#106 - Company-wide Agility With BOSSA Nova - Jutta Eckstein

 

 

“There’s no leading without following. We are only a leader because somebody is following us."

Jutta Eckstein is a coach, consultant, and trainer who has helped many teams and organizations worldwide making an Agile transition. In this episode, we discussed ideas from her book “Company-wide Agility With Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, and Sociocracy”, also widely known as the BOSSA nova. Jutta started by sharing today’s company challenge in terms of collision of values between shareholder, customer, and the employee, and she provided a suggestion how to align the values better. She then broke down BOSSA nova and explained each concept and principles of Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, Sociocracy, and Agile. Jutta also shared the four values of BOSSA nova and how they also relate extrinsically to sustainability.  

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:06:24]
  • Writing BOSSA Nova - [00:08:34]
  • People-Customer-Shareholder Value - [00:12:04]
  • BOSSA Nova - [00:14:54]
  • Beyond Budgeting - [00:24:16]
  • Open Space - [00:32:56]
  • Sociocracy - [00:37:58]
  • Agile Values - [00:44:04]
  • Transparency - [00:49:50]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:52:22]

_____

Jutta Eckstein’s Bio
Jutta Eckstein works as an independent coach, consultant, and trainer. She has helped many teams and organizations worldwide to make an Agile transition, especially with medium-sized to large distributed mission-critical projects. Jutta has recently pair-written with John Buck a book entitled Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy (dubbed BOSSA nova). Besides that, she has published her experience in her books Agile Software Development in the Large, Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams, Retrospectives for Organizational Change, and together with Johanna Rothman Diving for Hidden Treasures: Uncovering the Cost of Delay in your Project Portfolio.

Follow Jutta:

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Quotes

Writing BOSSA Nova

  • What I saw was, around that book, mainly two things. So the one thing was teams in organizations were quite successful using an agile approach, so other parts in the organization said, “Oh, can we benefit from this as well? And what could we do in order to be more agile as a company?”

  • The other thing that we also saw was that some teams were not so successful. When we dug deeper into what’s the key problem, then it was the organization. So their ecosystem wasn’t agile enough. They couldn’t really benefit fully from the agile approach. So if you will, one driver was success and the other one was maybe failure. Also around that time, the discussion about business agility started.

  • For me, a key way to respond to the VUCA world is being agile as an organization. I’m not talking about Scrum here. I’m talking about agile more in the literal sense. So being flexible, adaptive, responsive, nimble.

  • With the BOSSA nova, we are more looking across the department. It’s also more than business agility. It is looking at the company level. What can you do as the whole company to really be that way agile in that literal sense?

People-Customer-Shareholder Value

  • Beyond budgeting said that a lot as well, is that if you look at only the shareholder, then this is probably also what you get. You only provide value for the shareholder, which is typically a very short term thinking. Whereas if you focus on customer value, you get, additionally, the shareholder value.

  • What beyond budgeting also says is if we are focusing on the employees, then the employees ensure the customer will be happy and this will make the shareholder happy. And so we have this whole chain of providing value for everyone in our ecosystem. It’s way more long term than if we just look at the shareholder.

  • It’s a sequential thing, right? So put focus more on your people. When you have engaged happy employees, it will translate to good customer value. Maybe they produce good products or good services. Once the customer value also increases, people are happy and the shareholder ultimately will also benefit.

  • We should also think about the environmental aspect, the sustainability.

BOSSA Nova

  • There are already several streams out there that look at various aspects of organizations and provide that agility. The thing that we all probably know best, agile development does so in the software world, but also you could say looking at the process aspect, because that’s where agile sits more or less by keep learning from small steps, getting that feedback, and then course correct. This way, understanding and dealing with complexity. Now, this is not all that’s needed in a company.

  • For example, beyond budgeting looks at the financial area.

    • And if you think about it, if you fix your budget one year in advance, how agile can you actually be? If you now find out about this really cool new innovation that you could tackle, well, you can’t, because it hasn’t been planned for in the budget. So we need a way of budgeting, which is really more agile, more dynamic, more flexible, more responsive to what’s happening at the very moment.

