The magic ingredient of Agility

“If you’re Agile you’re flexible, if you’re flexible you can adapt to any situation.”

Ever since the day I became a manager and started coaching people, I’ve been p(w)ondering what makes them follow. The funny thing about leadership is: it is not working without followers. It is like being a king of an uninhabited island. And who would want that. So, I decided to try to unravel the mystery by studying all its aspect.

I did my homework on management education; I’ve listened to audio books (thank you Porter and Deming. Yes, there are actually some advantages to a long traffic jams) I took psychology and personality tests like Myers-Briggs and such, and I want to extend my gratitude to Quasus for organising personality training in a highly practical fashion allowing you to explore different personality traits of colleagues and how to cope with them. I did ADKAR as well which proved to be a valuable model for change management. I’ve played game storming sessions with customer solely for the purpose of exposing the needs of those I was leading. I’ve been to a lot of Agile events, became a Scrum coach and a believer in Jurgen Appelo’s excellent Management 3.0. It has been one hell of a journey, but it did help. By God, it did!

I learned that the magic ingredient, the fuel which make ideas fly and collaboration works and makes people follow your lead is simple: CARE.

Care is the essential component of agility. Care from and for every member in the team; care from and for management, stakeholders and customers. The theories/experiments/books/blogs and events are very valuable, but nothing beats the good old fashioned care. It is the one that drives me and keep me motivated and inspired. Where would the Agile manifesto be if nobody truly cares?

Remember this next time you’re going to lead: “If you ain’t sharing, people ain’t caring” – Wyclef Jean


Flip coin decisions

 coins When your team has little time to decide on how to approach a difficult challenge. Let them decide by coins! May the best idea win!
  1. Discuss the challenge

basejumpprep   Image by J. Neun

  1. How would they cope with the challenge at hand? Listen to idea’s from the group (one idea per person)


  1. Let the team pick the top ideas (3-5), write them down
  2. “Everyone, pick your coins!”


  1. Vote for an idea by putting your coin face up on the table covered by your hand, removing your hand only when all coins are on the table.
  2. In case of a tie we will vote again to see which idea is most suited to cope with the given challenge (time constraints, required resources…)
  3. The winner(s) will face the challenge using their ideas
  4. Extra fun: If the winner(s) can successfully complete the challenge by realising their idea(s) they can have the pick of place to celebrate (team drink,…).
    • Involvement
    • Quick decisions
    • Motivation boost
    • Reality check (team feedback)