26 April 2015

Leadership Quotes - Synergy

Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes on Synergy

How many times have you heard someone claim an idea as their own when the seed of that idea actually came from you, or someone else? You may have done that very thing yourself. Synergy is something that should be encouraged and in Design Thinking it's the fuel that allows the process to flow. Where synergy breaks down is when our human emotions kick in and we try to claim the result of the synergy as the product of our own isolated thinking.

As an agile coach I don't particularly care where the ideas come from or who was responsible for the idea as long as the result is a benefit for the team and the organisation. Of course it is a good idea to congratulate the team for their synergistic approach and the result, you may even call out an individual as a strong driver of the synergy but it's the result that really matters and that's a group effort.

1 April 2015

Start With Why


Start With Why is one of those books every leader should have on their bookshelf as a well read resource. In it Simon Sinek helps us focus on the real value of our message by focussing on the most important part of it, the why.

Since I first read the book I have changed the way I communicate elements of the agile development process with my teams and I believe it has improved my effectiveness as an agile coach and leader. I would strongly encourage you, if you haven't already, to grab a copy of the book and digest it well. Sinek draws from great examples including the rise, fall and rise again f Apple and how the 'why' helped them rediscover who they were. But this is one of many great examples he uses so grab the book and learn how a subtle change in your message can reap much richer rewards and help you become a much stronger leader.

The book is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US in multiple formats.

And as an extra treat, here is Sineks presentation at TedXPugetSound from 2009 where he shows us how great leaders inspire action by starting with why.