Organizational Culture

Really interesting (and very practical) article on organization culture. It’s easy to see how practicing TameFlow would fit in with these ideas.
“Common traps were stepped in—like trying a top-down mandate to adopt Agile, thinking it was one size fits all, not focusing on measurement (or the right things to measure), leadership behavior not changing, and treating the transformation like a program instead of creating a learning organization (never done).Throughout the journey, the focus was moving to outcome-based team structures, knowing our cycle time (by understanding our value stream map), limiting the blast radius (starting with one to two teams vs. boiling the ocean), using data to drive actions and decisions, acknowledging that work is work (don’t have a backlog of features and a backlog of technical debt and a backlog of operational work; instead, have a single backlog because NFRs are features and reducing technical debt improves stability of the product). None of this happened overnight, and it took a lot of experimentation and adjusting along the way.”

Forsgren PhD, Nicole; Humble, Jez; Kim, Gene (2018-03-26T23:58:59). Accelerate . IT Revolution Press. Kindle Edition.

Yes, could be.

Though they fall into what is the culture trap pattern: the belief that working on “culture” will bring about functional organizations. That is in the style of “If only…” wishful thinking.

In the TameFlow Approach we believe the opposite: create a functional organization and a positive culture will develop. Especially if you center the functional organization around the Self-Interest of all individuals.

Just take the first factor listed there: High cooperation. The recipe is create cross-functional teams. Sorry, but that does not work in practice. The TameFlow way is instead: create a common enemy. What is that common enemy? The Constraint. But people will only understand that it is a common enemy if they have the Enlightenment of an updated Mental Model that makes them see the why.

And I could go on with all other factors in the same manner. They are not wrong. They are true. But the causality is backwards. They are on the effect side, not on the cause side. These kind of studies and approaches get it really backwards! They mistakenly take effects as causes.

The positive is that they are breeding the grounds where TameFlow can thrive.


I’m creating Agile Champions as one of the first things on an organization to clear constraints. I’m teaching ToC, the 5 Focusing steps as we go along. We are utilizing some of the models I learned from XSCALE like the Pirate Canvas to get to root cause. The second focus is the organizational model - strategic and structural shifts. The roadmap for that is starting with a leadership workshop and other training.

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Sounds really interesting @paula . Tell me more about how “Agile Champions” works.