    • It started with budgeting. You could also talk about beyond budgeting as a different kind of management approach that is more flexible and is about to continuously adapt and is empowering people.

  • The second stream that we found that’s really helping an organization to become more agile is open space.

    • A lot of people might know open space as a facilitation technique. So you can run workshops, conferences, and so on in an open space format.

    • The key to that open space format is that everyone is invited to suggest a topic that’s really pressing and needed to discuss, and then whoever is interested in that topic, discusses it, resolves it, makes suggestions in it, develops ideas, and so on. Based on invitation and that everyone can suggest the topic, which is also the law of two feet or the law of mobility, where you can then contribute to whatever is interesting you most.

    • These are principles of which we think are super important for organizations. So we are not thinking so much about the facilitation technique but more about the principles open space brings.

    • If you think about what we see in organizations, if they’re not agile, is you are having job descriptions for people where we say, well, this and that is what we are needing, and therefore, we look for a person who fits that job description. And the way I often look at this is we kind of put people in a box and the box is defined by the job description, which also means that we are not thinking beyond that box.

    • If you take open space as a principle here, you are more looking at what is the potential of the individuals that we are having in the organization. And then you have this continuous invitation for people to come up with ideas and suggestion. It could be about features, products, anything.

  • Sociocracy would be the third stream that we found is helping an organization to become more agile.

    • Sociocracy looks at how power is distributed or not. And also what we see attached to power is how decisions are made.

    • If you think about you want to be agile as an organization, but you make decisions in a centralized way, or if you are having like a strict top-down hierarchy, then you might already figure that this slows you down. Because everything has to run through the top or through this centralized decision-making body.

    • Sociocracy is providing structures that help you to make the hierarchy more flexible and more liquid, if you will, and also ensures that decision making is decentralized.

Beyond Budgeting

  • Beyond budgeting, really understands itself more as being beyond command and control. Because you command and control also with the budget a lot. One way of looking at it, it’s really thinking about being toward a management model that is more empowered and adaptive.

  • One key idea is to look at the different purposes that budget provides.

    • For example, one reason why you are coming up with the budget in the first place is because you want to look at what we are aiming for. So what’s our target that we are aiming for?

    • The second thing is that you are trying to make a forecast by asking, okay, what do we think will happen? So, you know what you are aiming for, and now you make a kind of estimate of what you think will happen in the future.

    • The third thing is what the budget does is a way of allocating resources. The resource here is the money, which goes in all different directions.

    • So it’s these three things: target, forecast, and resource allocation.

  • The one understanding in the traditional budgeting way is that these three things are put together into one number. The first idea is understanding that these are actually three different things, and you don’t need to put them all together into one thing. Because if you do, then you are being super inflexible, and you need to be more adaptive.

  • What you could also do, you can think about the targets not being fixed. So you have a target that most often the best way is to do it relative to whatever you have done before or relative to a competitor. It could also be the demand that’s out there. Having fixed targets isn’t really adaptive enough to what’s happening in the VUCA world.

  • Then we have the forecast which was about thinking about what’s happening or what’s my assumption about what’s happening. And because things keep changing the whole time, what you need to do is to have a kind of rolling forecast, which is we keep re-planning all the time. So with every sprint, if we use Scrum, for example, we look again: where are we? And what’s coming next? What has the highest priority now? And therefore, we aim for that and plan for that. And that’s actually exactly needed in the way as well for budget. So it’s having a rolling forecast.

  • Then also derived from that, the resource allocation needs to be as well dynamic based on what we came up with our rolling forecast.

  • Although I also know it sounds a bit scary. It sounds more secure to fix a budget in advance, but actually it’s not. It’s just a perceived security, but it’s not really there.

  • There is no one size fits all thing. So there are different approaches to how you can deal with it. Just to give you some ideas about what companies are doing, for example, you can think of defining a burn rate as a guidance. So you can ask your teams to operate with full autonomy within a specific range or level. So where you say, okay, you can’t overspend that amount. But as long as you are in that range, you just do whatever you think is needed.

