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Diana Larsen on Organisation Design for Team Effectiveness and Having the Best Possible Work-Life

| Podcast with Diana Larsen Follow 1 Followers by Shane Hastie Follow 30 Followers on Apr 30, 2018 |

In this podcast Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Diana Larsen about organisational design for team effectiveness, having the best possible work-life and the evolution of the Agile Fluency Model

Key Takeaways

  • Organisation design is a distinct subset of organisation development
  • For teams to be effective, every team needs a clear purpose – why are we doing this work
  • Team effectiveness comes from every member of the team committing to working on the purpose together in collaboration and committing to making the best possible work-life for everybody else on the team
  • Many organisation’s motivation systems mitigate against teamwork and care for each other’s wellbeing
  • Deliberate practice is the investment you make in learning that gets you to a state of fluency which allows you to take on the next challenge 
  • 0:22 Introductions
  • 1:24 Organisation design as a distinct subset of organisation development
  • 2:20 The ideas around business agility are affecting organisation design
  • 2:50 The resonance between agile ideas and organisation design
  • 3:45 Talking about Joy, Inc at the Organization Design Conference
  • 3:50 Approaches to org design – socio-technical system redesign and Galberith’s STAR model
  • 4:32 The synergy and learning opportunities between the organisation design and agile coaching communities
  • 5:40 The importance of jointly optimising the social and the technical system to enable high performance
  • 6:17 Creating a high quality of work-life and high-performing teams
  • 6:37 Quoting David Marquet – shifting from “all hands meetings” to “all heads meetings”
  • 7:05 Ideas like sociocracy and holocracy have been part of the organisation design community focus for far longer than the agile movement has been around
  • 7:28 The importance of aspects such as user experience in ensuring that people are able to effectively utilize the technologies in the workplace
  • 8:15 For teams to be effective, every team needs a clear purpose – why are we doing this work
  • 8:45 The need for a clear description of the boundaries of work for a team
  • 9:03 A work design principle – whole pieces of work which are distinct to a team, which is the team’s mission
  • 9:29 Team effectiveness comes from every member of the team committing to working on the purpose together in collaboration and committing to making the best possible work-life for everybody else on the team
  • 10:01 The need to commit to continuing to learn how to get better together
  • 10:28 A group of people need to build some mutual history to become a high performing team
  • 10:42 This history can be built quickly when responding to a crisis
  • 10:52 Teams who are not in crisis may need other ways of building this history, and it can take longer
  • 11:24 Team mates should have a commitment to each other’s wellbeing
  • 11:40 Many organisation’s motivation systems mitigate against teamwork and care for each other’s wellbeing
  • 11:57 The problems with the design of motivational systems
  • 11:39 Despite all the learning over the last 30+ years there are still environments where work is assigned by a manager, which is antithetical to putting together a team of people who own the work and manage the work themselves
  • 13:05 We spend enormous time hiring the best possible people, and somehow once you’re hired you are treated like you’ve become stupid
  • 13:42 Software is learning work – typing is not where the work gets done, it is the thinking and learning that happens which is the work of software development
  • 14:18 Much of what we think of as knowledge work is archiving what we know
  • 14:38 Because software development is a complex environment archiving knowledge is not effective – we need to continually create new knowledge and new ways of working by learning
  • 14:58 The need to remain in a constant state of enquiry, learning, building on that knowledge, more learning more knowledge building … Create learning environments
  • 15:52 Fluency requires deliberate practice and constant learning
  • 16:01 What deliberate practice is about and why it is important
  • 16:58 Deliberate practice is the investment you make in learning that gets you to a state of fluency which allows you to take on the next challenge
  • 17:38 How deliberate practice is different from just practicing your craft
  • 18:24 The importance of intentional focus when practicing to improve
  • 19:00 The deliberate intention to gain skill in a specific area
  • 19:20 An example from Jeff Patton about learning to ski
  • 20:10 What’s happening with the Agile Fluency Project
  • 21:00 Building frameworks to help people put the fluency model into practice in organisations
  • 21:40 Finding ways to support managers and coaches so they can help their teams get better
  • 22:32 Collecting experiences from people who have been using the model and using that to help adapt it
  • 22:54 The satisfaction of putting a model out for the community and seeing it evolve as people use it and provide feedback
  • 23:38 Optimize value teams really are in charge of their own business outcomes, not just product delivery
  • 23:50 Contrasting that with what deliver value teams need to focus on
  • 24:44 The Agile Fluency Game is now available as a tool to help teams understand how they want to learn and the tradeoffs available to them
  • 25:28 Using the Game to allow people outside of the team to understand the hard choices teams need to work
  • 27:15 Modelling how the focus on fluency fits with an organisation’s transformation roadmap
  • 28:07 Getting more clarity around the proficiencies that fit within each of the fluency zones
  • 28:43 Exploring the relationship between the fluency model and maturity models
  • 29:48 Soliciting feedback and using that to evolve the thinking

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