Inviting Agility

Agility is a personal, organizational and community mindset that anyone can learn and practice.  Agility enables us to adapt quickly and effectively, to all forms of change and disruption.  Agile leaders, teams and organizations deliver maximum value and greatest satisfaction – for customers, employees and everyone else impacted by their work.  

Inviting is engaging and aligning.  Inviting empowers people by not disempowering them.  Inviting gives everyone the right and the responsibility to manage their own experience in service of an important common purpose.  

Inviting Agility is the new way of working.  It changes everything – in elegantly simple and powerfully effective ways.  This is what I do and teach and share.

Most of this website is practice stories, resources and working notes. This page is more promotional.  Here, I invite you more directly into the possibility of inviting agility in your own teams, organizations, and communities.  

Why work with me?

I support leaders and champions, innovators and learners, disrupters and transformers.  My work helps them bring people together to get big stuff done.  I invite and support engagement, collaboration and transformation.  I bring a fresh, rigorous focus on business purpose and delivering value. Everything we do is co-developed to fit your goals, your people, and your customers.  

Together, we can invite and connect everyone who’s involved in delivering value to your customers. With that focus and engagement, we can rewrite old rules.  We can open and align silo’d groups. Engage new partners and stakeholders. Invite and support innovation. Remove obstacles and eliminate delays, rework, and other kinds of waste. We can help people do their best work, deliver more value sooner, and make managing the whole enterprise easier. 

I work as facilitator, trainer, coach and consultant. I assess needs, frame options and open possibilities.  I can help stabilize start-ups, build a momentum of good practice, and mediate the rough spots. I teach leaders and everyone else how to keep it going.  Always, my goal is to share as much as I can and actively work myself out of a job.  

Four kinds of value we can create together:

1. Big meetings that get people moving  

I lead working summits for dozens (or hundreds!) of participants, senior leaders, and/or board members, to address important and complex issues – like the future of the company or the community.  I can help you surface, refine, frame, invite, support and document the work of diverse and distributed teams and stakeholders.

All of the most important issues get raised and addressed. Everyone learns and contributes.  Everything that matters gets documented, shared, connected, and aligned. Priorities can be worked out. Immediate next steps get determined and delivered. It’s easy to have great cross-functional summits or all-hands meetings, within or across organizations.  Then I can show you how to maintain that spirit and momentum in your everyday meetings and management. 

2. Agile teams that learn to deliver more value faster – and easier

I teach Agile practices like Scrum and Kanban for software development and other kinds of teams.  Agility is engaging, effective, adapting, and improving. Agile values people, conversations and relationships over processes, rules and technical tools.  It emphasizes delivering solid, faster, and frequent but smaller wins now, rather than a big bang dream result… eventually.

Agile engages people – the servers and those served – directly, early and often.  In this way, we can learn as we go, adapting and refining, rather than developing and following an elaborate, rigid plan. I teach teams how to surf complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity and disruption, when other project management approaches can’t keep up.  Any team, including your senior leadership team, can deliver better, faster, easier results and decisions. I can help your teams (and leaders) be more engaged, effective and resilient.

3. High performance organizations that adapt quickly and effectively to all kinds of change and disruption

Teams don’t succeed as islands.  All of your teams need to be connected, aligned, pulling and adapting together.  Not just the front line, but leadership, finance, human resources, and other support functions.  True business agility requires the whole organization to evolve, and revolve, around customer value and experience. But employee experience matters. And business value. And community impact. This complexity demands all-at-once management: Inviting leadership. Open systems. Clear purpose and priorities. Mutual commitment and dependable delivery.  Stakeholder engagement and customer feedback. All-at-once management allows all of these things to move and evolve together, in an effective, coordinated and sustainable way.  

But we don’t get there in one spectacular leap. Continuous, incremental, customer-centered learning and improvement wins the race.  Lots of people lead organization transformation the hard way. They spend tremendous energy and resources trying to change the people who do the work.  Customer-centered, all-at-once management is more direct approach. It invites and supports better service and value. We can help the people doing the work to learn their way into driving the needed changes.  We can help your organization — or startup — learn to evolve faster, smarter and easier. We can grow your whole organization (or start-up!) into a customer value powerhouse.  

4.  Civic institutions and alliances that invite and support community-wide engagement, collaboration, and transformation, toward a vibrant, sustainable prosperity for all  

The Civic Agility Project is inviting agility in local government, all kinds of community organizations, and alliances that blur the lines between them.  We’ve introduced inviting agile practices in education, economic development, planning and zoning, transportation planning, and affordable housing.  We’re engaging more stakeholders and sharing responsibility for solutions. Removing approval and financing obstacles for small developers, to rebuild the affordable “missing middle” in housing.  Re-defining the customers of economic development. And balancing preservation and growth. We’re noticing the flow of food donations into day shelters for the homeless can be managed in an open, community-wide, collaborative way, like the flow of work and resources in any business enterprise.  I coach local government champions and community leaders to apply agile thinking and methods in situations like these.  

We’re also exploring an easier, more effective balance between providing the solutions and providing platforms for community-driven solutions.  We can help improve core services but also facilitate better community engagement to address our toughest issues together. The challenge is always in the balance between providing the solutions and provide the platform.  In many situations, the best solutions won’t need to be studied, decided, delivered and funded by city hall. They can (simply, amazingly!) be invited and supported and connected. I can show you how to leverage the wealth of energy and resources in your community into better civic engagement, more active community collaboration, and more effective government solutions.  

Where do we begin?

What are the most important issues and opportunities, of any scale, in your community, state or region?  What must be addressed, created, and achieved? How are you connected to that? And who else is or should be involved?  What resources are immediately available and what might be accessed with some effort? What limits must we honor or accept, at least for now?  Where will our first feedback come from? How will we measure, track and assess the value of our solutions?

AND… when would you like to talk about these questions and any of the possibilities I’ve outlined above?