  • Another thing that people do is unit cost targets, where it says, well, you can always spend more if you also produce more. So then it’s dynamic to what’s the need in the market right now. Or you can think of benchmark targets where you can look at unit costs that are below the average of the peers, and the peers could be inside your company or external if you compare to that, or it can also be like a historic data of yourself. Or you can think of profit targets where you spend in a way that you are maximizing your overall bottom line.

  • Or you could also say, well, we don’t have any kind of target and it’s just monitored. Probably top management also will only intervene if they feel like it’s needed. Again, there’s no one size fits all, which is good because in the VUCA world that can’t exist.

Open Space

  • So there are those principles. The one is, it starts when it starts. It ends when it ends. Whoever is there is the right people.

  • Very often we sit in meetings and, for example, we wait for somebody to show up who then doesn’t show up, instead of we are saying, well, whoever is there are the right people because they have the passion to really work on that topic, what the meeting is about, and therefore these are the right ones.

  • Also, if I refer to the second one that I just mentioned, like it ends when it ends. What I’ve also seen just if you think of regular meetings, that sometimes it feels like the time is filled just because the meeting has been set up to a one hour thing and therefore we meet for one hour.

  • Open space here is more focused on what’s needed, really, and where is the passion? There’s also, whatever happens is the only thing that could, so the topic might also shift a little bit because that’s where the passion leads us to.

  • The last principle here, is wherever it happens, is the only place it should, this law of two feet.

  • If we now think about taking those principles to the organizational level, then we talk a lot here about self organization, meaning that everyone really is invited and we even rely on everyone to suggest and work on any idea that’s important for the company. However, that invitation has some limits and the limits should be guided by the passion people are having. If I’m not passionate about it, but I think somebody should really work on this. Well, then it’s not going to happen. If nobody has the passion to fix it, nothing will happen. So passion is a kind of constraint.

  • Another constraint is the responsibility. We actually put this often together and say passion bound by responsibility. The responsibility is, for example, the overall vision of the company, or another thing is, well, we know about the ethics of the company.

  • The passion follows that overall strategy. The other thing is that we are all self responsible for the learning of ourselves, but also kind of helping others to learn. So what we are basically talking about is empowerment, because anything can happen that’s inspired by anyone.

  • Open space agility, which is actually using open space, the workshop format for your agile journey. You can also start thinking of getting on your journey for company-wide agility by using various workshops that are following an open space format. What we are doing is really more looking at how can we use the principles on the strategic level.

Sociocracy

  • At the core of sociocracy, we have equivalence. That’s, I would say, really the key to everything.

  • I’ll start with decision making. So one thing that sociocracy is suggesting is to make decisions by consent. If you think about the way how we often make decisions, so there are various ways, so one can be autocratic. So one person says this is the way we go and decides for everyone else, which is super fast and sometimes really super helpful as well. At other times, not so much because people don’t have the buy in to the decision because they never got asked. Then we have like maturity votes. So what we often do in retrospectives that people do dot voting on things, and where we have the most dots is kind of the thing that we are doing then, which is great in a sense, because we ask everyone. Everyone has a voice. However, the minority is ignored. It might not have the buy in to what we are doing.

  • There are other ways to come up with a decision, for example, with consensus, where we really ask everyone, and we have long, long discussions until we are coming to an agreement, and this is the way we go. Of course, you can also do like a random decision making. So you throw a dice.

  • Sociocracy comes with another way of making decisions, which is called deciding by consent. It sounds a bit like consensus, but it’s not. Remember, consensus was about coming to an agreement. Now consent is about coming to acceptance.

  • One of the key questions we often ask there is, can you live with that decision? Do you have an objection that might go in the direction that you see our joint goal at risk if we decide that way? Or can you tolerate that decision? So it’s really more about, can I accept it? And not necessarily do I agree with it? I might favor something different, but can I live with that?

  • And then there are some other things that we often put together here, like we ask, well, is that decision maybe good enough for now? Safe enough to try? And safe enough to try might then also be true if we say, what about if you put a time box to it? What about if we try that for the next three months and then revisit?

  • Every so often we think whatever we do is for eternity, but it seldom really is if we look back on what happened in the past. And so why not making that more transparent that it’s not for eternity although it feels like that.

  • The key thing is looking for acceptance, not agreement, and asking everyone’s voice. So asking really everyone who is involved here.

