In my own efforts to be an effective change agent, I came to the realization that it requires a certain fearless sense of brutal honesty to effectively resolve organizational issues. Any hesitation, any moments of weak appeasement, immediately compromise my directive to tackle problems and conflicts head on.
We recently started taking Scrum/Agile principles out of the Danube lab and into customer organizations. Interestingly, our primary concerns prior to arriving at customer sites were more on the technical side: will the tech team adopt new practices, how will they take to testing, etc.? On the contrary, we found uniformly that the biggest problems are always people factors. Whether it’s high level politicking or interpersonal schoolyard-style conflicts, the greatest challenges we faced had to do with getting teams to work with each and management to support their teams.
In that way, I feel like a modern day Samurai–a hired gun with values including honesty and loyalty. I am bold and fearless and I will tell you what you need to hear which may damage egos or political structures. Whether in the presence of the teams, management, or otherwise my responsibility is to help your organization improve by not to sugar coating but by laying out the honest truth. So pardon the collateral damage that comes with wielding such a sword.