Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Agile Practitioners IL– Group meeting #11

On Monday we met again at Kontera offices to hear Guy Nachimson talk about “How to help others take more responsibility”.DSC07296
In the talk guy explained about a Christopher Avery's Responsibility process. this model deals with how people react and behave when they encounter a problem they need to solve. The model deal with various states that describes how a person reacts:

  1. Denial – First reaction is to ignore the problem. it didn’t really happen.
  2. Blame – when we cant ignore the problem we look for someone else to blame. “it wasn’t me it was XXX”
  3. Justify – when we finish blaming, we then start to look for justification on why this happens. (the situation forced us to do this, things just didn’t let us do something different,…)
  4. Shame – after we finish to justify our actions, we understand that it something we did and then we are a shamed that we did this and that
  5. Obligation – here we understand that something needs to be done, however we don’t do what we want to do but something we feel we must do.
  6. Responsibility – this is the state we want to be. here we take ownership of the problem and use our ability to deal with it and make things better
  7. QUIT – sometimes, before we assume responsibility  we choose to give up and just let go.

According to Christopher, this model is quite universal and there is no way skipping this stages, the trick is to recognize where you are and try as much as possible to pass through these stages as fast as possible in order to reach “Responsibility”.

What did occur to me while hearing Guy describe the model, is that this model is not only applicable to individual, but can also describe organization culture. Personally, going over some of the companies I encountered, this model can be used to better describe how the organization as a whole is behaving. The easiest one to spot of course is the Blaming culture.
We finished off the session by doing a nice exercise in which guy used a friendly competition to show how one can better spot where a person might be located in this model by listening to what people are saying. things like:
  • “but our group is only 3 people so we need more time” – justification,
  • “We should have done XXX” – shame.
  • “But we must do YYY” – obligation

All and all a very interesting session, I cant wait for December 17th to hear Christopher Avery himself going in depth into the subject. Two hours is not long enough to really cover this subject


Guy Nachimson said...

Thanks for the post! I had fun talking about it to the group - thanks all for the attention.
Usually I would take 3 hours for this kind of content, but in the context of APIL I hope the short version was appropriate.

Christopher Avery said...

By using the telephone game as an analogy (I, or perhaps one of my students told Guy, Guy told Lior, Lior wrote the blog post, I read the blog post), I can tell Guy did an admirable job describing the Responsibility Process.

Thanks Guy and thank Lior. I look forward to seeing you in Israel soon.

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