Agile for Human Resources

As an employee and as a team leader I have never been satisfied with the yearly appraisal system widely spread in large companies. I propose to complete it with additional tools for Department managers, team leaders and Human Resources managers.

Yearly appraisal system

The yearly meeting with your team leader defines objective for the year after. A year later you may end up concluding that your project and professional activities didn’t provide you with the opportunity to realise your objectives. Even worse, the yearly appraisal system might be connected to your yearly salary review policy and benefit plan. In such case, not meeting your professional objectives might impact you financially.

In the yearly appraisal system, people leaving the company are not often interviewed to verify how the objectives were met, how the company ensures that it will reach the objective associated to this personal targets ? And what about the resources engaged in these personal objectives which are not met, are they reallocated to the other team member to meet the team objectives of the current year ? The team will observe the results only in the next yearly evaluation, in the best cases.

Continous team feedback to gather project and team member needs

The key of agility for companies evolving in complex environment with a rapid pace of change is to continuously review the need for team member skills:

  • The identification of the team skills needed to complete projects of the pipeline allow the company to identify the future skills required by the projects about to start.
  • While projects are running, team members can lead frequent one on one meetings with each of the team member to understand their appetite for learning new skills to face the current challenges of the project delivery. It is also the ideal frame for detecting in the team who can support training of other team members for the challenges identified.
  • Project retrospective are occurring at regular interval of time in the iterative project management that Agile is fostering. When the project challenges are not addressed by the current team due to a common team lack of a certain skill, the project manager can try to find these resources in the other teams or raise a need for recruitment to the Human Resources.
  • Project post-mortem closure meetings are eventually the place for collecting lessons learned. Amongst learnings, the evaluation of the skill sets required to address such a project is source for continuous improvement for the company team member competences.

All these source of information can be gathered in a MeWheel radar skill map. The skill radar map can be handled by team managers And department managers with the support of Human Resources team. A radar skill map features the current skills sets measured in the continuous project feedback described above and the ideal skill sets needed by the company and the team member to thrive. It allow to visual easy identify the areas where improvements are required and the progression toward the goal. MeWheels radar skill map is a tool of PeopleBlendIT to support the acquisition, the follow-up and the implementation of the Human Resources strategy by department managers with the support of Human Resources managers.

Agility for Human Resources

I worked as an employee in very small structures, in international companies, as a consultant for a long-running mission during which I totally lost contact with my employer, as a freelance, as a team leader, as program manager. One element is common to each of these experience, at the maximum I had contact once per year with the Human Resources department of the company which hired me. I never found that convenient, neither useful nor productive.

When I had to manage people, my empathy was telling me that we, as a team had to find a way to be inclusive, caring and understanding of each other. Using my best practices with Agile I discovered that we had a way to build continuous improvement together.

MeWe cards in action

It started with replacing the annual appraisal interview with a continuous feedback loop. We also had to understand each other and improve our communication efficiency, we used some tools like DOPE to explain the basics. Later I discovered MeWe serious game to explain DOPE in a playful way. MeWe cards can be combined with Moving Motivator cards from Management 3.0, allowing to associate the personality and the motivational aspect.

MeWheels

When our team or department was too big we had to visualise the skills and interests for personal growth. We used a team skill map based on the radar view.

All the changes we identified as important to explore on the radar had to be tested and adapted, naturally, an iterative approach came to our mind.

All these practices are gathered on the Agility for HR poster:

  • Recruitment KanBan
  • MeWe cards and Moving motivators
  • MeWheels skill radars
  • HR development with PopCorn Flow

I am very interested in getting your comments if you have applied some of these solutions.
I am proposing this vision of Agile HR in Meetups. A Workshop of 2 hours can only offer an overview, feel free to contact me for a longer workshop.

Poster of Agility for Human Resources

Agile Gardening

Onepoint kitchen ready to host Agile Gardening

On Tuesday 11th June, Dahm Hongchai, Corentin Nile and Jord de Rengerve, three Agile coaches, invited 12 participants to discover Agile gardening at onepoint office in Brussels. Agile gardening is for Agile leaders. It propose to experience the creation of a team, discovering team members, aprehending customer needs, working in iterative way, removing impediment for teams, welcoming change, and letting the product go.

Upon arrival in the kitchen of onepoint, the participant discovered a table loaded with plants and decorations. They soon receive their first instructions: build a tiny garden in the 3 pots present on the table. The gardeners accepted quite too quickly to group in 3 people following the team composition imposed by the hosts. It was the first learning of the evening: you can compose your team based on affinities. While they started we asked the gardeners what were their feeling while they entered the room: feeling welcomed, curiosity, happiness. Soon the atmosphere will change, the stress comes in when we ask “who is your customer?” “what are your requirements”. Then the participants felt it was becoming serious. Corentin was the customer, he requested to have harmony in the garden composition. Harmony ? What does that mean ? Nevertheless they continued and composed three nice tiny gardens.

