Springboard Stories in Agile

Storytelling in Agile!

A very intense and constructive workshop yesterday with strong reflections on how to use the Springboard Story concept in Agile settings.

 

The first question was to find the personal springboard story. What story made you go Agile? When you start with a personal question and let

people talk about their own life, something happens in the room. The intensity and the concentrate listening was joyful and full of new knowledge given and taken.  for more on the importance of personal stories: http://svenderikengh.com/washington.pdf

 

 

 

The second question was to find a Springboard Story for your working life.

  1. What is the change idea? Reachable, desirable and concrete.
  2. Tell a story where this change idea is already happening. The past shows the ways of the future.
  3. Link it to the present – “Imagine if …”

See Steve Denning´s template: http://www.stevedenning.com/slides/Template-FullSet-Sep06.pdf

 

The third question was to give examples of a way to make the client tell stories when you meet them.

Storytelling in Radical Management

The Radical Management introduces a serious of new communication challenges, where Storytelling is the key to success.

The new way of leadership requires communication based on open dialogue and direct actions. When you use stories to create trust, it starts the open dialogue with your costumer and continues in the open processes within your organization, that is the pathway to success.

This article explains the connection between Radical Management and Storytelling. As a storyteller I find it natural to start with the stories. Why do human beings tell stories?

DNA

Reality is a strange thing. Sometimes it almost seems logical. But then in an instant somebody smiles at you or hurt your feelings or surprises you. You’re hit by an emotion and, because you’re human, you build a structure around it. You tell a story.

The structure is inside your DNA. It worked for you when you were born, when you were a child, later as a teen ager when you fell in love, later as a parent when your children should know the basic values of being a human being, and again in the books you read, in the movies you watch, in the plays you watch, and again in your dreams, and again in your visions of the future and again and again …

Whenever there are two people, there is an emotion, and whenever you´ll find emotions, you´ll find a story.

Working place

An employee starts at his or her new workplace and begins hearing stories about the other employees, the values, the vision and the mission statement. The new employee asks a simple question, “Does the company do what they say they do?”

Depending on what the reality in the company is, the newcomer will consciously or unconsciously pick out a few of the stories told in the company and start retelling them in a way that reflects his values and the way he thinks things should be done.

In an interaction with the reality in the workplace, the newcomer acts, tells and is told about – and that is how the newcomer becomes a part of the company.

Every human being acts and uses stories to make his or her actions understandable. The way the stories are transformed tells the employee whether or not he or she is accepted by the organization.

Radical Management and storytelling

Radical Management is based on an open dialogue with the customer. The result driven organization is flexible for changes as customers needs are changing.

In the dialogue with clients your questions should be open and inspire for stories.

Your key to success is to translate these stories into action.

Radical Management starts with a story of client delight. The entire organization should tell and act according to this story.

As the process continues, the innovative solutions to the changing demands of the customer, constantly reflects clients stories as you proceed with new and innovative solutions.

The danish software developing company Systematic:

“We always make sure to involve our costumers actively in all phases of the development process. This means we can ensure users´ actual needs better.

 

Radical Springboard

The Radical Management principles are accused that it only works in software development. This is not so.

Let me tell you of a case, where an account department used the Radical Management principles of costumers delight and linked these principles with a proved Storytelling technique called Springboard Stories.

A Springboard Story connects the future to the past in the present.

A leader uses Springboard Stories to give employees a picture of the future possibilities. He or she finds an example from the past where a challenge was overcomed and tells the group about the event to inspire for more of the same actions. The outcome of a Springboard Story is changed behavoiur.

The Springboard Stories are explained by Steve Denning in many books and articles.

 

Case

The account department had, like so many other community organizations in recent years undergone some structural changes and also a period of significant management difficulties.
Employees in the department needed to find positive stories in the organization, including their relationship to customers.
The Storytelling process were part of a two-day seminar entitled ‘Identity and Development “.
The purpose of Radical Management Springboard process was to clarify for everyone, including employees themselves how the department can provide customers value.
The stories should motivate the staff to move in a direction that meets the customers demands, so their understanding, expectations and requirements are satisfied.

Before the seminar, we interviewed a selected group of the department’s customers about what the costumers saw as the future challenges. Interviews were made on video and edited for presentation.

