Stress-o-meter cards for retros

I was talking to a friend of mine who is also coaching people at the moment. His team are currently distributed and working from home, due to the current pandemic. We talked about how both the pandemic and the need to work with people you are not in physical contact with creates has an ongoing impact on energy and motivation. We get through a day’s work well enough, but I think it is like there is a small leak draining my energy during the day. Like a tap dripping in the background or a battery slowly running flat even when … Continue reading Stress-o-meter cards for retros

A skills backlog with a capability table

I wrote an article a while ago, suggesting that it is a good idea to invest in the growth of our crew. I promised at the time that I would also explain the concept of a “skills backlog”. Now, several months later, I thought I would write the promised article. The approach is quite simple: Identify the skills you want to improve; and Continuously work on improving them. We have already looked at some ways to identify areas for improvement, which is nice, but I have found that I often get really busy after that and seem to focus on … Continue reading A skills backlog with a capability table

Growth mindsets and lucky coaches

Editor’s warning – a long article with personal comments and opinions. Probably 10 minutes to read. My daughter Kiran recently published an article on the growth mindset. After she published her article, I spent some time thinking about the topic in a little more depth. I decided that would be much easier to teach a class full of kids, if they all have a growth mindset. Here is my reasoning: Kids with growth mindsets will seek opportunities learn from and will regularly ask for feedback that they can use improve their learning. They are also more fun to be around … Continue reading Growth mindsets and lucky coaches

Is a fixed mindset OK?

I was speaking to my daughter about a growth mindset recently and she agreed to post a summary of what it is. As my daughter Kiran explained, it is pretty obvious that a growth mindset is good, because it involves perseverance, confidence and other important traits. It is equally obvious that a fixed mindset is bad, because it involves self-doubt, giving up and other unhelpful things. Therefore you should adopt a growth mindset and be confident that you will get where you want to go. Kiran pretty much takes this for granted and her view is frequently reinforced by her … Continue reading Is a fixed mindset OK?

What a growth mindset and a fixed mindset is (explained by an 8 year old)

This is an article about what a growth mindset is and what a fixed mindset is. This article is actually by Kiran who is James’s daughter. She is 8 years old and has actually taught a class for agile coaches when she was in year 1. (That was me Kiran writing that too if you did not know). I learnt about this in Kindergarten!!! You kind of need to know what the other one is to understand the other. Growth mindsets and fixed mindsets are complete opposites as you will see in this article. So what is the difference? It … Continue reading What a growth mindset and a fixed mindset is (explained by an 8 year old)

I should be an expert at remote work. My daughter has never tried it before.

My 8 year old and I now share an “office” My daughter and I are both “working from home” now, so I thought that I would compare our approaches and the experience we are having at the moment. My daughter is at school (grade 3) and I am an experienced worker who had worked at home, in cafes and even on planes. My daughter has received a face to face education for 3 years (plus kindergarten) but she is suddenly doing her schooling at home for the first time. I am also working from home, though the term “work” is … Continue reading I should be an expert at remote work. My daughter has never tried it before.

Succession planning is easy so just do it

I am known for my simple, “dodgy, ” approaches to workshops and problem solving. So it may not surprise you that I have prepared some dodgy analysis in the following graph. Analysis of the value of solving the problem This graph shows how you can prioritise the time and energy of your team. Some activities (building trust) are valuable while others (random meetings) are not. Some things are easy (going for a coffee) and others are a lot of effort (Building mastery in core skills or truly satisfying customers). Using this dodgy analysis approach I have listed succession planning as … Continue reading Succession planning is easy so just do it

Please start growing your people

I have been considering double loop learning and I said that we should continually work on our skills in order to even keep moving at the same pace or, hopefully, grow better each year. People agree that it is important to invest in themselves and their crew, yet they seem to struggle to find the time to actually make the investment. I don’t believe that this is because “management don’t care about people here,” or that “our crew just don’t want to learn new things.” Instead, I believe that there are two main reasons for no investing in skill growth, … Continue reading Please start growing your people

Moving at the same pace involves ongoing growth

By introducing effective feedback loops rather than long slow pieces of work, teams learn faster and thus have the opportunity to substantially improve the value of the product that they create or the service that they provide. But this is only half of the advantage of implementing effective feedback loops. If you believe that team members, with all their diverse skills and abilities, are valuable assets, then the same feedback loops should also allow the team to more effectively invest in their own development, becoming an ever stronger team over time. To me, this is actually the greatest advantages of … Continue reading Moving at the same pace involves ongoing growth

If people are assets, can we claim depreciation on them?

I sometimes talk about people as resources, even though I am told not to. Apparently people should be called “talent” or even “people,” but I have an old mindset and I still think of them as people who should also be useful if they are in this team. I also still think about questions like: Are we the right people to get this done? What do we really need to Excel at here? What can we do at a basic level? and What should we learn from this to do this better next time? These sound like people focused questions … Continue reading If people are assets, can we claim depreciation on them?