Hubris versus Humility and the Search for Adaptive Leadership

Enron_Logo

The most extreme case of hubris in recent memory involved the leaders of Enron. As an Amazon review says, “They make a mockery of conventional accounting practices and grow increasingly arrogant and blind to their collective hubris.” (The Smartest Guys in the Room, Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind). Hubris, from the Greek, defines a sense […]

Hidden: What’s Beyond Measurement

wonderful life1

About 550-600 million years ago, just prior to the Internet, the earth experienced the Cambrian explosion in which flora and fauna species proliferated. Wild and weird life forms emerged. Then, with a bang, as happened to the dinosaurs, 96% of all those species vanished. It wasn’t the survival of the fittest, but the survival of […]

Don’t “Control” Agile Projects

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One common complaints about agile methods is that management doesn’t have the same degree of “control” over projects. We need to stop worrying about this complaint as a vice and start thinking of it as a virtue. When we “control” agile projects we can lose a significant portion of the benefit of agile methods. The […]

Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

uncomfortable

A couple of years ago I was talking to the CEO of a medium-sized company. “We started the year with 10 strategic initiatives,” he said. “It’s now May and we’ve scrapped 4 of them and added 3 new ones. We are committed to being agile and flexible in our approach to business, but at this […]

Time after Time (after Time after Time)

Clocks

“Time after Time” goes the song by Cyndi Lauper. Time deadlines have been a pervasive theme in software development projects, and in fact, for all projects. But what time are we really talking about? What defines late? Is time the most important control measure? This post explores four distinctly different “time” perspectives:  planned versus actual, […]