I have been vacillating between an intense discussion of Bad Blood and a terse and blunt statement about Theranos.  In the end, I took a middle path. If you want to dive into the detail again, grab the book and the follow our re-read through it.  If you want the later,  the bottom line is — sleazy company, bad board and sociopathic people at the top.  Now the middle path. (more…)

Rip Currents Are Complex!

We have been using the metaphors of heat death (controlling how people work to reduce variability to a negligible level) and gray goo (little or no control leading to process anarchy) to illustrate the impact of process control strategies. Neither extreme is a good idea. In most circumstances, every organization and team needs to find their own equilibrium spot. VUCA, an acronym for the attributes volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, describes four of the factors that define why organizations vary between strict control and laissez-faire approaches. (more…)

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The poll for the next book in the re-read series will run for one more weekend!  The Checklist Manifesto is in first place, but Marcus Hammarberg’s Salvation:The Bungu Story (agile in the real world) is a close second place!


This week we are all ahead full in our re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around!  We dive into chapters 24 and 25, which are titled: A Dangerous Passage and Looking Ahead.   (more…)

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In week 14 of our re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around!  we begin Part IV of Turn The Ship Around and tackle chapter 21. The first three parts of the book bring the story to the beginning of deployment of the Santa Fe, Part iV picks up from there.

Part I – Starting Over – This section profile why Marquet is frustrated with leader-follower model of leadership.

Part II – Control – This section profiles the change and command and begins to layout Marquet’s vision of a leader – leader model of leadership. This section delivers mechanisms for control in a leader – leader model.

Part III – Competence – This section builds on the story of how the Santa Fe prepares for deployment and Marquet lays out mechanisms for building technical competence, the second leg of his leader-leader model.

Part IV – Clarity – This section completes the leader – leader model, focusing on the third leg of the leader – leader model, clarity.

Clarity means that people at all levels of the organization understand the nuances of what the organization is about. I have recently changed job and have gone through a few weeks of difficult product training. At first, I bridled at not diving into the day-to-day activities of my coaching. Re-reading this section is a reminder that developing an understanding of the organization’s values by translating them into behaviors and product will pay huge dividends in the long run by pushing decision making down the chain of command.

Chapter 21: Under Way for Deployment (more…)

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This week we tackle chapter 20 of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! (have you bought your copy?). Chapter 20 completes part 3 which has focused on competence and the run-up to the deployment of the Santa Fe. The title of this chapter is Final Preparations.  We have six or seven weeks left  – Steven Adams is pushing for re-reading Release It, the other option is The Checklist Manifesto.  Both are great . . . thoughts? (more…)

At least 99% of the time, micromanagement is bad. It would be nice if we could wave a magic wand and break the cycle of micromanagement. It would be equally as nice if just recognizing that you were a micromanager was enough to change the behavior. While knowing is part of the battle, micromanagement is an addiction that requires effort to stop. There are several steps I have found useful that can be taken to breaking the addiction of micromanagement (more…)

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In week ten of the re-read of L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around! we add two more mechanisms for control and complete part two the book. This week the two chapters are A New Ship and We Have A Problem. (more…)