“Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.” Steve Jobs attributed this quote to a famous conductor in the film Steve Jobs. It’s hard to come up with a more vivid illustration of leadership. It acknowledges that conductors may be less adept at playing instruments than any of the players in front of them — and other instruments not at all — yet they elicit brilliant performances. I have been told by a San Francisco Symphony musician that guest conductors can in a few rehearsals have the orchestra sounding like the orchestras where they are based. Leadership, per Webster, means “the quality of a leader; capacity to lead”. In recent years, the word has become Read more
Posts Tagged 'Leadership'
The 21st Century was introduced by the tumultuous climax of the dot-com boom on March 20, 2000 when the NASDAQ peaked at 5,132. Since then modern corporations marched on to become the majority of the 100 largest organizations in the world (in terms of revenue/budgets and employed people) surpassing the size of many sovereign national governmental organizations. And this phenomenon happened fast. In 1954, the Boeing Corporations became just the 23rd corporation to exceed $1 billion dollars in annual revenue. By the end of the 20th century, hundreds of corporations exceeded multi-billion dollars in annual revenue. I rejoined the University of Washington faculty in 2003 to research one of the hotbeds of corporate foundings and Read more
This coming year, government leaders will be looking for the most cost-effective means of operational stability for their level of government. Public sector executive leaders will take specific steps to assess their organization (both operations and information technology) to determine the most cost-effective means for business operations. For the IT organizations, this means taking a detailed look at the utilization of operational disciplines, governance and business alignment methods. In addition, decisions will have to be made regarding human capital replacement, training and/or selectively sourcing required technology operations and functions. At the same time, executive leaders will be faced with making decisions on modernization of systems and productivity applications. Progressive executive leaders will utilize an unbiased and Read more
What happened in the past: Agile is all the hype in Software Development and the talk at the golf courses across the country. Consultancy and certification are booming and rumor has it that all software development projects will now end as a success: faster, cheaper, better. What is really going on: More and more software developers are realizing that agile is being implemented as a hype. Processes become iterative. Documents are replaced by tools that maintain a backlog. Customers are still at a far distance from teams. People are still called resources. Cheap labor is still used to “reduce costs”. A few honest managers are aware that nothing is really changing. Quality is not improving, Read more
If there was one major development in the Agile field in the last year or two, it’s been a shift of focus from teams and methodologies to organizations and value chains. I expect this development to gain more speed and depth in the next three years — becoming the major issue of the debate. I see three main threads within the focus on organizations and value chains emerging. These seem to address different needs and markets. The first thread is a tendency to “blueprint” an organization in order to facilitate Agile’s introduction. The “Scaling Agile Framework” belongs, in my opinion, in this group, as do the initiatives of the PMI. Despite a heated debate about Read more
In case you couldn’t make it to this year’s Cutter Summit, here are a few of the nuggets from yesterday. And if you are here in Cambridge, MA, feel free to add some of your own in the comments!
The Cutter Summit program includes a mix of keynotes with accompanying panel sessions, case studies, interactive exercises, roundtable discussions, lightning talks, half-day immersion workshops and seminars, and many, many networking opps. The other day I wrote about the keynote and case study that will take place of the first day, Nov 4, of this Fall’s Summit. Today I’ll highlight the “main events” for the second day. (Watch for another post on roundtables and lightning talks.) Israel Gat will kick off the morning, keynoting on the impending explosion of the API economy. Israel is well-known for his expertise on Agile and software/product development governance supported by technical debt assessment and valuation, but he actually spends much Read more
“Executive education” usually brings a university classroom to my mind, the kind you find on an ivy-walled campus. Cutter’s executive education (which we call Summit 2013), however, is a little different: it takes place next-door to a prestigious university. Yep, Summit 2013 will be held at Le Meridien Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the edge of the MIT campus. The program is chock-full of stellar sessions. The 3-day event kicks off on Nov. 4 with a keynote on The Evolving Role of 21st Century Technology Leaders by Robert D. Scott. Robert, former VP of Innovation & Architecture at Procter & Gamble (where he also served in CIO positions, both corporate and business unit). Robert is Read more
Dear Agilist, Everywhere I go I hear the same thing: “Culture and management are the major impediments to enterprise agile adoption.” Indeed, hundreds of us recently sought out the annual industry conference presentations and panels on how to change management — and culture — to facilitate the agile organization. I propose you and I stop hoping for management to change. Instead, why don’t we become the change we want management to be? That’s right, become a manager! Why the heck not? Here’s my reasoning. If you are skilled in the disciplines of: Prioritizing based on value, quality, and risk reduction Self-organizing cross-functional teamwork Transparent communication Making work visible Limiting work in process Feedback loops for sensing Read more
CIOs and their management teams are facing a leadership crises – with the emphasis on MORE – be more productive, more efficient, more creative, more collaborative, more customer focused and more business savvy. How can leaders inspire their teams to produce technical innovation in a timely, efficient manner? What approaches – or maybe even a science – can help leaders meet these increasing demands? The March 2012 Cutter IT Journal, with Guest Editor Lynne Ellyn, will address these questions. Please send us your ideas – proposals of interest are due 28 December 2011. To respond, please visit http://www.cutter.com/content-and-analysis/journals-and-reports/cutter-it-journal/callforpapers02.html