  • Another thing that’s really super important in sociocracy is how we are looking at the structure of an organization. So I mentioned before that very often we see more hierarchy that’s top down. And so the information trickles down and decisions go top to bottom and so on. It’s not only slow, but it also means we are ignoring a lot of people on the way from top to bottom that maybe know a lot about the stuff that we are looking at right now. Again, in the VUCA world, we need all the different perspectives to make good decisions or to bring all the information together.

  • Sociocracy kind of starts off where we are. So we have the top-down hierarchy, but then it introduces a feedback link to the structure. Because that’s what’s missing in a top-down hierarchy. If we introduce a feedback link, it’s also having that structure bottom to top. This is done by electing representatives of every level in the hierarchy that’s representing that level, one level higher up.

  • And so if you think of a department or a team that they have kind of two leaders. So one is appointed top to bottom, maybe a classical manager, and the other one is elected bottom to top. Now they both together collaborate with everything that’s around leading the team. And then if you think of how we make decisions based on consent, then you also know that we always hear all voices, also the ones from the bottom.

Agile Values

  • Looking at the Manifesto, if you look at the values, what they basically mean is that you need transparency, you need self organization, you need a constant customer focus, and continuous learning. These are the four values that guide a company towards being agile.

    • Transparency means that we need to be transparent to everyone who is involved in two directions. Two directions mean I am transparent about what I am doing, but I also know that if I seek information for something, that other people are also lowering those barriers, that I can find the information. The thing for us is that we don’t think necessarily that everything needs to be transparent. But whoever needs whatever kind of information will be able to get that information. For me, at least it’s kind of important to not necessarily make everything transparent because there’s so much information overload already. So there are also things that are not important for me to know, and so I’m fine with that. And, of course, also here, it depends. Whatever your setting is, it might be important for you to make everything transparent.

    • If you look into self-organization as the next thing is that we really think it’s super important to have cross-functional teams. And we recommend the teams select themselves, which is actually sitting in open space as well, where you have the passion guiding the people what they want to work on. So if they select themselves, they also follow their passion with responsibility. Passion also should be linked together with being responsible for what we are doing.

    • If we look at constant customer focus, that means in whatever we are doing, we always need to have the customer focus in mind. So no matter if you are looking at the product, process, structure, strategy, or our individual contributions, kind of every aspect should be related back into how it provides the value for the customer.

    • The fourth thing was continuous learning, which is really about we never should stop learning and we also have a responsibility to contribute to other people’s learning. And then we keep getting feedback into that.

    • There’s maybe one thing that I find important - sustainability and the environmental aspect.

  • You also need to look at your external responsibility. Those values, the meaning of the values shift a little bit.

    • So transparency then leads to making the company’s actions transparent both internally and externally.

    • Self-organization means that we should regard the company as one node of a global network that creates an environment. It lives in together with other companies and societal institutions. So self-organization is now really not only what’s happening with the teams inside, but what’s actually the bigger part of the company.

    • If we look at constant customer focus, then it means like understanding the economic, ecologic, societal, and social environment as a customer that needs permanent attention. So sometimes I do a shortcut to that and say, well, constant customer focus in that sense means we also take the planet as one of the stakeholders.

    • And then continuous learning then means learning continuously from and with society to make the whole world a better place. So, again, it’s the same values. But now really more with the shift to what’s our external responsibility in the ecosystem we are living in as a company.

Transparency

  • Troubles can be bounded by transparency.

  • We cannot solve a problem if we don’t know about it. And so, if we keep hiding stuff, like any kinds of troubles or problems, then they will sit there. Most often, that’s at least my experience. If we have a problem and it sits there, it typically doesn’t go away. Most often, it gets bigger. So we need to be transparent.

  • Maybe it also has to do with courage. So we need to be courageous about stating the problems and therefore then being able to address them.

3 Tech Lead Wisdom

  1. Keep learning. Your learning journey never finishes, and maybe that’s a key thing, especially for leaders. Because sometimes we think we are now in a leading position and therefore this means we know it all, which definitely is not true. So we have to keep learning also from the people we are leading.

