5.27.2020

Management is under extinction

Hello coronavirus survivers!

In the last days I'd contact with this article:

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/end-management-as-we-know-it.aspx

and decided to make this post.

Management is under extinction

Yes.

If you are a manager, that plays politics... if you repeal talented people... if you are a control freak... if you are not listening any critic from your subordinates... you are in the risk group.

Sorry to write so hard words, but I find a value on being honest with you.

I'm here to help you.

Even if it hurts.

Maybe no one told you the origin of Agile. Twas written in a manifesto.

Do you know what a "manifesto" is?

Yes, a declaration letter. A strike.

People was tired of bad management. And the Agile founders express that exactly today. If you ask them about... take a look on this picture:



This is Martin Fowler, agile manifesto founder, in his video "Explaining Agile".

At minute 12:51 he says "People are not predictable", and dedicate this finger to someone. (maybe a manager?)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE6lbPLEAzc

but...

What is "management"?


During the 19th and 20th centuries, we lived in a "production society". The "owners" of lands, machines and factories were the "landlords" in the economy.

Charlie Chaplin Swallowed by a Factory Machine - Modern Times ...

They could crash and mistreat any human being, only driving them with the Fear of being Fired.

The "management" developed a culture of "productivity and control". With strong hierarchies, and a "command and control" system. Of course that includes a "reporting culture", which also includes the 1-directional Feedback (top to bottom)

The Gods (bosses) could judge you as worker, and you could not have any chance of complaining.

With the arrive of technology, internet and communications, we switched from the "production society" to the "Knowlege Society".

The Game changed.

big-fish-eaten-by-little-fishes | Not Two
Before, the productive machine, was property of the factory owner. Now the productive machine (the brain), belongs to the employee, and has legs to walk out the door.

Now we have a deprecated management social class. Many of them are already extinguish, but the rest (maybe including you) are next.

What's the difference?


In the old structure, the manager social class, were like Land-Lords in feudal system. Each Lord has its territory, and everything inside it should obey and follow his command.

Now we are moving more into an "internal capitalism" were "free exchange" trends to be the new standard. Negotiation and freedom flows inside constraints.

Now you cannot command, you need to negotiate. You need now to learn how to cultivate a relation with your employees. Build Trust, and gain respect.

In the past, scientific managers created a value to the company, providing control, hire and fire power. Keeping people scared of being fired to hold high productivity rates.

Nowadays, ir some manager is a "Fear Creator" he is a problem. No, sorry...

He is THE problem


Because Fear kills mind. And for Brain workers, that's toxic. So yes, good conclusion. Old management behaviour is Toxic.

Its Profit's Enemy...

How I Think About Monthly Burn As A Startup Founder

Traditional managers are not only problem creators, they are expensive.

A big portion of Budget Waste are "Internal Politics Game".

A Politician is someone that will take decisions for his own benefit, and not for the Company, the Customer or the Employees.

That's why today big companies trends to split into small startups, and to flat hierarchies.

But this is not enough...

We are lacking a cultural change.

The good news:
  • this can change
  • you can change
  • we can change together

Ok, gotcha. but... What I can do?


You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned #1: Grading | Teach Like a Jedi

Exactly, thanks Yoda.

You must abandon and weak your old competences, and train, develop, cultivate new ones.

For example: to listen.

In the Jurassic World, your work was to speak (maybe to scream?). Now is to listen.

First step: stay open to change, learn and adapt.

Second step: connect with the "Value Creation Layer"


What the fuck is that ! ?

hahaha... nice.

Org Physics: The 3 faces of every company - Niels Pflaeging - Medium
Pic Author: Niels Pfl├Ąging

In every organization you have 3 social components.

  • Formal (rules, hierarchies, contracts)
  • Informal (relations, trust)
  • Value Creation (Productive)

If you are a shitty traditional manager (a Dinosaur) you will focus on the formal structure, hierarchies a lot. And you will use the Informal layer for influence people (manipulate)... but basically this is the consequence:

The more you focus on Formal and Informal layers,

the less space left for Creating Value.


And, my friend, everything that is outside the Vaue Creation layer...

Is a Waste.

So, now, my friend. Ask yourself how you are contributing to the Value Creation layer. And maximize it.

Minimize formalities, hierarchies, meetings, politics. They could exists, but please...

... minimize.

You have now in front of you a path of self discovery.

  • How old fashioned are you?
  • Are you listening to people?
  • Are you caring about what they need?
  • Are you a "helper", or a "demander"?
  • Are you committed to your people?
  • You manipulate them like "resources", or you cultivate a relation with them as "people"?
  • Do you give, what you want to receive?

I hope this post was as much painful as possible to help you wake up, and I wish you a wonderful travel of self-trasnformation.

Daniel

5.11.2020

Toyota Lean principles for Fitness


Welcome back to my blog coronavirus survivers!

Today I share with you a personal experience with my own Fitness project:

How to apply Toyota principles to my Fitness Board



What is this?

This is my TABATA board with 3 sequences.