When we presented the videos for the group the response were mixed. Some were laughing, some were feeling the presure of the future challenges.

I asked for stories that could be used to illustrate how the department is already doing many things well and in fact do what is demanded by the customers. By doing so we clarified that the department in the future could meet customer requirements. By using a variant of Springboard Stories to sensitize employees about their potential we created Radical Springboard.

To focus on a combination of exemplary stories with future potential – Springboard Stories – and the customer’s expressed expectations and needs, we created at the same time a great satisfaction and joy in their own practice (in the exemplary and forward-looking part of it) and a increased awareness and concern for customer needs, resulting in greater satisfaction and pride than before. A positive self-reinforcing process was initiated.

Participants were introduced to a practical method for knowledge sharing. “What is it that the individual does and what the others can learn from?” The method could be directly used in everyday life, in meetings, presentations etc.
By answering customers’ expectations with: “We do that already,” the participants acquired knowledge on their own resources. Participants gained knowledge of what the others did work on and could take this knowledge with them.

The challenge for the department in the future is to continue to see the value of a costumer based innovation.

The Radical Springboard technique have to prove that it can work in daily life. More to come!

Springbræt til forandring

Der er mange forklaringer på, hvorfor forandringer går galt. Ofte er det ikke på grund af manglende engagement hos medarbejderne, men fordi de ikke kan identificere sig med forandringerne. En god historie er med til at skabe identitet og fællesskabsfølelse i organisationen – og sætter ord på det, der skal ændres. Læs her hvordan du skaber en god historie, som gør jeres forandringer tydelige og meningsfulde.

Artikel i Væksthus for Ledelse

 

Storytelling, a one day workshop for leaders in Copenhagen, Denmark

In this highly interactive workshop you will learn how to

– craft a story that serve your purpose

– tell the story to an audience

-get feedback to the story content, the way it was told and clear advices to improve your telling

One week before the workshop: 1/2 hour interview prior to the workshop exploring the needs of the participants

4 hour workshop

1 week after the workshop: One to one coaching on Skype or Zoom

Svend-Erik creates a uniquely inspiring and creative learning environment based on trust and expert narrator skills. Svend-Erik har a broad experience based from culture as well as organizational contexts, and brings his great personality to his coaching practice, too.

Søren Buhl Hornskov, Docent at Københavns Professionshøjskole

 

 

Stories

When you listen to a story, you know that you´re having a constant influence on it. It may not be something you notice consciously, but just the feeling of eye contact, the direct and clear communication between two people is enough for you as listener to feel that you are important in determining the direction the story will take.

Each of the people listening to a story affects how the story develops. It is a strong feeling to transform into the real world: You helped shape the story – now go out and shape reality. You have to experience it to understand it completely, how the almost hypnotic state a story can put a person in can stimulate action.

Dario Fo, from Italy, the winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature and a wonderful storyteller: “The audience has always been my litmus paper, every second. Are you able to listen to them, does the audience conduct you like a conductor of a major orchestra?”

The organizational tree

There are basically three kinds of stories you tell in your organization

• Future stories – the canopy and the fruits on the tree: Visions of what the immediate and long-term future will bring to the organization. The Springboard Stories are told in a minimalistic way.

• We stories – the trunk of the tree: Stories that create identity. Values become alive in these stories. Pattern of these stories: Home – challenge – new home

• Personal – stories – the roots of the tree: Every person in the organization is important and every voice should be heard. Some of these stories should stay hidden under the surface. Often with details and some senses activated.

When you as a manager prepare a presentation for a group of employees, think of these three elements, connected to the I -, We – and Future – stories:

• Have you created trust by telling a personal story? Nobody wants to be lead by ‘another suit’.

• Is there a element in your talk that involves a ‘We’? Can you tell what the group have done in a positive way? If not, can you use a negative story to establish a desire for change?

• The last part of your presentation is crucial to the outcome of your encounter with your audience – do you leave them with hope? Is the vision understandable for the group? Is it desirable?

Tuesday 6th November from 9am to 1pm, somewhere in Copenhagen, Denmark

Max. 6 participants

Price: 1500,- kr. + moms including lunch, coffee and a book on storytelling.