  2. We are only a leader because somebody is following us. There’s no leadership by appointment, really, because if nobody follows and they don’t trust us as a leader, they will find a way around us. There’s no leading without following.

  3. Passion bound by responsibility. The people you are leading and the way you are working yourself, ensure that people can follow their passion. Again, bound by the responsibility that it cannot be something that’s completely outside of what the company is doing, or what’s important for us, and so on. So it’s not that it’s going wild, but if you are working with the passion of people and which is also true for yourself, then I think everything is possible.

Transcript

[00:02:10] Episode Introduction

Henry Suryawirawan: Hello again to all of you, my friends and my listeners. Welcome to the Tech Lead Journal podcast, the show where you can learn about technical leadership and excellence from my conversations with great thought leaders in the tech industry. And today is the episode number 106.

If this is your first time listening to Tech Lead Journal, subscribe and follow the show on your podcast app and on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. And if you’d like to support my journey creating this podcast, subscribe as a patron at techleadjournal.dev/patron.

My guests with today’s episode is Jutta Eckstein. Jutta is a coach, consultant, and trainer who has helped many teams and organizations worldwide making an agile transition. In this episode, we discussed ideas from her book “Company-wide Agility With Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, and Sociocracy”, also widely known as the BOSSA nova book. Jutta started by sharing today’s company challenge in terms of collision of values between the shareholders, customers, and the employees, and she provided a suggestion how to align the values better. She then broke down BOSSA nova and explained each concept and principles of beyond budgeting, open space, sociocracy, and agile. Jutta also shared the four values of BOSSA nova and how they also relate extrinsically to sustainability.

I enjoyed my conversation with Jutta, learning the different practices and principles that can help improve our agility. And if you also enjoy listening to this episode, will you help share it with your friends and colleagues who can also benefit from listening to this episode? It is my ultimate mission to spread this podcast to more people. And I really appreciate your support in any way towards fulfilling my mission. Before we continue the conversation, let’s hear some words from our sponsors.

[00:05:48] Introduction

Henry Suryawirawan: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another new episode of the Tech Lead Journal podcast. Today, we have a guest. She’s an independent coach, very well known in the agile world. Her name is Jutta Eckstein. She wrote a book that is quite popular. The title is “Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, and Sociocracy,” or in short, people also know it as BOSSA nova. So we’ll cover why it’s called BOSSA nova, and we’ll be talking a lot about the concepts from this book. So Jutta, really pleased to have you in the show today. Thank you so much for spending your time.

Jutta Eckstein: Thank you so much for inviting me, Henry.

[00:06:24] Career Journey

Henry Suryawirawan: So Jutta, I always like to ask my guest to share any career highlights or turning points before we start into the conversation. Maybe you can share some interesting things from your career as well?

Jutta Eckstein: Well, maybe one of my turning points was I started off as a developer. One of the projects I was working on, so probably for three months or so, the project manager walked up to me and this was probably in 96 or 97. So really a long time ago. The project manager walked up to me and said, “Jutta, I don’t know what it is, but since you are on the team, things have changed for the better.” And that made me think that maybe there is also something else that I can do, next to being a software developer on a team. So this was probably the most important turning point for me to think beyond software development. Then I started first into design and architecture and then more into leading teams.

Henry Suryawirawan: So maybe if you can share, what was it that your project manager found from your contribution in the team? Is there a specific?

Jutta Eckstein: Well, he said he doesn’t know. He just sees that it has an impact. So, he didn’t know. He just said that this is what he’s observing, that things have changed for the better.

Henry Suryawirawan: Anything that you maybe figured out as well throughout time?

Jutta Eckstein: What I did then was trying out different things. So next to keep being a software developer, I started into design and architecture, and then into team leading, and then into teams of teams leading, and then into supporting organizations. So it kind of started that whole journey, if you will. But it was feeling more like he said something that I do have an impact in some way. But nobody knew what it is, so I kept exploring.

Henry Suryawirawan: It’s very interesting that you pick this out as really great turning points. Because sometimes even things that you are not so sure about, but you bring good impact and you keep on exploring until you have this career so far. So thanks for sharing this insightful journey.

