3 september 2021

Lean-Agile leadership

What is specific with Lean-Agile leadership?


From SAFe home page you can read more about the cornerstones of Lean-Agile leadership. I would like to emphasize three components that are close to my heart - emotional intelligence, growth mindset and organizational change management practices.


First, as a Lean-Agile leader you need to "Lead by Example". In order to do this you need to "model behaviors that foster a generative culture". The following behaviors create the foundation for this dimension of leadership:

  • Authenticity
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Life-long learning
  • Growing others
  • Decentralized decision making
I have been interested in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) since about 2005, starting out by reading the book "Emotional intelligence" by Daniel Goleman. I am a certified coach within the Emotional Intelligence framework EQ-i 2.0 and I strongly believe every leader has to understand this set of skills that has been defined within the positive psychology domain. From this area of research you also learn that business success is very strongly linked to your own happiness and well-being.

Read more about this in my former blog posts:
- the foundation of EQ based on the article from weforum "Why you need emotional intelligence"


Secondly, as a Lean-Agile leader you need to promote a Growth Mindset. This means that you "cultivate the believe that mindsets can be developed and improved". (see picture below)


In order to grow as a leader it is important to understand that you have mindsets that "resides in the subconscious mind and manifest themselves as deeply held beliefs, attitudes, assumptions and influences". If you want to become a true Lean-Agile leader, you "must remain open to the possibility that existing mindsets based on traditional management practices need to evolve in order to guide the organizational change required to become a Lean enterprise."

I have attended several NLP trainings and have an NLP Business Practitioner certificate. NLP is partly about understanding and becoming aware of your own limiting beliefs and evolve to become the best version of yourself using various techniques to re-program your subconscious mind.

Read more about this in my former blog posts:

- describtion of a growth mindset by Carol Dweck including a link to a RSA Animate clip

- some posts about Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) - mostly in Swedish


Thirdly, as a Lean-Agile leader you have to understand the process of implementing organizational Change. This has been thoroughly described by John Kotter in his eight step model. In order to be successful with the SAFe implementation roadmap (see figure below), it is vital that you have knowledge in organizational change management methodology.


I have been part of many organizational change projects and have an APMG Organizational Change Management Practitioner certificate from Learning Tree. It is vital to understand the sense of Urgency, figuring out who should be part of the Guiding coalition, develop the Vision... Empower employees... generate Short-term wins, and so on...

Read more about this in my former blog posts:

- making sense of Change management

- the difference between Change management and Change leadership


Finally, a Youtube clip describing "What is the Lean Agile mindset":



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