I hope you appreciated Christopher’s guests posts as much as I did.  His work on building successful teams at any level is simple and obvious.  As I mentioned at the beginning, we use Christopher as regular member of our leadership training program at Rally – the most recent of which was two weeks ago in our Raleigh office.

I am not sure I can give any stronger endorsement on Christopher’s work than his on-going involvement in the education of our employees.  As time goes by, we are bringing Christopher in on a more frequent basis – his approach to leadership is integral to the Rally culture. The great thing is that through his book, training curriculum and blogs like this  — you can do it yourself.

My Ask: Do what we are doing, set your company apart from most by having Christopher come work with your leadership team.

My Experience
After running a pilot training with our leadership team, Rally was Christopher’s second engagement. With new members on our executive team, we are due for another.  Christopher’s engagement involves 80 percent active team work and 20 percent training and as a result, it can be a very easy sell to your peers.   Your executive team gets an amazing education on how to charter and launch effective strategic efforts while actually doing a some of their most pressing work.

These tools and techniques really work. We use them in two very different contexts at Rally.  We use them in short-running project and long-running teams.

Short Run Rock Teams at Rally
At Rally we charter, run, reflect and shut down our strategic project teams after one to five months of effort.   We call these “Rock Teams”, based on this famous rock lecture.  As part of chartering a Rock team, the Rock owner will use this exact series of steps to charter and kick-off her team of Rallyers from across departments and geographies.  As a result, these techniques have become a standard part of living our core value for “Cultivating Trust and Respect” as well as “Living Agile.”

As a result, all of our Rock owners end up training new hires in Christopher’s techniques even before they attend one of his engagements.  I feel this continuous application of Christopher’s process is critical to adopting responsibility as a core capability in your organization.

Long-Standing Teams
We have a number of long-running teams at Rally.  Our product development teams are always changing and morphing, but mostly long-running.   We flow work to teams and thus we work hard to build highly productive teams here.  The other place where we have a fairly stable and long-running team is at the leadership level.  In both of these instances we have natural cadence and reflection to keep the team improving.  Occasionally, the team make-up changes enough that it requires a restart.  Instances where we change the team leader, PO or more than one engineer signal to our internal coaches that it is time to re-charter the team using the approach that Christopher detailed in the last seven blog posts.

This process allows the team to share their personal goals and agreements to allow them to quickly move through the forming, norming, storming, and performing stages with the new players.

In a company that lives Agile, we find Christopher’s work a required part of the cultural education to help us cultivate trust, respect and high-performance teams.

Act on your intention and connect to Christopher’s work to gain awareness and ultimately confront the opportunity to have him work with your leadership team.

To view Christopher’s leadership series, see our Series page or select one of these specific posts:

Ryan Martens is CTO/Founder of Rally Software, a Mentor at the Unreasonable Institute and chief promoter of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado. You can follow him on Twitter @RallyOn.


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