This is the first post in a series of about 30, each with a video conversation about a leadership topic. This time we talk about – Engagement – and add some context and links for your further information. All these videos are part of the learning material of our Certified Agile Leadership (CAL1) offerings and for everybody interested.
The ScrumAlliance has defined a list of learning objectives for the Certified Agile Leadership credentials guiding trainers and participants in their offerings and learnings. For the CAL1 classes that we are currently offering these objectives are organized in five content groups:
The Context for Agile
Leadership in an Agile Context
The Agile Organization
Agile Approaches to Change
You can download the full document from the ScrumAlliance website here. The learning objectives (LOs) are phrased using “Bloom’s Taxonomy” – they describe what the student will be able to do after successfully completing the course. “These LOs are not intended to be prescriptive of activities or exercises; rather, they are a guide for both the educator and the student for measuring depth of knowledge and understanding.”
In this spirit, we provide before our CAL courses a survey with the LOs where participants can analyse their current state of knowledge, as well as journaling material and further self-studying material like this video series. Your learning journey is ultimately self-directed and your individual responsibility as a learner. Our expectation is that all participants will be able to meet all the learning objectives (subject to your own effort and engagement) through a combination of the course experience, watching and or reading the online material we provide, and your own independent (and maybe previous) experiences, investigations and reflections. Each of the learning objectives is open-ended so you can go as deep as your inclination leads you to go.
We are looking forward to your feedback as to how well these videos help you meet the objectives, and what additional help they might need. You might find them useful and entertaining without being interested in the course, of course 🙂
Learning Objectives Explained – in Videos?
There are few “right” or “wrong” solutions to these objectives. Our whole course is aimed at you building the awareness of what you want and how you achieve that. Offering our thinking as a video, that you can enjoy before or after the course at your leisure and review as often as you like at your own pace, ensures that you have the knowledge available if and when you need it, not when we think you should “get it”.
There are some other advantages why we think this makes your course experience more valuable for you. We want to minimise “telling” (as in us telling you something) in our courses for a few reasons:
We want to maximise human interaction, co-creative exploration, collective experiential learning and relationship building while we are together. These spaces are where we believe the greatest value of this training lies.
We want to minimise the time in which you lean back and consume (“download”) knowledge
Many of you come into our courses with a lot of knowledge about these topics. We realise there is a power difference between trainers and students in the course, and we want that to influence your thinking as little as possible towards our opinion. So while we are together, we give you more room to share what you know than we take ourselves.
Context – The Context for Agile
The first group of LOs asks the student to be able to describe, identify or explain a few economic or market factors leading to the rise of Agile approaches, some management trends and their historical fit, factors that increase employee engagement and a couple of benefits of becoming a more effective Agile leader. In addition, students will be able to illustrate and explain how complexity and uncertainty relate to the fitness of an Agile approach and how focus on delighting the customer relates to improved outcomes.
Today’s video contains our conversation on learning objective
1.5 Explain at least three factors that increase the level of employee engagement, and how that relates to better outcomes. For example:
Opportunity to develop mastery
Strong social connection
Daily small wins
…Factors that influence the engagement of an employee…
Looking at myself, freedom or autonomy is important to me. I want to have a sense of I can decide what to do next, I can decide how to do stuff… There are certain things that I’m told but I need a level of freedom that is okay with what I want to do.
Autonomy is part of Daniel Pink’s Drive (book and video) He talks about employee motivation and its three elements: autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Purpose: I have a strong sense of why I’m doing what I do,
Mastery: I have a sense of I can learn something that’s useful to me, I can develop myself, I get stretched a little bit…
…I need somebody who’s working with me who just says, “okay, this is where we want to go, this is the target – please find out how to get there” and I have total freedom to experiment what’s best to reach that target.
…You just gave a good definition of Agile! We define the outcomes and then we experiment our way towards these outcomes. Isn’t that what Agile is all about?
…Yes, that’s true! That’s a really Agile way of being and I think that’s why I connected so much to these Agile ideas. That’s how I like it and that’s how life is meant to be for me. So I really connected very strongly.
…Great. I can see the engagement rising while we are talking. I’m thinking about what is happening between us as we’re talking about this topic and I realise that apart from autonomy, mastery and purpose one thing that’s really important for me is social connection, that I feel seen and recognized as a human being, that I feel appreciated for who I am and what I deliver and that we create something together.
I am independent, I am a freelancer, but I do not like working alone. And I really appreciate us creating stuff together, which is part of our specific way of delivering a CAL training, that we do it together and that we demonstrate leading together in the space of the training. So social connection is really important to me to be engaged.
…When I listen to you I realize that this is maybe the most beautiful thing, the most precious gift we can give to humans. We want to have that space of trust and social connection, and be there for each other. That creates the freedom for everybody to develop to their best. Nobody wants to control what we’re doing exactly, but everybody has got a real interest in you developing to the best you can.
…This freedom to develop to our best, this is what relates engagement to outcomes. People feel free to actually bring all of their ideas to work. People engage and really give their best into every single thing they do at work. When we have strong social connections which create safety, people can point out mistakes without it sounding like blame. People can come up with new ideas without being afraid of being ridiculed. That’s what leads to great outcomes. We have people giving their best instead of holding back and just doing what they are asked for or what they’re told.
