Tribal Leadership and Scrum

January 28, 2012  |   Posted by :   |   Agile,Scrum,Scrum Meetings,The Culture Game,Tribal Leadership   |   0 Comment»

In genuine and authentic Scrum, the three roles form a triad.

A triad is a super-small social structure with just 3 participants. These 3, aligned on values, commit to executing a very small strategy with intent to get results inside a very short time horizon.

Tribal Leadership is the book that introduces triads. It is a New York Times bestselling business book on business, leadership and culture. I’ve outlined this in an earlier post. The book is brilliant. The triad, is a 3-person social structure that is very small– and very robust. A well-formed triad is a powerhouse. Triads are capable of accomplishing absolutely tremendous results with just 3 participants, across very small time horizons.

If you know Scrum, this is sure to sound familiar….

My latest book, The Culture Game, describes in A-B-C terms exactly how to use triads to spread transformative learning across an entire enterprise. If Tribal Leadership is a cultural operating system, The Culture Game is an application. It provides a small strategy (a “microstrategy”) and leverages triads to spread it virally throughout the entire organization. I believe The Culture Game is the first of many such books that will be built upon the Tribal Leadership platform.

Triads are a key to the business agility problem. Genuine Scrum teams with the 3 roles of Product Owner, Scrum Master and Team exhibit a key aspect of Tribal Leadership’s triads: each role takes responsibility for maintaining the quality of the connection between the other two. This is the very picture of a healthy and well team.

In 2010, I met Dave Logan at Zappos. (Zappos Insights is one of my clients. Actually, one of my favorite clients. That is a truly great and amazing story for a detailed telling … at a later time.) Dave and I have many friends in common, and we became good friends ourselves.

In early 2012, I traveled to the Los Angeles offices of CultureSync, Dave’s management consultancy. I brought the 16 learning practices described in my book. We spent two days with the CultureSync team, doing work while using all the techniques in the book. The result was a delightful, laughing-out-loud kind of astonishment on the part of the CultureSync team. They loved it. My account of the details of the coaching experience at CultureSync are located here.

As a result of that meeting, we made serious headway in blending a very strong brew consisting of Scrum and Tribal Leadership. We kicked off a project composing elements of Tribal Leadership’s 5-stage culture model, the 3-person triad structure, and the 16 Tribal Learning practices described in The Culture Game. (The 16 practices are all derived from Scrum). I gathered these techniques over several years, by watching the very best Scrum teams I was coaching, and carefully noting exactly what the heck they were actually doing. From that, I developed a list…the sixteen things…

…I call them Tribal Learning practices. If you do them, you create automatic team-learning and a generate a genius team. All of these techniques are related, and conspire together to create team genius: in truth, a small learning organization. The Tribal Learning practices, derived from Scrum, are the ‘secret sauce’ in the recipe for creating a learning organization.

We can thank Scrum’s creators, Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber,  for pointing the way.

Over a 2-day period Dave, the CultureSync team and I executed on brainstorming and planning around the re-mix: Tribal Scrum Incorporating essential aspects of both Tribal Leadership and Scrum, Tribal Scrum has the potential to transform organizations, one triad at a time. It’s all described in my book, The Culture Game, which you can purchase today.

Intrigued? The Tribal Learning practices described in my book provide the ingredients and the recipe for creating more learning, more fun, and a greater capacity to respond to change.

Tribal Scrum is a re-mix of practices distilled from Scrum and Tribal Leadership. Please join us as we embark on this adventure.

Join us in creating tools that managers and executives can use– right out of the box– to create effective learning tribes in organizations of all sizes throughout the world.

 

Background Links on Tribal Scrum:

Make Your Meeting Hyper-Productive and Fun article at CBSNEWS.COM

Tribal Leadership Book

The Culture Game Book

Tribal Leadership and The Culture Game blog post

Design Thinking: Composing the Tribal Learning Practices blog post

How Tribal Leadership and Scrum will change the world blog post


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