TABATA is a high intensity train that combine 20 seconds effort and 10 seconds break. Each TABATA sequence has 8 exercises. And this is repeated 8 times.

In total is 1 hour training.

So let's go, let's see how I improve it:

Step 1: observe 


The reason to improve this board, was that it was not so flexible or easy to read.

The first color code identifies the columns. But the problem is when I decide to move an exercise to other column, the result is like this:




Now is not so clear what exercise belongs to the yellow or the orange. So it didn't work out. Its incoherent. And I'm misusing the opportunity to have a functional color code (waste)

  • Decision: we need a new color code. 
  • Why: to simplify and avoid information noise.

Step 2: classify



I didn't know if its better to classify exercises between pull/push or by body parts.

At the end, and given the info I had, I decided that to split by body part is more relevant. The other distinction didn't represents a big difference.

So we classify to differentiate.

Done. Color code applied to the board. 


Effect: situations becames visible.

Nice, now I can see realities that were hidden. But wait a moment...

In sequence A, there only 1 yellow. Hmm that's bad.

And for "easy reading" the column titles should be the same color...

  • Decision: change title colors.
    • why: to avoid confusion and noise. (information noise is a waste) 
  • Decision: define a "business value": my priority is to train arms. (yellow)
    • why: not every activity creates "value", and we don't manage activities, but a "value flow". 

Step 3: sort

This way I detected that I was not putting effort into the priority. I was "just moving". That's not the goal.

"Movement is not progress"

  • Decision: Put a red mark on "value creating exercises".
    • Why: to make "value creation" more visible.  

Step 4: balance

Yes, that's looks better.

But now I have a lot of blue items on Sequence B.

  • Decision: put priority exercise as top as possible.
    • Why: I want to do them when I have more energy. 
  • Decision: balance colors 
    • Why: to balance training through body.



That looks better.

Step 5: optimize

Observation: there very few red marks, maybe we can increase the effort investment in high value exercises.
  • Decision: duplicate high value exercises. 
    • Why: dedicate more effort to the valuable exercises.


Final results:

  • Now we can easly move every exercise to every position without breaking the color code. 
  • We can produce more effect with the same effort / time. 
  • We balance the full body. 
  • Now we know the "value priority" (arms) 
  • Priority is visible.  

Step 6: keep improving

As "Kanbaners", our job is to search always the "small and cheap" improvements. 

Process Review

Let's take a look into the Improvement process:

Color Code. We search simplicity and to reduce information.


Make things visual. That you, without reading, can see the situation and take decisions.


There is things we will not work. Discard them, clear the way.


Is important, additionally, to identify and reduce waste.

If you don't measure, you can't see.

A good metric can show your progress, but it needs to be simple and functional. (in this case "kilos", taking a snapshot per week)

My target was to loose 20 kilos, I have already lost 18.



Question: I think Kilos is not a good metric. How you choose your metric?

Nice question!

In my philosophical opinion would answer:

A good metric is:
  • Global
  • Imperfect 
  • Easy to take
  • Meaningful 
Should be global, because we want to metric the "entire system performance" and not specific performances of some parts in the system (sub-optimization)

Should be imperfect, to avoid many psichological effects.

Like:
  • obsessing with the metric, 
  • measuring success with it (is not) and 
  • to feed your illusion of control
For example: after some success, by loosing 17 kilos, and given my goal was 20 kilos, I made these strategical decisions:

"given my method worked well, if I do it harder, it will work better"

So I decided: yes! go for it! double the bet, and we will get more progress!

I think you can guess the result: total disaster.

I've lost control of weight, some weeks down, some weeks up...

then I was totally confused. Until I remembered that rule of balance between variables in an stable system. This kind of useless things we learn at school.



If you make an hipocaloric diet, your body enters in panic. Then he "decides" to save energy, and keep reserves to face the hunger challenge.

Anything that can put your body into stress, can affect totally or partially how your body reacts to the situation. So at the end is not about "how much you train", or "how much you eat", that's a mechanicist approach.

Familiar?

We have an organic echosystem of variables, in a perfect balance. And we think we have a machine with pieces.

That's the mechanic mindset.

The Illusion of control is one of the most common mental diseases for Project Managers.

To believe that we can "tell" to a complex reality how to behave.

To believe that we can "manipulate" results "managing" variables.

- "ok, I understand the problem, but... where is the answer?... what can we do?" 

Nice question. And the answer is philosophical: the law of moderation.

A moderate exercise, with a moderate diet, with moderate fasting, with moderate everything... creates a great lifestyle.

Then the body adapts to this great lifestyle, and find its perfect balance.

The body weight loosing, is just a consequence of the good life quality.

It should be also "meaningful". It means, should be "good enough" to valorate if our strategy is functional or not.



Prioritize. There is always a capacity limit. Time is a hard reality we cannot change. A week will always have 7 days.

Then you need to put your time and effort in the bigger winning activities.

Make them visible, and prioritize.


All these change are part of a continuous process: Improve



Next steps

And from your side, in what areas of your life you can implement these Kanban / Lean optimization strategies? 

Share your experience with me to learn together.

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy! 

Daniel