Steve (Steven M.) Smith is an independent management consultant who accelerates team productivity by freeing teams from a hairball of technical and social difficulties. His Aha! Moment was the realization that social difficulties were the biggest impediment to his development team’s ability to solve technical problems. He marveled over how much precious time was squandered squabbling between team members, fighting with management about direction and warring with other teams over turf. Astonished by how much these troubles crippled the quality of a team’s product as well as the speed and economy of its delivery, he devotes himself to researching and applying methods teams to enhance teamwork and enable better problem solving. He passionately consults, coaches, teaches, writes, and speaks about routes teams can take to produce better results faster, more economically and without pain. Learn more about his thinking by visiting his website—http://stevenMsmith.com. Steve would enjoy hearing from you about his sessions, please contact him at steve@stevenMsmith.com.
Company: Steven M. Smith & Associates
Presentations at BizConf
Power, Authority and TeamsFriday, August 06, 2010 at 10:00 AM
What are the boundaries to management’s power and authority when it comes to teams?
Clashes between management and members of a team happen in both traditional and agile organizations.
Joseph, a manager, may clash with the members of a team if he feels they are usurping his power and authority. He wonders, Does anyone care about my needs? He thinks, This isn’t negotiable.
Team clash with managers, like Joseph, when they feel his request aren’t relevant to their goals. Requests that seem frivolous, such as annual performance reviews, puzzle team members. They wonder, Why is management slowing us down? They think, Leave us alone; let us do our work.
These clashes create a boundary between management and the team. Many organizations mark this issue undisucssable and hence never discuss it and the clashes keep happening. But for us, people from many organizations, it’s a boundary that’s discussable.
We will use simulations and small group discussions to explore the the dynamics of power and authority between teams and management looking for boundaries that are impairing results. We will explore methods for changing those boundaries.
This session will benefit managers who seek to partner with teams. It will also benefit members of teams who want to partner with management so everyone produces the results they need.
Beyond Bickering: A Playbook for Self-Organizing TeamsThursday, August 05, 2010 at 3:00 PM
Self-organizing teams hold the promise of a higher level of productivity, adaptability and creativity. But with a looser structure, they are susceptible to distractions, struggles and bickering.
As a member of a self organizing team, you have the opportunity to use your influence to help the team recognize social and organizational difficulties impeding its success. You could call “plays” to help your team counter these difficulties. How do you learn how to do that?
You will be a member of a self-organizing team tasked with solving a problem. You’ll learn to call plays to break through the distractions, struggles and bickering that often impedes a team’s success.
The session will benefit anyone who works as a member of a self-organizing team.
"Feeling" Isn't a Four Letter WordFriday, August 06, 2010 at 3:00 PM
Some people think feelings don’t belong in the workplace. They believe rationality is the best approach for solving all problems.
Regardless of what people would like to think, people don’t stop having feelings and emotions just because they are at work. Feelings are facts. When managed properly, they become an asset for solving problems.
However, when feelings are ignored, they are the biggest barrier to successfully problem solving. For instance, if you carelessly interrupt Leonordo in mid-sentence and switch subjects without regard for him or what he is saying, he will become angry. Others who are treated the same way may feel hurt and just stop contributing.
In Leonordo’s case, he becomes embarrassed about his anger. He tells you neither about his anger nor his embarrassment. He sulks and plots his revenge. When he does exact his revenge in an ensuing conversation, he disguises his feelings as pure rationality. You argue with him over facts that you don’t know so you go round and round working on a problem that you can’t solve.
We will use simulations and group discussions to explore feelings and questions like: How can people who prefer using their feelings to solve problems work better with people who have other preferences? How can people who prefer pure rationality work better with people who don’t? How can we transform feelings so that they aren’t barriers to successful problem solving?
This session will be equally valuable to managers and individual contributors, anyone who has feelings or works with people who have feelings.
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