Adaptive Leadership eBook Just Published!

AL_CoverMy new eBook, Adaptive Leadership: Accelerating Enterprise Agility is out!

We are at a tipping point. Technology—cloud, big data, mobility, social media—tops CEO’s list of concerns per a recent IBM study. “There has been no other point in history when so many aspects of disruptive change have collided and conspired to wreak havoc,” writes retail prophet Doug Stephens. Companies that emerge successfully from this havoc will need to build agility into the very fabric of their organizations and develop the technological savvy to enable that agility. Adaptive Leadership provides a framework for such a transformation.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been thinking, writing, and speaking about issues of adaptive/agile leadership and organizational transformations. The agile movement has greatly impacted software development over the last decade since the Agile Manifesto was signed. The two underlying themes of the agile movement have been reasonably successful (there’s always progress to be made)—namely, building better software and increasing satisfaction (and fun) at work. In a growing number of companies, agile/Lean values and practices have been infused throughout the organization, although there remain too few of these pioneers.

As the agile movement moves past its 10-year anniversary, we need to reflect on our successes, identify areas ripe for improvements, and create a vision for the future. Just imagine what we could accomplish if more companies focused on values and quality; if they focused on achieving their ambitious missions; if they focused customer experience & engagement; if they focused on self-organizing at every level; if they focused on collaboration, transparency, courage, and technical excellence; if they focused on disruptive thinking and inspiring their people; and if they used the success generated from this transformation to promote social and economic justice in the world.

“Adaptive leadership throughout the organization is crucial. It’s not just about how the initial hypotheses of a business team may have been wrong, or how the velocity of a delivery team falls below expectations, or how either group must individually solve the problem. It’s now about how the entire organization can quickly understand and rapidly act upon this situation. For without this ongoing focus on reducing cycle time and increasing learning, you can be certain you’ll be left behind by faster, nimbler, more adaptive organizations,” writes John Crosby, Vice President of Product and Technology, from in his foreword.

This book is a compilation of papers and blogs I’ve written over the last several years plus some new material. The core ideas were articulated in a ThoughtWorks white paper and subsequently expanded upon in my blog posts. One of the problems with a blog is that older entries get lost, so I wanted to pull them out into a more readily accessible format. I’ve rewritten material to bring a little cohesion to the disparate blogs while other material remains as originally written.