[00:08:34] Writing BOSSA Nova

Henry Suryawirawan: So Jutta, today, we’re going to talk about your book, “Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, and Sociocracy”. I mean, there are a few techniques inside the title itself, but maybe let’s start by why you wrote the book in the first place? What kind of problems that you’re trying to solve?

Jutta Eckstein: So, first of all, I co-wrote it with John Buck. And what I saw was, around that book, mainly two things. So the one thing was teams in organizations were quite successful using an agile approach, so other parts in the organization said, “Oh, can we benefit from this as well? And what could we do in order to be more agile as the company?” The other thing that we also saw was that some teams were not so successful. When we dig deeper into what’s the key problem, then it was, well, the organization. So their ecosystem wasn’t agile enough. They couldn’t really benefit fully from the agile approach. So if you will, one driver was success and the other one was maybe failure.

And then, of course, also around that time, the discussion about business agility started, which is another thing. There are just many things where you could look at and say, well, what companies are doing if they are not agile, maybe in many cases, it doesn’t fit what’s really needed. What we see is happening right now is that we have this role that keeps changing so that it’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. So the VUCA world we are living in, and companies just need to respond to that. For me, a key way to respond to the VUCA world is being agile as an organization. I’m not talking about Scrum here. I’m talking about agile more in the literal sense. So being flexible, adaptive, responsive, nimble. More like that.

Henry Suryawirawan: So I think throughout the last few years, as well, we can see as agile has transformed a lot of software development teams. I mean, the concept of agile methodology started maybe from a software development team, from the manifesto. And then as more and more people adopted it, I guess it was also quite popular and hugely successful where now the concept of applying it to other parts of organization. I think if I’m not wrong, I’ve heard things like agile HR, agile marketing, maybe agile budgeting, and things like that. So why do you think so many different departments also need to adopt these agile practices or mindset? Maybe you can explore it a little bit on that.

Jutta Eckstein: Yeah, well, exactly for the same VUCA reasons, because they’re facing complexity and they need to deal with it. They need to be responsive and adaptive. And so they look at what’s working somewhere else. Agile software development is working at a lot of places and it’s of course also very promising to work in various non-software places. Meanwhile, a lot of people have tried it and explored and figured that it is helping them. Now, with the BOSSA nova, actually, we are more looking across the department. It’s also more than business agility. It is really looking at the company level. What can you do as the whole company to really be that way agile in that literal sense, really?

[00:12:04] People-Customer-Shareholder Value

Henry Suryawirawan: In your book, also, you mentioned one particular thing, which I think is quite insightful, right? Because, traditionally, companies tend to maximize shareholder values. That is like the ultimate goal of company, traditionally. But with all these recent changes, maybe with agile concept as well, customers should become the first point of reference for the company’s success. So tell us more about this perspective, where you shift from shareholder value to people, to customer. And what would you advocate that a company should look at as a reference point?

Jutta Eckstein: Actually, beyond budgeting, that said a lot as well, is that if you look at only the shareholder, then this is probably also what you get. You only provide value for the shareholder, which is typically a very short term thinking. Whereas if you focus on customer value, you get, additionally, the shareholder value. However, what we also think, and that’s, again, kind of what beyond budgeting also says, if we are focusing on the employees, then the employees ensure that the customer will be happy and this will make the shareholder happy. And so we have this whole chain of providing value for everyone in our ecosystem, actually. It’s way more long term than if we just look at the shareholder.

The interesting thing about this is, I think it’s about four years ago or so, where the Business Roundtable, that’s a kind of an institution in the US, got together and it has like the leading CEOs of the American industry. They made that shift as well. They said, well, in the past, we have only focused on the shareholder value, but we see that this isn’t appropriate for the times anymore, and maybe also we have learned that it is too shortsighted, and we need to really think more about the employees and the customer and the shareholder, and actually as well about the environment we are in.

Henry Suryawirawan: So if I can just repeat, it’s a sequential thing, right? So put focus more on your people. When you have engaged, happy employees, it will translate to good customer value. Maybe they produce good products or good services. Once the customer value also increases, people are happy and the shareholder ultimately will also benefit. And you brought up as the last point, we should also think about the environmental aspect, the sustainability, which is quite trendy this day as well. People are talking a lot about it. So thanks for sharing this as a sequential focus that any company should think about for leaders.

