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Larry Cooper on Putting Value First & Cultural Agility

| Podcast with Larry Cooper Follow 0 Followers by Shane Hastie Follow 10 Followers on Jul 31, 2017 |

This is the Engineering Culture Podcast, from the people behind InfoQ.com and the QCon conferences.

In this podcast Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Larry Cooper about the Agility Series – a collection of books and other resources which explore what agility means in many different dimensions. 

Key Takeaways

  • Value management is about doing the right thing, rather than doing lots of stuff, right
  • The reason for doing something should always trace back to an organisational strategic goal, and if it doesn’t then we’re wasting the organisation’s money
  • Introducing the ideas of cultural agility - the ability to understand multiple local contexts and work within them to obtain business results
  • A strategic intent is not a statement of fact, it is a current direction which can change
  • Sustainability and resilience are enhanced through agility
  • Everything changes – the practices we are using now won’t be the ones we will use in the future, be adaptive to changing everything about how we do work

0:15 Introductions

1:15 Value management is about doing the right thing, rather than doing lots of stuff, right

1:43 The need for benefits realization

2:07 Work backwards from the intended outcome to identify what is needed to achieve that outcome

3:05 The ideas around iterative and incremental delivery of value predate the agile movement

3:30 Value is perceptual and value shapes perception

3:55 You can shape perception of value based on how it is positioned

4:20 A limitation of agile software development is the assumption that the product needs to be built, rather than assessing if it is really needed

4:55 A common problem with big software development projects has been the tendency to focus only on the software and not on the broader ecosystem the software exists within

6:03 The reason for doing something should always trace back to an organisational strategic goal, and if it doesn’t then we’re wasting the organisation’s money

6:35 Exploring what constitutes a “product” for organisations today – they always involve more than just software

6:55 Misunderstanding the bigger picture needs and constraints by focusing just on the software part of a product often reduces the perception of the value in the product

8:05 The need for more adaptability in the organisation and drawing on ideas from software development to influence agility in other areas of the business

8:35 Describing how the Agility Series came about

9:55 The collaborative approach to producing the books in the series – the Wisdom Council

11:30 The books in the series – Organisational Agility, Leadership Agility,

11:55 The way the ideas in the book are identified

12:35 The goal to provide some clarity around the different types of agility

13:15 Aiming to create a coherent story around the different types of agility

14:55 Introducing the ideas of cultural agility

14:20 One aspect of agile culture is related to the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto, but there is more to it than that

15:03 The risks of creating a homogeneous organisational culture

15:40 The value of diversity and inclusiveness 

16:25 Cultural agility is the ability to understand multiple local contexts and work within them to obtain business results

16:40 Cultural agility is a competitive advantage in today’s global environment

17:10 The need for global organisations to try and make the local look and behave like where they came from – embrace the local differences

18:40 The adaptability code – changing the stories holding back people and organisations, overcoming

19:20 Examples of the stories which define our concepts and context – what is “expensive”, “more hurry, less speed”

21:20 Overcoming the desire to “get started” and consider where we want to go and why we want to get there

21:50 Organisations have stories too – “that’s the way it’s done around here”, “that’ll never work here …”

22:15 Creating new stories and rewriting the existing stories is a key part of cultural agility

21:12 The difference between organisational agility and business agility

23:35 Organisational agility is the result of having all the other types of agility in place

24:02 Business agility is the operational view – how do we become more responsive in the day to day activities of running the business

24:30 Business agility should cause us to revisit our strategic intent when we receive feedback that the current strategic intent is no longer valid

24:45 A strategic intent is not a statement of fact, it is a current direction which can change

25:30 Apply these ideas in the government sector in the USA and Canada

26:15 Describing the goals of the National Forum for Public Private Collaboration (NFPPC)

27:10 Creating a line of sight from strategic intent and operational activities, including aspects such as cyber-resilience

27:40 The importance of organisational resilience, and how that is achieved through organisational agility

28:00 Sustainability and resilience are enhanced through agility

29:10 Service management (ITIL) is not contradictory to agility, DevOps bridges the gaps and improve service management

29:49 The idea of “SecOps” for security resilience in the same way that DevOps gives service resilience

30:15 The vast array of competing standards in IT cause great confusion in the industry

31:05 Trying to tell the holistic story that goes from strategic intent to operational implementation

31:24 What needs to be done can be fairly consistent – how it is done will change constantly

31:54 Working with the Government of Canada to achieve organisational agility – The Institute on Governance

33:10 Everything changes – if our organisations don’t change fast enough they will not survive

33:30 Everything changes – the practices we are using now won’t be the ones we will use in the future, be adaptive to changing everything about how we do work

33:50 The danger of becoming attached to specific frameworks and practices

35:10 Make sure that whatever we do delivers the maximum value for our organisation

35:40 It’s not good enough to make great products – we need to make great products that people want and that deliver value for our organisations

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