My Big List of Agility, Innovation, and Leadership Topics

It’s early September. A new “work season” is starting for many people, including yours truly. One promise I made to myself is that I will better organize my work. Yes, I’m not kidding! I have too many things half-started, half-completed, or half-automated. From time to time, I will share with you any improvements I made, and systems I created, in the hope that I can inspire you.

Here is one: my Big List of Agility, Innovation, and Leadership topics. I made this list a while ago by spending several hours comparing various taxonomies, directories, and tag lists in the agile and innovation space.

When you hire me as a speaker for your (online) event, you can pick any topic from this list. When you sign up for my webinars, you get weekly sessions with topics chosen from this list. When you join the Shiftup qualification program, you will earn points for categories on this list.

It’s a pretty good list, I think.

How do we organize the company?

  • Team Formation: forming, creation, team size, lifetime, lifespan, duration, team lifecycle, full-time, part-time, participation, shared resources
  • Roles and Responsibilities: team roles, project roles, accountability, authorization, self-organization, self-management, autonomy, swarming, cross-functional teams
  • Organizational Structure: network, hierarchy, functional, divisional, matrix, flat, fractal, decentralization, scaling
  • Organizational Models: Holacracy, Spotify Model, Liquid Organization, teams, squads, departments, chapters, guilds, business units
  • Recruitment & Selection: workforce planning, talent management, human resources, labor planning, job classification, hiring process, workforce strategy

How do teams move in the same direction?

  • Purpose, Values and Principles: raison d’etre, meaning, vision, mission, virtues, ethics, morals
  • Rules and Policies: code of conduct, ground rules, guidelines, by-laws, governance, constraints
  • Social Cohesion: relatedness, belonging, personal safety, honor, courage
  • Organizational Culture: culture-hacking, cultural awareness, diversity, inclusion, variety, conflict prevention, gender, generations, race, sexual orientation

How do teams interact with each other?

  • Knowledge Management: tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge, knowledge worker, decisions, agreements, choices, resolutions, promises
  • Team Building: storming and norming
  • Meetings: gatherings, huddles, get-togethers, face-to-face, peer-to-peer, debriefs, updates, cooperation, creative meetings
  • Decision-Making: discussion, voting, equivalence, situational decision-making, reducing friction, consent, conflict resolution, tension
  • Trust and Transparency: clarity, honesty, vulnerability, shared understanding, safety, integrity, respect, openness
  • Motivation and Engagement: needs, desires, curiosity, intrinsic motivation, happiness, joy, fun, moods, recognition, status, acceptance, gratitude

Where and how do we work?

  • Office and Workspaces: office management, meeting rooms, work environment, team room
  • Remote Working: virtual office, virtual teams, distributed teams, cultural differences
  • Work-Life Balance: workload, stress, burnout, sustainable pace, occupational safety, work-life integration, rest, sleep, lifestyle

Which clients do we sell to, why and how?

  • Trends & Change: why now, globalization, regulation, VUCA, innovator’s dilemma
  • Business Strategy: business plan, strategic planning, pivots, trends, strategic options, scenarios, competitive advantage, swot analysis, patents
  • Business Models: subscriptions, platforms, direct sales, SaaS, PaaS, disruptive innovation
  • Value Propositions: unique value, pains, gains

How are we coordinating our work?

  • Portfolio Management: portfolio level, portfolio kanban
  • Program Management: program level, program kanban
  • Project Management: project triangle, project controls, capacity planning, availability
  • Product Management: product lifecycle, product planning, product roadmap
  • Risk Management: unknowns, tolerance, risk response, innovation funnels
  • Performance Management: KPIs, balanced scorecard, output, outcome

What new stuff do we create?

  • Customers & Users: clients, segmentation, sponsors, end users, target audience
  • Needs and Value: narratives, storyboards, pains, needs, customer collaboration, user involvement, interviews, personas, job to be done
  • Standards: standardization, norms, compliance, conventions

How do we produce the new stuff?

  • Features and Qualities: features, epics, stories, capabilities, enablers, nonfunctional requirements
  • Backlogs: requirements, specifications, collection, refinement
  • Estimation and Prioritization: projections, forecasts, deadlines, real options, value scores, ordered lists, must-haves, could-haves, stability, deferring commitments
  • Architecture & Technical Design: spikes, service-orientation, system design, technical debt, modeling, simplicity, craftsmanship, technical excellence
  • Verification and Validation: testing, quality control, quality assurance, inspections, autonomation, building quality in, demos, value, user acceptance, sprint review

How do we deliver the new stuff?

  • Prototypes: concepts, clickable prototypes, user journeys, design boards, MVPs
  • Release and Deployment: builds, release plans, availability, continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous deployment

How can work efficiently and effectively?

  • Scope, Planning, Schedule: fixed scope, deadlines, commitments, empiricism, roadmaps, milestones, timelines, minimizing dependencies
  • Methods and Frameworks: models, toolboxes, methodologies, history and evolution, domains
  • Lifecycles and Phases: stages, development cycles, business lifecycle, exploration/execution
  • Value Streams: optimizing flow, value chains, business processes, eliminating waste, work funnels
  • Iterations and Increments: timeboxes, cadence, synchronization, rhythm, learning cycles, deliverables, release trains, frequent releases, small increments
  • Queues and Batches: limited WIP, pull systems, throughput, just-in-time, reducing batch size
  • Kanban Systems: workflow visualization, task boards, columns, swim lanes, policies

How well are we doing all that?

  • Objectives, Metrics, Targets: goals, strategic objectives, management by objectives, measures, productivity, key results, relative targets
  • Tracking and Monitoring: progress, status reviews, performance dashboards, burn charts
  • Reviews and Feedback: records, dossiers, difficult conversations, giving/receiving feedback, powerful questions

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How can our system work better?

  • Change Management: improvement frameworks, change programs, organizational transformation
  • Retrospectives and Resolutions: impediments, obstacles, reflections, inspection, blockers, fixes, corrections, follow-up, gemba, kaizen, continuous improvement
  • Research and Innovation: R&D, hypotheses, experiments, failure, fail-fast, learn fast, sustaining innovation
  • Learning and Exploration: learning loops, experimentation, continuous learning

How can our people develop themselves?

  • Leadership: delegation, responsibility, influence, vision, empowerment
  • Communication: storytelling, listening, clarity, speaking, modeling, visualization, questioning, observation, helping, participation
  • Socialization: empathy, interaction, emotions, biases, awareness, community
  • Organization: task lists, to do lists, action items, efficiency, effectiveness, interruptions, multi-tasking, time management, productivity, habits, processes
  • Creativity: problem-solving, inventiveness, ideas, domains, brainstorming
  • Growth Mindset: agile mindset, lean mindset, personal development, self-improvement
  • Systems Thinking: optimizing the whole, complexity thinking, sense-making, mental models

If you want me to chat about any of these topics at your company, contact me.


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