The customer destroyed the gardens

Before the second iteration, Jord gathered the participants in a corner of the room, turning their back to the gardening table. While Jord was giving instructions and attracting their attention with a loud voice and movement, the customer destroyed their garden. The customer was not pleased at all. When the gardener came back to the table they discovered the destruction. Emotions were strong: Anger, excitment, surprise. The customer expressed his unstatisfaction and requested the work to be started all over again. The gardener understood that they had to let it go, that they should not feel attached to the product. Even for the most experienced Agile practitioner, it can be difficult to see a nice garden being destroyed by an unsatisfied customer.

Soon after the second iteration started, the customer disappeared. Corentin had to take care of ordering the pizzas for the diner of the guest. Jord took the role of the subordinate of the customer; he didn’t know well the requirement but insisted that his boss would be satisfied this time. The stress was increasing. The customer subordinate was asking a lot of question while the gardener was busy implementing a second iteration, he tried to make sure the intention of Harmony was there, demanding that the composition was balanced and had a purpose. When the customer came back, the gardener could make sure customer satisfaction was delivered.

The hosts asked the gardener about their satisfaction with the second version compared to the first one: it was quite clear that creating a new one allowed to deliver a more beautiful tiny garden. The host then requested a third iteration; this time, the customer required the gardeners to create a rose garden. But there was no rose available. The gardeners had to plan for the future, project themselves to develop new capabilities for their team.

The three tiny gardens that the participants composed were photographed by a professional photographer, ContrastImage.be, to capture the memory of the evening. “A l’ombre d’une fleur” provided the flowers.

MeWe analysis

MeWe Analysis

After the gardening, the three hosts invited the gardeners to discover themselves and their type of personality by playing the MeWe cards.

“You are attending a Alumni gala diner of your High School, a were important networking event. You met good old friends and several new people at the diner table. You have to introduce yourself to all of these people, including to your good old friends that you didn’t see for twenty years , you changed with a lot of experiences, you have new hobbies compared to when your were attending school. You have to present yourself in a true way, you don’t have to fake or try to pretend to be somebody else.”

Each participant received a deck of MeWe cards. Each participant received for instruction to select thirteen cards bearing personality attribute that they could use to picture themselves while introducting themeselves during the dinner. After they selected the thriteen cards, the story continued.

“The diner is finihsed, you leave the place, while going toward the lift, you see one person that you truly wanted to meet during the evening but you could, this person was sitting too far on the diner table. You will have 30 seconds, just the time of the lift to come back to the lobby of the dinner place, to pitch yourself. Amongst the thirteen cards you selected, choose only 7 cards withthe attributes you would use to pitch yourself in these thirty seconds of lift time”.

After the selection of the seven cards, the hosts asked the participants to pitch themselves to the other participants of the workshop. After the pitching, the hosts requested the participants to face the cards up, revealing the animals hidden so far. Each MeWe card represents one of the four animal: mouse, bear, bull and eagle. The animal which is the most present in the cards selected by the participant reveal the dominant personality of the person. Mice are empathic; they care for others. Bulls are full of energy; they speak fast and want to achieve their one and unique goal. Bears are analytic thinkers; they like to collect information and create processes. Eagles are visionary, creative and risk takers. Learning to recognise yourself and other team members is a key for a productive team.

To discover how to improve the communication between each type of animal, the hosts requested that participants to group by the dominant type of animal they have and asked them to answer to the question “How do you like your colleagues to interact with you?”. Each group then shared with the others which communication method works best with them. Mice need to see that the opinion of each team member is heard. Bears need to be given space and time to think and elaborate on innovative strategies. Bulls need to be given direct and quick instructions, you need to go straight to the point with bulls. Eagles often use the primer “What if …” for sentences, they like to be given the possibility to express their creativity. These elements were gathered on giant posters prepared by Corentin with graphic facilitation technic.

The group picture of the Agile Gardening Meetup

The workshop ended with a long networking session. Onepoint offered Pizza and beverages to all the participants. It was time for all the participants to debrief on what they have learned during these two intensive hours full of discoveries. It was also the time to make new friendship and new connections. After the closure of hte events the three coaches, Corentin, the host, Dahm and Jord gathered their ideas for new workshops. We hope to see you in September for our new adventures.