…Here is where purpose comes in, which I really need for my life. That’s my driving force. If I’ve got this surrounding that I’m connected and if I’ve got the freedom that I know I can find the way to the target, then I really need to make one step, I need a goal which makes sense to me and that really drives me through my life. I need this purpose in every business project – just like for our collaboration as well.
We delivered our first CAL1 (Certified Agile Leadership by the Scrum Alliance) this week in Kiev. We went in with an open mind and the clear intent to uncover what makes our approach special and unique. This is what we learned. Building on what we had learned after the first day…
Our Learning – Done
What do participants say?
Most content is co-created. That creates a strong sense of collaboration with the leaders of the course, opportunities for everyone to lead and lets us experience the choice we have to lead of follow consciously in every moment.
The course is great for anyone who needs to communicate and wants to increase the effectiveness of their communication.
“We turned the sheep around. You may be a wolf, but you can choose to be a sheep. And you may be aware that a wolf could be chasing the sheep.”
I was surprised how quickly trust was created and grown in the group. And I want to try these Temenos methods of story-telling and trust-building with my colleagues.
Knowledge Market Map
Assumptions and Intentions we Started With
There is greatness in every human beings leadership stance that anyone else on the course can benefit from. We want to create space for this greatness to become visible and explicit.
The main purpose of CAL1 is to start people on a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. Participants are responsible for where they are starting from and where they want to go next.
“Agile Leadership” means: know why you do what you do, and be sufficiently aware of how you’re doing it to be able to deliberately improve it. And: everything depends on context awareness and intention. We will refrain from advising or recommending specific leadership practices.
Leading and following, teaching and learning, speaking and listening, conflict and harmony, are all intricate, nuanced dances in the moment. We will lead by example in focusing attention on these subtle choices, highlighting everyone’s successes, so that we can all learn from them.
Letter to your Former Self
At the end, we all wrote a postcard to our former, three days ago selves, giving advice for getting the most out of the workshop. These are some examples:
Free up time to accumulate energy and attention – don’t plan anything – do all homework.
You are ready. Enjoy! Wiser Maiia. PS It doesn’t matter how you like your skirt. Wear pants.
We offer classes in “Certified Agile Leadership” for the Scrum Alliance. What do these classes allow you to learn? What impact can you expect, and what difference will that make on how you lead your life, your team, and your organisation? And what does “agile leadership” mean?
Our simple definition of “agile”: Deliberate improvement, based on
respecting and valuing people as human beings with needs and potentials,
clarity of why (purpose, vision) we do what we do,
awareness of how (process, communication, …) we do what we do.
These three elements allow us to collaborate on improving our system together, so that it better delights and serves us and our customers.
We do not believe that “agile” is a state, or a label, for a specific practice or organisation – agile is the stance and journey of consciously improving.
In that spirit, we believe that agile leadership is the conscious improvement of how we lead and follow, given
a clarity of intention (what we want),
an awareness of context and our current habits and behaviours of leading and following, with the
purpose to grow the system we work in and the people working in it to fulfil our needs and realise our individual and joined potential.
The currently offered courses are called CAL1 as we perceive them to be the beginning of a journey, the invitation to a quest of discovery.
We assume you have experience in leading your life, and leading people. You may be an expert at leading or consider yourself a beginner. Independently of which path you are on and where on that path you are, the TrustTemenos CAL1 will give you these things:
A context of co-creation where you and other leaders make sense together and learn together how you lead and how you may want to improve.
Plenty of options to lead and follow, to teach and learn, to diverge and converge, to seed and to harvest, as we make sense together of what we know about leadership.
A conceptual frame which you can use to discern and understand your kind and style and stance of leadership, methods, practices and tools you know or learn about, so that after the course you can continue to make sense and improve, and continue the journey.
A community of leaders who help each other improve and make sense of their improvement. We encourage and admire each other’s success and hold each other accountable for our struggles, as we’re working on changing our mental models, behaviours and habits.
CAL1 Course Differences
Various Scrum Alliance coaches and trainers offer very different CAL programs and CAL1 courses. Given the intentional openness of the CAL1 learning objectives and the diversity of valid interpretations of what “agile leadership” is, we believe that our training offerings are complimentary.
We offer our trainings at 50% of the price to anyone who has attended a CAL1 training with another trainer before.
Learning preferences are different. People are diverse, organisations even more so. What you need and want to start your journey of self-discovery, becoming the leader you feel called to be, might be wildly different from what we offer.
We recognise these scales on which trainings can be very different:
sharing knowledge – downloading knowledge
getting tools and instructions – increase understanding of your hands
untanglement and discernment – disruption of beliefs and behaviours
leave your comfort zone – increase your comfort zone
learners control learning – teachers control learning
Ask us if you want to know more! And look at the pictures …
Because of the highly co-creative nature of TrustTemenos CAL1 trainings, content can be very different from group to group. For that reason, you may want to consider coming back – which you may do at a 50% discount.
To work effectively, we want focus as much of our time and attention on the work. Emotional reactions – unless they are part of the work itself – can distract us, reduce presence and be a source of waste – in Temenos just as well as in any team. A typical source of unwanted emotions are disappointed expectations. We greatly reduce the likelihood of disappointment when we make clear agreements.
These are working agreements we created in a recent block of TrustTemenos Leadership Academy. Use them to agree in your team or Temenos what’s working for you.
Your own interests over group interests
Law of two feet
Express love for every individual including yourself