David Scott has worked in Banking, Telecommunications and in the Public Sector. Right now his agile teams are doing some very interesting work with traffic data. The team’s stated aim is to make things better for us, the end user of NSW roads.
David shares insights on how agile is building a happy, collaborative team, his leadership hacks and what he looks for in recruits. Some of this will be surprising, some of it is just good sense.
Here is his linked in profile.
Here David Scott talks about:
- the challenges of creating enterprise capability
- why his teams are loving agile ways of working
- his path to analytics through the business (Microsoft Access, his “gateway drug” to analytics)
- how he focuses on “big ticket items” that make analytics easier for people on the floor
- the importance of not getting bogged down in execution :
am I the right person to be solving this problem?
is the action going to make a difference?
is this a big rock?
- why he looks for humility and empathy in recruits, and how “I just want to be left alone” style people aren’t on his must have list
- David’s leadership hacks: the “call me in the car” policy, Management by Walking around (MBWA), daily standups
- how leading teams of more than 50 is a different kind of problem solving “when you’re leading larger teams you can’t be the one who has all the answers”
- why the source of his problems is usually that he hasn’t written things down (so he writes things down!)
- how coaching helped him understand his own patterns
- getting the leader / servant balance right
- the importance of creating trust and psychological safety in a team
- Just because you succeed in one role with a certain approach doesn’t means you’ll succeed in the next one with the same approach.
- It’s important to realise that explaining takes a lot of patience: we’re speaking a different language, and we’re the newcomers, so we have to make the effort.
- There are many challenges in democratising data in a federated organisation.
- Most importantly we need to take the emotion out of the problem and focus on the benefits.
- prioritising work based on what will make a step change for the customer on the roads (the end user).
- we need to recognise that not everyone is playing the same game (yet).
- don’t get bogged down in a philosophical discussion over whether something is of value, give them what they want and then we’ll learn something.
- no matter how much you think you know, you don’t know what to expect; if you can’t give clear measurable reasons about why you can’t do something then just do it
Give stakeholders a bit of control
- the importance of giving stakeholders a bit of control; if something is their highest priority it may not be yours; sometimes we support them in failing and we fail together
- it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of the person across from you
- early in my career i was really ineffective and gave people half of what they wanted: the best thing i ever did was step into a marketing role for a few months (I hated it)
- we’re doing an innovative, exciting new thing, and everyone’s got an opinion on how it should be done faster, better
- be prepared to put yourself in the shoes of someone else, it’s a great industry, a really rewarding role, and you’ve got to give yourself time
- balancing getting outcomes from the meeting and getting things to where they need to go
- sometimes you just need to call it when a meeting goes awry
- If you know nothing about agile, start with how to form an agile team
- Transactional analysis: you tube videos to which David Scott refers. The book is Games People Play
- It’s Dopamine, not endorphin hits you get when you tick off a to do list. See here.
- LSI is life styles inventory, not leadership styles inventory
- Management 3.0: Management 1.0 was command and control, Management 2.0 was doing the right thing in a top-down hierarchy, Management 3.0 is where everyone contributes to the success of the organisation
- David Scott’s favourite charity is the Black Dog Institute.