Change your day to drive your company toward a better Change

Free image from Unsplash - Ross findon

Reading twitter on a cold cloudy Sunday morning, I got an interesting combination of 2 articles proposed next to each other. The first one from Management 3.0 (M3.0) urges to connect with yourself not to let daily impediments to ruin your day. The second from
Harvard Business Review (HBR) proposes to use emotional intelligence to build a posture facing pivotal changes in your company.

The HBR article speaks about a long term attitude toward change and using self-introspection to drive this attitude. It proposes to be an actor of the change instead of letting fear and other negative emotions make you become an impediment of the change.
https://hbr.org/2018/12/how-to-embrace-change-using-emotional-intelligence

The podcast of M3.0 evokes a daily stance to avoid petty issues to ruin our day at work.
Jamie Lerner forces you to consider that ” … You wouldn’t speak to others like you speak to yourself ! …”. But we do, I have to admit that I did, and I will still do. As a coach I have a chance to see the facts, and to build self-introspection but it’s not an easy task and there are days where you get back to bad habits, I’m forced to admit it.

Being able to coach yourself to build daily internal emotional driver and at the same time to keep an eye on the road of company big changes seems to be a tough challenge. Having a friendly reminder from a coach or from the reading of an article must be helpful on the way. You can’t have a coach at hand every day, you need to be your own coach at least from time to time. I hope this article can help in these moments.

I am interested reading your comments.

Heading Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash
https://unsplash.com/photos/mG28olYFgHI

Communication based on Personality workshop – 1st March 2019

The workshop was based on a serious game, the MeWe cards, published by Ocadee. In a duo, you select 13 words best picturing your personality to introduce yourself to the person you banded with. As a second step, you will shortlist only 7 cards and pitch yourself in 30 seconds to the entire audience.

The workshop proposed to discover your personality style, learn to recognise others’ profiles and get introduced to how to adapt your communication to the personality of others.

The MeWe cards are categorising the personalities in 4 groups: Mouse, Bull, Eagle and Bear. Each type has typical behaviour, motivations and a communication style. Many other communication models are existing: Dope, Disc, Meyers-Briggs, Strength finder, PCM, that may help you to dig further. MeWe presents the benefit of using a serious game to kick-start the learning.

Workshop on the run

After the discovery of your own dominant animal, comes the insights of other personality styles in the group. The attendees gather by dominant animal and brainstorm about the “efficient way to communicate with them”. Each group presents the conclusion of their brainstorming. The participants get insights on how to adapt their communication mode to build an efficient message delivery to each specific animal.

At the end of the workshop, the participants left with new tools to recognise personalities in their environment and facilitate their every day’s communication. The serious game fosters the learning in a playful way and guarantees that you learn by practising.

Communication strategy based on personality styles

As a consultant, I worked for many companies; I visited many customers. After the first icebreakers, I often started to hear “In this team, we have a communication problem”. Even if you leave aside potential source of difficulties as teams which are working remotely or cultural differences, human nature is prone to create communication gaps.

The disc model

Even with a lot of good will, it is not an easy task to close the gap separating birds of different feathers. The human brain is made to push people to gather with people of the same kind. Our mirror cells are inviting us to mimic behaviour and to be comfortable with people similar to us. But you can not lead a ship with only captains or only sailors. You need diversity to manage a successful endeavour and companies need people of different talent. How to prevent these difference in personalities to impair your communication.

MeWe animals

The first step is to recognise the differences and to adapt to the style of communication of the person you are interacting with. Amongst many frameworks, the simplest I found to help people understand the model of communication is the DISC model. The leadership wheel and the 4 quadrant model are two similar useful variations. The concept is similar: people belong to one of the 4 groups. Each group has its own motivators and its own ways of communicating.

I am using these models for 15 years with great benefits. I recently discovered a serious card game allowing to introduce the model in a short amount of time and in a fun way. On Friday 1st March, I organised a workshop in Brussels at Alliance Merode to introduce the model and the serious game to new people. Now the game is being translated in Dutch and French to facilitate its deployment in Belgium and French companies.

Call me to organize a workshop at your place based on the MeWe cards, there is a lot to discover into this serious game.

A great evening with Moving motivators on Friday 18th January 2019

The workshop at Alliance Merode

For this meet-up, Corentin and I wanted to introduce a tool that we love: the moving motivators cards. We also introduced the feedback wall, another tool of Maangement 3.0 to collect the feedback of a group.

Discover and share

The participants were surprised to discover themselves and their personal motivational drivers using the moving motivators cards. This serious game is coming from Management 3.0 from Jurgen Appelo. With only 10 cards you are invited to rank from the most important. I often see people surprised to see the result. It is a very effective tool for introspection. I recommend to use it when you want to lead a choice or a change with the idea to improve your well-being.

