In our new occasional blog series “THIS CONSULTING LIFE”, we sit down with some of the team across the world at ADAPTOVATE. We ask them some behind the scenes techniques and tips on their agile consulting practices.
If you are a consultant – these articles may help re-affirm or help kickstart new ways of thinking. If you are thinking of changing careers to be a consultant (and we hope you are!), we trust these articles may help answer some questions you have.
To kick things off and given we have just dived into 2020, we asked the team their techniques on how to re-energise for the new year.
At ADAPTOVATE we recognise that when you work in a profession like consulting, and coach or consult in an industry like Agile, that teams need to keep motivated and inspired. It’s important when working with client’s day to day that no matter what is going on behind the scenes, at work or home, it’s ‘game face on’ when with a client.
We’re not going to pretend that sometimes the last thing consultants want to do is head to a new client, new people, new faces and new challenges. (it’s also one of the things that drives consultants – it’s a consulting paradox – but that’s for another article).
ADAPTOVATE team pride themselves on a client first ethic and never put themselves ‘into the story’ so to speak. Our team travels the world on a weekly if not daily basis. They will be in Asia one day, then back to Los Angeles the next. Or asked to head over to New York from Singapore for three months for a client tenure.
So, we thought it may be interesting for you to hear what techniques and approaches they will be adopting this year to ensure they are re-energised for 2020.
1.RESTATE PURPOSE AND OUTCOMES
To kick things off our co-founder at ADAPTOVATE, Doug Ross suggests “Restate the purpose for the year, and break it down into achievable outcomes each quarter.”
He continues “Make sure your team is aligned, then get out of bed running at that goal, and watch your team follow you.”
We use OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) at ADAPTOVATE as a company. They work for us because they connect company, team and personal objectives. You or your organisation may use something else to help drive your objectives to reality.
Doug also believe it’s crucial to celebrate. He says, “Change what you celebrate often, and celebrate teaming, and the right things – transparency, engagement, trust in each other, rapid testing and learning in the market.”
Which reminds us of this great Nelson Mandela quote “remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.”
[bctt tweet=”remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead. Nelson Mandela.” username=”adaptovate”]
3.SYSTEMS VS GOALS and WEEKLY PRACTICE
One of our team in Sydney, Shilen Modi, has committed to a weekly practice. “At the start of every week” he says “I am going to be setting myself a professional goal and a personal goal. However, by doing certain things, the goals will be achievable and won’t be unacceptable”.
That second part is important. It will be the systems that Shilen puts in place (he’s already thinking that, because he knows they will be achievable) that will see him succeed.
Understanding that winners and losers have the same goal, unlocks this idea. It’s the systems that winners put in place that make the difference. It’s a bit trite, but it’s an important distinction when setting your weekly practice.
Editor: If you are interested in learning more about Systems and Goals – James Clear is the man. Head over here.
One of the 12 key principles that define “be Agile” in the Agile Manifesto, states “the best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.”
Kayla Cartwright from our Los Angeles office said “Coming to agile teams from a more “traditional” directive organization, “I see the value in letting teams self-organize and know that I can grow my skill in releasing control to allow for that to occur.”
Which is why Kayla has resolved to “enable the agile practice of “self-organizing” to occur even more often” this year.
[bctt tweet=”I see the value in letting teams self-organize and know that I can grow my skill in releasing control to allow for that to occur. Kayla Cartwright” username=”adaptovate”]
5.HIRE DIVERSE TALENT
In our Los Angeles office, we have been building solid partnerships with local universities. It’s one of the tips for hiring diverse talent. Nathan Nelson – our MD in the US said this year “I’m focused on removing constraints and setting big goals. And bringing people together with diverse experiences and perspectives to better achieve those goals.”
Last year in a Think with Google piece, David Slocum suggested these three tips for hiring and retaining diverse talent.
“I enjoy beginning the year by reflecting on the things which I enjoyed the year before.” Said Steve Walton from our Melbourne office.
He explains “As I return to work at the start of the new year, I talk with lots of people about what they are doing. This helps get my own creative juices flowing about the types of experiences I look forward to in the new year.
[bctt tweet=”As I return to work at the start of the new year, I talk with lots of people about what they are doing. Steve Walton” username=”adaptovate”]
My approach to reenergising this year is to channel the positive experiences of last year into this year. Keep the fun challenges coming!”
Using Agile in Reflection.
Likewise, Slawek Koziol from our European head office in Warsaw says “New Year is a great opportunity to review priorities and set targets. I make sure to dedicate some time to do an honest personal retrospective and plan the new work year.”
And Slawek incorporates Agile Methodology into this reflection. “Some of the tools and techniques I find most effective come from the Design Sprint approach – I set a long-term goal, map my challenges and pick the things than can be effectively done in a given period.”
“I’ll always make sure to get some feedback from the people that are close to me and test whether the direction is correct.
I believe these techniques are as effective for individual challenges as they as they are for teams.” Slawek says.
With reflection in mind – we also liked these four questions (from FAST COMPANY here) to assist you conduct a career audit for the past year. It may help you make a change.
- Does your work matter?
- Have you kept up with how technology is impacting your field?
- What is your career trajectory?
- Is your financial well-being where it needs to be?
OUR SIX TIPS
So that’s it. Here they are again – Six ways to re-energise for the new year, as recommended by some of ADAPTOVATE team.
- RESTATE PURPOSE AND OUTCOMES
- CELEBRATE OFTEN
- SYSTEMS VS GOALS and WEEKLY PRACTICE
- HIRE DIVERSE TALENT
Editor would like to thank the ADAPTOVATE team who kindly contributed to this article. Please feel free to reach out to any of them via LINKEDIN.