Hubris versus Humility and the Search for Adaptive Leadership

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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 […]

    Embracing Paradox

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    “All of us like to think that human affairs are essentially rational. … The wealth of experience that fails to support this notion never seems to faze us. … That human affairs usually work not rationally but paradoxically.” “… because of the sense of omnipotence that plagues American management, the belief that no event or […]

      What is Agility?

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      There is no Agility for Dummies. Agility isn’t a silver bullet. You don’t achieve it in five easy steps. So what is it? For myself, I’ve characterized agility in two statements: Agility is the ability to both create and respond to change in order to profit in a turbulent business environment. Agility is the ability […]

        Balancing Adaptability and Predictability

        One of the most vexing issues for executives and managers is balancing the need for both predictability and adaptability in software delivery. While this might seem like an either/or issue, the solutions are really both/and ones. In presentations I often ask the question, “How many of you have been on Agile teams and were asked […]

          Embracing Change

          To a manager’s question, “How much will project Zebra cost?” The comment, “I don’t know,” is usually an unacceptable (but often the best) response. A more specific answer such as, “Well, somewhere between $2 and $6 million dollars would be rejected in many, if not most, organizations. The project manager who says, “Project Zebra will […]