultimately, the “E” at the end can stand for “Everything.”

So I can already hear someone chiming-in that V.A.L.U.E., as an acronym, is too abstract. As the famous line from the movie says, “show me the money,” right? 

Well, this ties directly into what we have been teaching with the 4 Whys (in Flow) for a very long time that value is all about the results that we deliver:

  • Increase Revenue
  • Decrease Costs
  • Mitigate and/or eliminate Risk
  • Do the right thing

Show you the money? 

Happy you asked: 

The teams using Flow during the past 26 years have delivered over €223 million in value-add ($137 million in cost savings + $86 million in increased revenues).

The Flow Leadership Framework is duplicatable and will help you attain the right mindset to Deliver Remarkable Results, too.

Let’s chat!

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

What’s your Passion #2 – Flow Friction Analysis

Peter Drucker has a very famous quote about the “three things that happen naturally in an organization are:

  • Confusion
  • Friction
  • Underperformance

Everything else requires leadership.”

In the Flow Friction Analysis (based on the Flow Formula of Vision + Right People + 4D Model = Flow (Success)) if the items on the left are missing, then the items on the right will be manifesting with your individuals, teams and your organization:

Another way to look at it:

  • No Vision? You’re probably experiencing Anarchy
  • Wrong People? Anxiety – your team members will be anxious
  • Wrong / No Definitions? Confusion – your team members will be confused
  • No Distilled Agreement? Politics – none in your organization, right?
  • Unable to Deliver? Chaos – the mother of all underperformance
  • Can’t Drive to Completion? Division – “misaligned, but everyone tries their best”

Haven’t seen a team, project or an organization (yet) where at least one, two, three or all of these anti-patterns were present. The beauty and power of this analysis is that you can quickly ID the root cause and then immediately help your teams and organization resolve the issue.

Creating friction-free teams and environments should be the #1 goal for anyone leading Agile product development, Scaled Agile efforts, projects, programs and/or portfolios. 

Start using the Flow Friction Analysis today to eliminate the Friction, Confusion and Underperformance that occurs naturally in any organization and you will increase your odds of success dramatically…

Here’s a short video on this post on Youtube. This post is also available on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

What’s your Passion #1 – Group Think

Recently one of my colleagues (thanks Terry Oswald) shared a post by Michael de la Maza that summarized an article from the Economist titled: “McKinsey’s partners suffer from collective self-delusion” (click here to see my post on Michael’s article). 

We have a saying in Swedish that roughly translates, “even if only half of this is true, bad enough…” This particular quote from Michael’s post really caught my eye:

“McKinsey’s partners suffer from collective self-delusion”

Ah yes, to put it another way, this is nothing other than good, old “group think” that is manifesting. The only way I know of to prevent group think is via Distillation (D2 in the iterative 4D Model):

  • Define (D1) —> Distill (D2) —> Deliver (D3) —> Drive (D4) —> … and then you circle back to Define (D1) and iterate.

In the center of the process above (visualize it in a circle) is Vision.

On Instagram and Facebook I shared the following image:

If the Vision has not been properly Distilled (D2) and agreed to (or this vital step is deliberately skipped), then you will most likely see Confusion, Friction, Underperformance and/or Politics erupt in the organization. 

There is an old Greek proverb that “the fish rots from the head.”

It takes intentional Leadership with a clearly Defined (D1) & Distilled (D2) Vision to prevent group think and unnecessary friction taking hold.

Group think (i.e. “… collective self-delusion”) is an Anti-pattern to Vision, Flow Leadership, Agility and/or any other value worth pursuing. The first step to recovery would be recognizing that the organization has a problem. Flow Leadership is the cure!

If you’d like to see a quick (2 min 46 sec) video on this topic, I have just shared that on YouTube as well.

Which is the most Valuable and in-demand Certification?

Back in September of 2014 I posted the following article on LinkedIn:

Which is more valuable and in demand, PMP, CSM, PMI-ACP or ?

Since then, I have kept it somewhat up-to-date (last updated in 2018) and this post has had 48,076 article views as of 12 April 2021. Sometimes lightning strikes and this post went somewhat (half-) viral since you need 100,000 views on LinkedIn to be considered Viral.

From this update, forward (12 April 2021), I will be using LinkedIn Jobs as the database for this “snapshot-in-time.” Here are the results from today’s update:

The image above shows which certification / role is most in demand: PMP is by far the clear certification winner and Agile Project Manager is the clear winner for the roles.

Here’s the same data in a table format (for those of you who want to see the raw numbers:

It’s interesting to note that both the PMP and Agile Project Manager are more in demand than MBAs (US – 52,483; EU – 9,538 and China – 5,414 for a total of 67,435 roles).

For Scaled Agile Framework, there were only 6,088 roles available, total (US – 4,989; EU – 1,068 and China – 31).

Draw your own conclusions (and do your own homework). But, these results actually surprised me!

PMI is still the 800-pound gorilla.

Surviving Scaled Agile – your roadmap to success

Recently, Hans Gillior and I conducted a survey on Scaled Agile and then presented the findings at a Meetup on Thursday, 12 Nov 2020. Hans facilitates the Digital Transformation Stockholm Meet-up; and, I do the same for the Stockholm, Agile Governance Community of Practice – Sweden.

The Key Findings of the survey aligned with our observations during the past five years of the struggles through which organizations are experiencing:

  • 84% of Digital Professionals stated having severe difficulties in the implementation of an Agile Way of Working (a lot of Friction)
  • 74% of Digital Professionals stated that they did not have any way of measuring the effects of an Agile Way of Working
    • Very limited measurements of the effects of agile way of working
    • They have no Executive dashboard for measuring/analysis/reporting & decision making
  • 74% of Digital Professionals stated that the key challenges of implementing an Agile Way of Working included a common vision, knowledge sharing, collaboration across borders, culture/leadership and training/experience

For those that were unable to attend the event live, we recorded the Meetup here:

If you would like to watch this video on Youtube (and take advantage of faster playback speeds, etc.), click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epVzAZWbuxQ

And, the PDF for the slide set is here:

Don’t hesitate to reach out to either Hans or me if you would like to have a conversation on how we can be part of your journey of Surviving Scaled Agile…

Andrew’s Blog Post Sites

Where I share … for the moment I have been blogging on the following links:

In the near future I will be looking at consolidating my posting activity to this website.

Stay tuned…

Let’s get the conversation Flowing