Monday, July 27, 2015

Paradoxes of business leadership in the digital age

So, here we go again, yet another list. In this case: five paradoxes, but nonetheless attention-getting. As written by Tomas Nielsen and Patrick Meehan, we're told:
  1. Radically innovate while optimizing operations
  2. Compete in sprints while delivering long term value
  3. Integrate external partners while acting as a single entity
  4.  Recognize that providing immediate digital value plays a large role in sales but that more value is delivered over time.
  5. Provide technologically enabled offerings while focusing on value, not technology
 Except for #1 -- which is kind of like 'keep the business running (we're going to need the cash)' --  it's almost as if these guys were looking over my shoulder as I wrote "Managing Project Value".  #2 is really just downtown agile. Agilists know it by heart.

It seems to me the hard stuff for project managers is #3: building mixed and virtual teams that you want to:
  • Act more homogeneously than they really are; 
  • Operate more efficiently than they really will do; and 
  • Not change the culture too much (if you like your culture)
This last one is no small matter, especially if you bring in a big-time "integration partner" that may be much bigger and more experienced than your own people. Ideally, a contractor takes on the personality of its customer, but sometimes the partner simply overwhelms. And, then when their team has to collaborate with some of your legacy troops.... well, that may not go well.

Conflict resolution skills required here ....

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