7. May, 2021

Rock your components ...

Picture taken from the webinar hosted by Oxford Leadership - Force of Nature: What motherhood taught us about leadership of tomorrow - from yesterday evening

I am an engineer by studies and we guys prefer smart reuse over starting from scratch, what makes even more sense, when the development cycles are getting shorter and shorter. So "Steal with Pride", "Copy and Transfer" and "Rock your ideas" --> throw different components together, mix it, check the result, mix it again until a promising idea comes out. Great approach, especially when the room for really disruptive new ideas is limited, as in the current times.

Mother Day is coming up on Sunday. Having a mother, being the brother of two sisters with kids and being the father of three daughters, I do have some ideas about and insights into motherhood and, what it means today and has meant during the last 50 years. Only one argument to join the webinar yesterday. Another one was that I am always looking for new interesting topics. As you can see on the picture on the left for example.

After the webinar I did go out for a short walk, to have a little movement after a long day in home office, sitting at my desk for the most time. Fresh air and using some other muscles did bring me to the following idea 😉. Going beyond the webinar topic - What motherhood taught us about leadership of tomorrow - and looking for the overlaps between motherhood and an agile mindset.

Let's jump into the topic right a way and look into the Agile Manifesto as a starting point 🤔:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools --> learning by doing
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation --> get things done quickly
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation --> kids go first and know it
  • Responding to change over following a plan --> every day is a new day

Just a 1st quick check of commonalities between Motherhood and the Agile Manifesto. More similarities that quickly came to my mind during the walk yesterday:

  • Agile Scrum is proposed for complex environments, with a lot of unknowns and no previous experience - e.g. the time before the 1st kid is born
  • Mothers always connect the dots and loose ends, run iterations to improve, do regular reviews and retrospectives with friends and other mothers
  • They build communities of practice with women they connected to during the childbirth preparation class for example
  • When more kids arrive mothers start to run several workstreams in parallel with a lot of dependencies in between, kind of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)
  • When you read the description of a Scrum Master in the Scrum Guide, you will find a lot of overlaps with the picture on the left - the attributes of mothers wordcloud
  • Agile 2! A second iteration of Agile that understands and seeks to address today’s challenges…. - brings Leadership back into the picture, what fits perfectly to the webinar topic from yesterday and is closing the circle for today 👍

More to come as this topic has a lot more potential ...

P.S.: Thanks a lot to Eve Simon for coming up with the motherhood and leadership thoughts and the webinar content, always a pleasure to participate in your journey.