Thursday, 21 August 2014

Passing the Baton: The Role of Leadership in Sustainable Agile Transformations

Five years ago, before I had ever heard of an Agile Release Train, I was given a copy of Jim Collins’ book Good to Great by my line manager. Over the years I have read and re-read this book and it continues to be one of my favourites. I even recommended it to the EDW Book Club where we spent a number of hours dissecting the findings and considering how they might be applicable to launching an Agile Release Train.

Good to Great is the result of five years of research aimed at understanding the defining characteristics of “companies that made the leap from good results to great results”.  Jim Collins and his team identified seven concepts that were present in all the companies that had made the leap from good-to-great. One of the most compelling messages I took away from my first reading of this book was the concept of “Level 5 Leadership”.  That is, leaders who display the following behavioural patterns:
  • Setting up Successors for Success
  • A Compelling Modesty
  • Unwavering Resolve...To Do What Must Be Done
  • The Window and the Mirror
Good to Great concepts