Systemic Consensus

Cover: Systemisches KonsensierenYou know that saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, I usually do jugde a book by its cover and I’d never have bought “Systemisches KONSENSIEREN” (“Systemic CONSENSUS”)! When a colleague dropped it on desk, I made fun of it – its whole appearance is “touchy-feely” in a bad way and, come on, CAPS? Really?

Fortunately, I picked the book up on a whim and its main (and only) idea immediately took the top position on my list of “things to try out”: When voting, don’t have the usual majority vote that generates winners and losers. Turn traditional voting upside down and determine least resistance!

Let me illustrate how that works with the first example in the book: Continue reading

Scrum Master Reading List – My Top 5

There is a mountain of agile books out there, all waiting to be read. On the one hand that’s exciting and something to look forward to. On the other hand that can be overwhelming and discouraging.

The following is a demonstration of utmost self-restraint on my part: The 5 or less books that I recommend to you, if you’re new to Scrum and were cast into the role of Scrum master:

  • Kanban and Scrum – How to make the most of both” by Henrik Kniberg
    A very practical and concise guide to Scrum that will also teach you that Scrum is not the only agile process out there
  • The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
    To “get” systems thinking, theory of constraints and the value of ongoing improvement and small shippable increments
  • Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson et al
    You’ll need all the talking skills you can get!
    (Okay, I’ll admit it: Here I cheat with the 5-limit. I hope you’ll read the 2 subsequent books by the same authors, once you read this one.)
  • Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making” by Sam Kaner et al
    Learn how to facilitate effective meetings (and what an effective meeting is)
  • Agile Retrospectives” by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen
    For me retrospectives are the coolest aspect of Scrum; the one tool that I will try to implement everywhere I’ll go, agile or not, because it’s the key to working better

Have fun reading!

PS: If books take too long, try @scrumology‘s Scrum Addendum newsletter, to receive answers to frequent Scrum questions over a period of 3 months.

Three Crucial Books

As I’m constantly reading, this is the first of probably quite a few book recommendations. Ye have been warned 😉

Up first is not one, but a set of three books by the same authors:

Cover: Crucial Conversations Cover: Crucial Confrontations Cover: Influencer

You’ve probably heard of them, but if you haven’t read them yet, let me give you a nudge. More of a  shove, really. Given, my knowledge of difficult conversations was limited to “I-messages, not You-messages” before reading these, but I found them highly insightful. The “Now that you point it out, it’s so obvious. Why haven’t I realized this before?” kind of insightful. Continue reading