Whether you're leading an organization, a team, or a project, Stand Back and Deliver gives you the agile leadership tools you'll need to achieve breakthrough levels of performance. This book brings together immediately usable frameworks and step-by-step processes that help you focus all your efforts where they matter most: delivering business value and building competitive advantage.
You'll first discover how to use the authors’ Purpose Alignment Model to make better up-front decisions about where to invest limited resources—and how to filter out activities that don't drive market leadership. Next, you'll learn how to collaborate in new ways that unleash your organization’s full talents for innovation. The authors offer the Context Leadership Model for understanding the unique challenges of any project, and they help you tailor your leadership approach to address them. You'll find a full chapter on organizing information to promote more effective, value-driven decision-making. Finally, drawing on decades of experience working with great leaders, the authors focus on a critical issue you'll face over and over again: knowing when to step up and lead, and when to stand back and let your team produce results.
Effectively evaluating, planning, and implementing large system projects
Reducing resistance to process improvements
Bringing greater agility to the way you manage products, portfolios, and projects
Identifying the tasks that don't create enough value to be worth your time
Developing the forms of collaboration that are crucial to sustaining innovation
Mitigating project risks more effectively--especially those associated with complexity and uncertainty
Refocusing all decision-making on delivering value to the organization and the marketplace
Making decisions at the right time to leverage the best information without stifling progress
Review By: Matt Gelbwaks 07/08/2010In my career as a process coach, I am often beset by requests to help teams deliver on hard projects and assist them in transforming from unpredictable to repeatable. It often takes me several releases and several projects to get them where they want to go. The accepted rhythm for transformation is watch, implement, review, adjust, and repeat.1 Clearly, this takes some time and naturally lasts a couple cycles. The biggest impediment I find to a more rapid take-up of the new process is a misalignment of the transformational teams with the organization’s mission. The problem is usually that the teams think they are trying to achieve one thing (increase quality) and the organization wants them to attain something else (product relevance). Once the team goes through the cycle, their successes are undermined by the organization's lack of enthusiasm for attaining an interesting but unimportant goal. And the transformation dies.
The book's most concise message focuses on how not to let this happen. This is great! For me, the most titular quote in the book is, "Imagine the power you can unleash if everyone in your organization makes strategically and tactically aligned decisions. In such an environment, you can focus your creativity on the activities that generate sustainable competitive advantage." The authors discuss four models that they have stylized to help organizations align and focus their energies in the appropriate areas to best develop this power. The models cover purpose, collaboration, delivery, and decisions--arguably the four most critical aspects at every level within an organization. It is certainly difficult to implement generic models effectively in our specific environments; however, the examples and case studies that the authors present help you make adjustments. The models are straightforward enough to try at least once before you ask your favorite consultants to come in and help you apply them.
Regardless of whether you apply the models yourself or ask for help, using them will help you set your thinking towards the value of alignment and strategic planning. There is value to be gained from reading this book, no matter which way you look at it.
1This is actually Demming’s Plan Do Check Act; however I am using poetic license to keep the flow here.