Jutta Eckstein: Yes. And that sequence, the way you just pointed it out, that’s absolutely the way I thought of saying it. That’s correct. Thank you for summarizing that.

[00:14:54] BOSSA Nova

Henry Suryawirawan: No problem. So let’s go to your thing, right? Which is called BOSSA nova. Maybe for people who are still puzzled, like they are not sure yet. What is BOSSA nova? It sounds very exotic. Right?

Jutta Eckstein: That’s true. It maybe does. Well, you mentioned the title of the book, and in that title, there are those different streams that we have looked out for. The thing is when we figured that what’s needed in the book overall is actually a company that’s agile. So what we talked already about. We also thought, well, there are already several streams out there that look at various aspects of organizations and provide that agility. The thing that we all probably know best agile development does so in the software world, but also you could say looking at the process aspect, because that’s where agile sits more or less by keep learning from really small steps, getting that feedback, and then course correct. This way, understanding and dealing with complexity. Now, this is not all that’s needed in a company.

So, for example, beyond budgeting looks at the financial area. And if you think about it, if you fix your budget one year in advance, how agile can you actually be? Because the money is already in the various buckets. It’s all sorted out. And if you now find out about this really cool new innovation that you could tackle, well, you can’t, because it hasn’t been planned for in the budget. So we need a way of budgeting, which is really more agile, more dynamic, more flexible, more responsive to what’s happening at the very moment. And this is what beyond budgeting is about. Actually, it is also probably broader, but it started, that’s what’s in the name. It started from budgeting, but it also says well, because, we all know money rules the world. It means all kinds of management is triggered by the way how we are budgeting. So far, you could also talk about beyond budgeting is actually also a different kind of management approach that is more flexible and is about to continuously adapt and is empowering people as well. So that’s beyond budgeting. So looking at the financial area in the organization.

Then the second stream that we found that’s really helping an organization to become more agile is open space. A lot of people, I can imagine in the agile world and who are listening to this right now, might know open space as a facilitation technique. So you can run workshops, conferences, and so on in an open space format. The key to that open space format is actually that everyone is invited to suggest a topic that’s really pressing and needed to discuss, and then whoever is interested in that topic, discusses it, resolves it, makes suggestion in it, develops ideas, and so on. Based on invitation and this thing that everyone can suggest the topic, which is also the law of two feet or the law of mobility, where you can then contribute to whatever is interesting you most. These are principles of which we think are super important from organizations. So we are not thinking so much about the facilitation technique as such, but more as about the principles open space brings.

So if you think about what we see in organizations, if they’re not agile, is you are having job descriptions for people where we say, well, this and that is what we are needing, and therefore, we look for a person who fits that job description. And the way I often look at this is kind of we put people in a box and the box is defined by the job description, which also means that we are not thinking beyond that box. Now, if you take open space as a principle here, you are more looking at what is the potential of the individuals that we are having in the organization. And then you have this continuous invitation for people to come up with ideas and suggestion. It could be about features, products, anything. And then, if you have enough people who think, “This idea is great. I want to contribute to it and I want to learn about it,” and so on, then this is a go and there are companies who are really set up like this. For example, not sure how well known it is in your era, W. L. Gore, an outdoor equipper, creating shoes, and jackets and all of that, and this is how they are set up that really everyone in the company can come up with an idea at any time. And if there are people who are interested in bringing that idea forward, then it is a go. So that’s the second stream.

Sociocracy would be the third stream that we found is helping an organization to become more agile. Sociocracy looks at how power is really distributed or not. And also what we see attached to power is how decisions are made. If you think about you want to be agile as an organization, but you make decisions in a centralized way, or if you are having like a strict top-down hierarchy, then you might already figure that this slows you down. Because everything has to run through the top or through this centralized decision-making body, but you need to be quick like that. You can if you are using it in a normal whatever way. And sociocracy is providing structures that helps you to make the hierarchy more flexible and more liquid, if you will, and also ensures that decision making is decentralized.

