Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Don't bring me down – injecting positive thinking and optimism

You got me runnin' goin' out of my mind,
You got me thinkin' that I'm wastin' my time.
Don't bring me down,no no no no no,
I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor
Don't bring me down.
- Electric Light Orchestra -

What a start of the week. Monday morning - “quality orientation meeting” - after this meeting I felt really devastated. Well, maybe its just me – but then this organization does have problems and would need help. I think that the meeting agenda was far to full, no space for emerging topics and neither time to discuss items thoroughly through. The discussions were unstructured and unfocused i.e. many people expressing their opinions and explaining their ideas. Worst part to me was that key people proposed actions which IMO might make the situation even worse, because those actions consume time from others and then the time is not there to fix the problems. A downwards spiral.

Also I got the impression that lean and agile values and principles are not respected/ followed (or not even close and I wonder if the people even ever heard about the existence and the meaning of those. Or maybe they know, they understand and they have no idea what to do with those – I do assume that people do not know what to do with them and I do not assume that they are purposefully ignored) during the discussions and in the proposals. Many proposals seem to support silo thinking and I consider them as “anti-agile”, “anti-scrum”. Now of course, I can lay back and let them watch to continue to fail, and potentially they learn or then they do not. I get a headache (warning signs start to go on) and this indicates it is not my problem. Maybe – when people from the organization read this, it might trigger something??? (hope dies last last). Many people in this part of the organization seem to have the attitude that they cannot do anything – they act like victims of the environment and the circumstances. I think it is pretty hard to stay positive and be optimistic in such an organization. In fact, there are many things one can do and most likely people just do not know what possibilities they have. So I thought about it what to do ...

Please, make me happy – motivate me. I predict that the one who finds a cure for this will get rich or at least famous. The only one who can motivate me is … ME. The only one who can make me happy is … - guess again – ME. Lets start with oneself – I ask me what can I do to improve my situation.

The same evening I join the “agile coaching circle” in Helsinki for the first time. Aaaahhhh – what a pleasant experience. People who are open-minded, positive thinking, forwarding looking, taking responsibility, taking ownership, focus on learning – that really cheered me up. I think this is important for e.g. scrum masters and agile coaches working in such an “though” environment. My suggestion: go and meet others, exchange ideas, discuss and learn with each other. I think it is refreshing. There are plenty of those kind of community groups across companies and maybe even within companies. After that injection I was mentally ready for more organizational challenges.
Feedback is important and it helps me to check whether I am doing the appropriate things. Thus, I started to collect feedback from the team in various forms after e.g. workshops (rating, what went good/what needs improvement, both of them or then a bit more detailed – of course no need to over-do it either). Now I am back to my other problem – I am totally running out of time. I have so many ideas what the teams, individuals and the organization could try out to improve the situation, so many thoughts with whom else to discuss, who else to bring together, that I need to limit myself and set me my own WIP limits ;)

This is an experiment, I choose to do this work in this organization and I am learning – what else do I want?

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