And share more

Two by two the participants introduced themselves to the other describing their personal interpretation of the motivation cards.

In the second phase of the workshop, we proposed the participant to select a situation (the company they belong, a project in which they participate) to rank how much this situation allows them to realise their motivations in life. With the help of Corentin we helped each participant to understand how to influence the situation by introducing a change.

The participant collected their feedback during the workshop on sticky notes with a smiley:
🙂 an elements they liked
🙁 something they recommend not to do
😐 and proposal for experiments

Dinner at Alliance Merode

In the end of the workshop the participant shared a dinner and some beers to foster networking .

Aurore, the cook at Alliance Merode prepared a vegan Korean dinner: Bibimbap. Charlot and Aurore the owners of the restaurant have a fine selection of beer that they offer for degustation.

Moving motivators : Friday 18th January 2019

Moving motivators cards

Discover your inner motivations using a serious game: Moving motivators cards. Moving motivators cards allow individuals and group to discover what motivates them to achieve goals at work and in life in general. This serious game is coming from Management 3.0. It fosters team members happiness to increase engagement. Moving motivator cards is a deck of 10 cards, a simple description. Each attendee receives a deck and sorts the card from left to right, from most to the less able to engage you in participating in an endeavour. In a second step, the attendees will be invited to rank up or down the motivator if it is currently achieved at the place where they work. The two coaches hosting the workshop will offer you some guidelines to understand your personal result.

Bibimbap

PeopleBlendIT and Corentin Nile welcome in for its first workshop of the new year in a networking dinner offered by Alliance Merode: Korean vegan dish named Bibimbap.

6.00pm Welcome
6.30pm Short introduction to Management 3.0
7.00pm Discovery and practice of the “Moving motivators cards”
8.30pm Networking dinner

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com to book the dinner for 10€. RSVP Wed 16th Jan 2019.

The event is organised by PeopleBlendIT Moving motivators is part of the coaching toolbox of PeopleBlendIT to make you discover you inner forces and help you thrive.

Copyright Juergen Appelo and Management 3.0

Practice Team Collaboration by playing a board game – Fri 7th Dec 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

Play the board game Kitchen Rush to practice you team collaboration skills

Map to access l’Alliance Merode cafe – 
https://goo.gl/maps/XrkX4TdWe8T2

When: Friday 7th December  6pm-10pm including a Vegan Korean dinner (10€)

Where: Brussels, Alliance mérode cafe, rue de la gare 44, 1040 Brussels

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com  to register. Book a dinner for 10€. RSVP Wed 5th Dec 2018.

Detailed agenda:

Welcome 6pm
Game sessions 6.30pm-22pm
Dinner During game sessions – 10€ RSVP 5th Dec2018.
Networking 22.00-23.00pm

Kitchen Rush:

Kitchen run is a fast paced collaboration game in which the players are helping each other in developping a successfull restaurant.

Dinner menu:

Vegan Korean rice and veggies “Bibimbap” if you want to enrol, please send me a message at info@peopleblendit.com RSVP Monday 5th November.
The price for the dinner is 10€; payment is required to validate registration. Free beers and free game sessions.

The meal is taking place during the game sessions but is not mandatory to enjoy the game.

Negocards workshop 8th Nov 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

negocards

Acquire negotiation skills by playing an #OpenSeriousGame

Map to access l’Alliance Merode cafe – 
https://goo.gl/maps/XrkX4TdWe8T2

When: Thursday 8th November  6pm-10pm

Where: Brussels, Alliance mérode cafe, rue de la gare 44, 1040 Brussels

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com  to register.

Negocards workshop card game

The fundamentals of the negocards:
• Nobody is a born negotiator
• Negotiation is a skill that can be learned
• The negocards serious game allows learning by playing with negotiation best practices.
• Based on cards, best practice reference cards and role-playing session, attendees are learning by practising

The game material is available free of copyright to foster dissemination of knowledge. We recommend people willing to attend the workshop not to read the three last pages presenting the scenarii of the roleplay.

Detailed agenda:

Welcome 6pm
Workshop 6.30pm-20.30pm
Dinner 20.30pm-22.00pm – 10€ RSVP 5th Nov 2018.
Networking 22.00-23.00pm

Post-event dinner: 

egan Korean rice and veggies “bibimbap” if you want to enrol, please send me a message at info@peopleblendit.com RSVP Monday 5th November.
The price for the dinner is 10€; payment is required to validate registration. Free beers and free workshop. The meal is taking place after the event and is not mandatory to enjoy the game.