I am an agile coach, consultant and trainer, helping organizations on their way towards sustainably creating great products and services with happy people. I do this by supporting an organization’s evolution towards a culture of self-organization, distributed leadership and effective collaboration.
As co-founder of The Sociocracy 3.0 Movement I’m contributing to developing and evolving Sociocracy 3.0, drawing on 18 years of experience in as a coach, agile manager, scrum master, product owner, project manager, technology consultant and developer with Startups, small-/medium-sized businesses and enterprises, and a passion for agile and lean software development that goes back to the late 1990s.
Sociocracy 3.0 – Evolving Agile Organizations Regular Talk (27min)
Everyone knows the hype: Startups are places of vibrant energy, bursting with motivation and
productivity which are unheard of in the corporate world.
Yet as these organizations grow, more often than not the motivation is lost, and the productivity gradually declines until there is nothing left but a memory of the golden days.
And suddenly it becomes a huge effort maintaining acceptable levels of employee engagement,
innovation, productivity, and happiness. It appears inevitable that growth is accompanied by attempts at installing management and hierarchies, even though this usually demotivates both founders and employees: it erodes what’s left of the organizational culture everyone loved so much when they started out.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could maintain the spirit of a startup, the motivation and the productivity, even with a large organization?
This talk will introduce you to Sociocracy 3.0, a lightweight, free and open-source framework for building agile organizations from networks of semi-autonomous and self-organizing teams, without resorting to traditional ideas of management, hierarchies or lines of reporting. All policies, including strategy, processes and organizational structure are created in teams, and an agile approach towards continuous improvement of policy makes sure the organization organically adapts to a changing environment.
We will begin with a brief overview on some basic patterns for tapping collective intelligence of a team in order to achieve self-organization and continuous improvement: making and evolving decisions, selection for people in roles, and supporting development of individuals in the team towards acquiring new skills and improving their performance.
The main focus of this talk is on coordination and alignment of self-organizing teams in agile organizations. We see how an organization grows from one team to a network of teams, using patterns for organizational structures that allow for effective decisions across multiple teams (e.g. on strategy, product, portfolio and software architecture) and for effective abstraction of shared inhouse services (like administration, operations or HR). We will also discover two different structural paradigms for agile organizations and take a look at multi-stakeholder environments.
The presentation will conclude with an outlook on how to transition to this new way of working, followed by a brief discussion of a few “hot” topics: effects on organizational culture, processes for entering and leaving an organization, salary decisions, and implications for ownership and capital investment.
Agile Teams With Sociocracy 3.0 – A hands-on, experience-based workshop of about 90 minutes for 5–12 participants.
Sociocracy 3.0 is a free and “open-source” framework for building and evolving agile teams and organizations. One way to look at it is as a collection of patterns that have been applied successfully in organizations around the globe for decades, and a set of underlying principles, to facilitate adaptation of patterns to an organization’s context without breaking them. The patterns were compiled from many different sources, most notably the Sociocratic Circleorganisation Method (SCM) (a.k.a. dynamic governance in the USA) , the Toyota Production System (TPS) and lean production, and agile and lean software development.
Some of the patterns are very basic (but still unknown to many organizations), others sustainably resolve impediments on a very abstract level. Every pattern brings value independently, but the patterns are also mutually reinforcing each other, especially since there are patterns addressing different domains, like management/governance, process improvement, collaboration, and organizational structure.
On a very basic level, what Sociocracy 3.0 does is help organizations identify and address their blind spots. The preferred way to go about that is to initiate continuous improvement of processes and implementation of patterns that resolve impediments discovered along the way.
The focus of this workshop is two key patterns that are applicable within the domain of a single self-organizing team:
- Consent Decision Making (a facilitated process for effective decision making in groups of
- Proposal Forming (a process for co-creating solutions in groups)
Participants will engage with these patterns in a playful way, by role-playing a situation everyone should be able to relate to: a new team deciding on a process for developing a new product.
However, we will not create a process from scratch, instead we will have a go at Scrum, break it down into individual patterns, and in a second step, remix those patterns with other ingredients into a process we can all agree on.
If the resulting progress requires roles (and if time allows), we will also have a go at Elections (an application of Consent Decision Making for electing people to roles).
During the course of the game we will practice a lot, and learn enough about Sociocracy 3.0 to see the bigger picture.
As with all other resources about Sociocracy 3.0, we will publish outline and facilitation guide for this workshop with a Creative Commons Free Culture license.