Loving Your Org… ups!

OrgPeopleLeaders must love their organization! (…getting crazy!)

I’ve spoken once to one of my peer colleagues, and we’ve both complained on certain aspects how “organization” was doing the things. We were partly correct in everything and about similarly wrong, as well.  He said in the end: “Well, I am not married to this company, so I have no problem to just leave”.He was maybe correct, but he didn’t leave. We are partners with our organization and as long as the partnership is satisfactory for both parties, we engage together.

After the talk, I felt guilty. Our chat added no value and time we spent was fairly wasted on complaints.

What is the organization? Who forms it and what makes it as it is? Who creates the culture and behaviors in it?

Even the organizational policies and mottos would say that people are our best assets, we usually don’t identify with such words, since there are so many signs and signals saying that the numbers are important – budget, headcount, charts, reports… We live/work in the organization of things.

This is how Al Michaud in his book “Mediocrity in ten easy steps” sarcastically explains forces that drag business and organizations towards mediocrity. The very few managers, according to Al, take the time and make the effort to talk with and truly understand people. Those who do this are marked as people persons and they are not best conducting themselves in the best manner to insure mediocrity.

Mediocrity doesn’t count today. Mediocre companies are sentenced to extinction.

Agile organizations are people-oriented. They fight mediocrity with collaboration and cultivation of people’s growth (please check the Empirical People Control post). They make people meaningful and work in the organization purposeful. Mediocrity hates those things.

Respecting and appreciating people, we love, respect and appreciate our organization. The good numbers, budgets, charts, and reports produced by these people are the consequence of this “love”.



All the policies, rules and processes are useful and meaningful if used to grow people’s knowledge, capabilities and motivation. As leaders,we make processes useful and we need to make sure that we improve them constantly. This challenge of improvement makes our organization agile i.e. it is our ticket out of mediocrity.

Mediocrity is a bad word, bad word!

The Underestimated Way to Remain Human: Non-violent Communication

hipiThe non-violent communication is a language and a way of communication that strengthen our ability to remain human, no matter of a challenging situation that might appear. The pioneer of the NVC, Marshall B. Rosenberg, has written the bestselling book “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life”. These methods are used for years around the world to resolve the most difficult conflicts such are the war conflicts and hostage situations. I hope we don’t have these dimensions in our agile teams…

The non-violent communication (NVC) might improve our lives. We are used to the verbal ‘aggression’ usually imposed by the position, an authority or power of the higher ranking, but it is not uncommon among the peers too. One example comes from the daily standup meeting in one of our teams:  A younger person was struggling with the unit tests execution for 2 days in a row. She was trying to dig out by herself was it a problem in the code or the tests themselves. She started to elaborate the details to the colleagues in the team. Being not the time and place at the daily meeting to go into details, the team facilitator interrupted the discussion by saying: “Can someone more competent finally do this?
Is this respect and does it help to improve the situation or motivate the team to do the work!?

When participating in one of the seminars, I learned this::

NVC is a lLanguage of Compassion Rather Than Domination

NVC is focusing attention

NVC is managing existing conflicts and preventing new

NVC is not about being nice; it’s about being real.


The NVC is “formalized” via 4 routines:

Observation -
observing the situation, what others are doing or saying. Articulating the situation without adding judgments: “When I (see, hear, remember, imagine, etc.)

we state how we feel when we observe this action: “I feel…

we express our needs related to the feelings we have identified: “…because I need…

we clearly say what we want from the other person to enrich our lives or make life more wonderful for us without demanding by saying e.g. “Would you be willing to…

It takes practice, as for everything, but in few cases it really worked well for me, even though I needed to prepare the wording scenario well in advance…



Judging and classifying people promotes ‘violence’ and I am sure we don’t need that.