From Lance Rochelle: Optimizing Executive Performance: The Transformative Power of Craig Larman’s Certified LeSS for Executives.
Drawing on my extensive experience as a Distinguished Engineer with nearly three decades in software development and engineering, I’ve encountered numerous executive training programs. Among them, Craig Larman’s Certified LeSS for Executives workshop is a standout experience. This workshop goes beyond merely teaching LeSS; it opens the students eyes to the transformative role of system thinking in shaping organizational design and enhancing business leadership.
From Julia Kulbanksiy: The most enlightening moment for me was understanding the true value of system thinking. The course effectively teaches students the art of employing a unified language to pinpoint and eloquently describe these issues. Such a language is essential, especially when addressing local optimization challenges, which might seem like quick fixes but often lead to technical and organizational debt.
For executives aiming to advance their strategic thinking and leadership capabilities, this workshop is an invaluable opportunity. It offers an in-depth exploration of LeSS and, more importantly, cultivates a mindset of system thinking. This perspective is crucial for redefining leadership approaches and responsibilities in our dynamic business world. I highly recommend attending to experience its career-transforming potential.
Reflecting on the LeSS for Executives course, I have a much better appreciation for local vs global optimization. However, the unexpected realization and biggest takeaway is the importance of organizational design. It can’t be stressed enough that the leadership role and senior level understanding and buy-in is imperative to making any meaningful changes and improvements. The class demonstrated a number of examples of successful and unsuccessful attempts of scaling organizations and rationalized respective reasons. We should all learn from mistakes of others and try not to repeat them. The LeSS principles and tools Craig Larman explained will undoubtedly serve as foundation for making scaling decisions in each of our Product organizations.
From Alexander Cramer: The course was a really engaging exercise in systems thinking while also providing a deep insight into the fallacies of global vs. local optimization. This, connected with the ideas and approaches of LeSS, really changes ones perspective on organizational structures and the behaviors of involved individuals.
From Alisandra Wederich: Attending Craig Larman’s Certified LeSS for Executives workshop was a pivotal moment in my Agile journey. As someone already acquainted with Larman’s Laws of Organizations, I had high expectations. The workshop not only met but exceeded them, unveiling a new depth to my understanding of Agile and systems thinking.
From the first day, it was clear that this was not just another Agile framework course. Craig was one of the co-founders of the Agile Manifesto and has unique insights from that experience. Complemented by his first principles approach and engaging teaching style this provided a highly valuable learning experience. The workshop’s blend of theoretical insights and practical exercises, including live-illustrations of scenarios, systems mapping in groups, and role-playing, was particularly effective. The collaborative systems mapping exercises especially emphasized the importance of conversation and collective problem-solving over seeking perfect end-results.
One of my most significant takeaways was the emphasis on first principles thinking. This approach challenges us to look beyond the superficial adoption of Agile jargon, prompting a deeper inspection of what true change entails. It was enlightening to learn about the pitfalls of local optimization and how it can inadvertently harm the broader system. This understanding is crucial in discerning between genuine lasting improvements and short-term fixes.
Another aspect that resonated with me was the encouragement to cultivate a mindset of scientific curiosity. Approaching situations without preconceived notions (even if that notion is as simple as thinking you understand what the word ‘Agile’ means) is vital for unbiased evaluation and effective problem-solving. This perspective has prompted me to reconsider my approach to change transformations, which become surprisingly clearer to discuss when we drop jargon and discuss in plain terms what the desired outcome of a change initiative is and why it’s being sought.
The lessons from this workshop have significantly influenced my vision for future roles. I am particularly intrigued by the idea of externalizing change initiatives to mitigate resistance from existing organizational structures. This strategy, along with my newfound understanding of systems thinking, has inspired me to consider a career trajectory that emphasizes first principles in workplace problem-solving beyond the ‘change agent’ title. ‘Organizational Systems Designer,’ is certainly one possibility.
Interacting with other attendees working across a variety of roles added immense value to the learning experience. Sharing common challenges in change transformations and collectively envisioning solutions was both reassuring and inspiring. It was incredibly revealing that we shared so many moments of validation that we were not alone in our problems, lightbulb moments as we realized our problems were of similar systemic origins, and some relief as Craig revealed to us new paths forward.
As I reflect on the workshop, it’s evident that the journey of mastering systems thinking and mapping is just beginning. The workshop has fueled a desire to delve deeper into these areas, potentially steering my career in new directions. My advice to future attendees is to come with an open mind, ready to challenge existing notions about Agile. Taking notes and preparing questions is crucial, as the workshop is a rare opportunity to gain insights from a leading systems change thinker like Craig Larman.
In conclusion, Craig Larman’s LeSS for Executives workshop was a transformative experience that redefined my understanding of Agile and system thinking. It has not only equipped me with new tools and perspectives for managing change but also sparked a curiosity that I intend to pursue further in my professional journey.
From Mitchel Doblhofer: The workshop provided me with many powerful tools to simplify and truly scale.
Some of them counter-intuitive, Craig crafted a steady flow of thought-provoking ideas and questions that made this 3-day workshop feel like we uncovered secret after secret.
A personal highlight was the recurring theme of local vs. global optimization. Once you see it, you cannot unsee!
Productive and on the point – LeSS really is more 😉
NOTE: Next class with Craig Larman in the US is next July (2024). Registration is not open yet but will be shortly. If you would like to RSVP, please use this form, to submit your information.