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Diana Larsen on Agile Fluency, Organisational Design and Being an Ally

| Podcast with Diana Larsen Follow 1 Followers by Shane Hastie Follow 31 Followers on Nov 23, 2018 |

In this podcast recorded at the Agile 2018 conference Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Diana Larsen about the evolution of the Agile Fluency model, the rate of adoption of new ideas in organisations, organisation design and being an ally. 

Key Takeaways

  • The ideas around agile fluency have evolved through feedback and use in the field
  • New ideas take time to be adopted in organisations and agile is far from prevalent
  • Agile ways of working will become “the way we do things” but it will take time
  • There is a diagnostic instrument which allows teams to undertake self-reflection and explore areas they want to improve
  • The organisation design community have a lot of knowledge about things that the agile community can learn from
  • Diversity and inclusiveness are still issues in the agile and broader IT community, but things are improving 
  • The single most powerful tool to combat racism/sexism and help diversity and inclusion grow is the action of bystanders 

Show Notes

  • 00:24 Diana’s current focus and interests 
  • 01:00 The Agile Fluency Project is a startup that Diana is a founder of
  • 01:45 There is no reason that every organisation can’t have agile done well – but how do we get there
  • 02:10 The updated path to agile fluency article
  • 03:08 When you have published a model it begins to teach you back 
  • 03:38 The learning that is coming from people using the model with teams and organisations
  • 04:02 Tackling the “hasn’t agile achieved its goal” question – how long have the ideas of total quality management and customer focus been around yet we still don’t achieve it consistently? 
  • 04:38 New ideas take time to be adopted in organisations and agile is far from prevalent 
  • 04:57 Agile ways of working will become “the way we do things” but it will take time
  • 05:15 Some of the ideas that using the model has impacted the thinking and exposed where organisation need to invest
  • 06:07 It is a team model that has organisational impact   
  • 06:28 The way the managers’ role needs to shift based around the level of fluency the team needs to achieve 
  • 07:10 Advice on putting the ideas into practice
  • 07:27 There is a diagnostic instrument and supporting tools which allows teams to undertake self-reflection and explore areas they want to improve 
  • 08:15 The most effective users of the model are experienced coaches who have worked with multiple teams and organisations
  • 09:15 Ways in which people are using the model
  • 10:00 Bridging the agile and organisational design communities 
  • 10:30 The resonance between the goals of organisational design and agility 
  • 11:09 The organisation design community have a lot of knowledge about things that the agile community can learn from 
  • 11:48 The Organization Design Forum conference theme for 2018 – Designing for Agility and Innovation
  • 12:25 Showing the organisation design community the Menlo Innovations environment
  • 12:58 Where to find out more about organisational design
  • 14:35 In the agile community we are making progress on diversity and in the broader software community there is greater awareness and lots of resistance 
  • 15:10 The two themes which came out of the coach camp prior to Agile 2018 were diversity and self-care
  • 15:45 The representation of men at the women in agile conference, recognition that diversity is a problem for everyone, not just the disadvantaged community 
  • 16:41 The single most powerful tool to combat racism/sexism and help diversity and inclusion grow is the action of bystanders/allies 
  • 17:32 The willingness to step up as an ally while being uncomfortable 
  • 17:57 Practice is the thing that helps us overcome feelings of awkwardness 
  • 18:20 Concrete practice for someone who wants to be an ally – ask how they can help 
  • 18:34 It’s OK to be uncomfortable – that’s where we learn most.  If we stay in our comfort zone, we never learn anything new 
  • 19:02 Try the experiment and learn from the results

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