And now, putting this all together. So the shortcut of that whole concept is BOSSA Nova. And so we had the B. That comes from beyond budgeting that feeds into the B. Then we have open space. That’s the OS of the BOSSA. Then we have the next S that’s the sociocracy, and then the A is agile. And so we played around, of course, with these characters. And then bossa nova is actually a word in Portuguese that means new wave, new trend. And so this is what we hope that we can provide here with an idea about a new trend, new wave for organizations to become agile. It actually is also a style of music. In that style of music, it’s a merger between cool jazz and samba. And so, by looking at these different streams, what we’ve done is also melting these together, or bringing these together, those different streams. And then the third thing is that bossa nova is actually also a dance. We just think about if you want to be agile with an organization, it really is a little bit like in a dance. So when you are dancing, you are cooperating, collaborating, whatever, listening, responding to the moves of people on the dance floor. It could be just your partner you’re dancing with, or everyone who is on the dance floor. But you are also doing this to the music that’s played. However, it’s also vice versa. So the way you are dancing often influences what kind of music is played next. So it is a continuous kind of a dialogue that’s happening, and that’s also what we think is needed for an agile organization.

My final word to this. I explained the BOSSA where this is coming from, and then the nova, of course, because there’s this music and dance and so on. But the nova is also there because we believe the four streams that we have put together as kind of the core for being agile as a company. Most likely, there’s more out there and most likely, more stuff will be invented. Please take a look what else is out there that helps you to be agile as a company. So it’s not that putting beyond budgeting, open space, sociocracy, and agile together is the end of the whole story. You need to continuously, maybe, invent yourself.

Henry Suryawirawan: Wow. Thank you for this beautiful explanation how you come up with this name, BOSSA nova. It has actually different types of meaning. So the first BOSSA is a combination of these four techniques: beyond budgeting, open space, and sociocracy, and agile. Putting it together as BOSSA nova, it could actually mean different things. So it could be a new way for trend, it could be music, it could be also dance, and it could be also like learning new things. It’s not just the four techniques that you mentioned, and that’s it forever. So thank you for sharing that. Maybe if we can just go deep into each of the technique shortly.

[00:24:16] Beyond Budgeting

Henry Suryawirawan: You mentioned about beyond budgeting. I think many people might have heard about this technique as well, and we all acknowledge that financial budgeting system is kind of like rigid. Most companies will do yearly budgeting, I assume. It still is in many parts of the companies. Maybe you can also see it in your consulting techniques. How this method is actually being adopted? Is it something that many corporates have already incorporated? And you mentioned that beyond budgeting is not just for finance, right? So maybe you can share a little bit about this. How is the adoption like? And how are the principles actually helping people to be more agile from beyond budgeting?

Jutta Eckstein: Yeah. So, again, beyond budgeting, really understands itself more as being beyond command and control. Because you command and control also with the budget a lot. This is really deeply connected here. And so, one way of looking at it, it’s really thinking about being toward a management model that is more empowered and adaptive.

Maybe we start with one key idea is to look at the different purposes that budget provides. For example, one reason why you are coming up with the budget in the first place is because you want to look at what are we aiming for. So what’s our target, actually, that we are aiming for? Then the second thing is that you are trying to make a forecast by asking, okay, what do we think will happen? So, you know what you are aiming for, and now you make a kind of an estimate what you think will happen in the future, and therefore, you put an X amount in that bucket. And then the third thing is what the budget does is a way of allocating resources. The resource here is the money, which goes into all different directions. If we want to really do this and that project, we would need to spend money on a given technology, or we need to rent whatever rooms, and, of course, we need to ensure that we have the people and they’re equipped with all kinds of stuff and so on. So it’s all of these three things. So target, forecast, and resource allocation.

Now, the one understanding in traditional budgeting way is that these three things are put together into one number. The first idea is already understanding that these are actually three different things, and you don’t need to put them all together into one thing. Because if you do, then you are being super inflexible, but you need to be more adaptive. Once you understood that, this is already super helpful. But then what you could also do, you can think about the targets not being fixed. So you have a target that’s most often the best way is to do it relative to whatever you have done before or relative to a competitor. It could be also, of course, the demand that’s out there.

Maybe a counter example for that. If you think you are a salesperson and your target is that you sell, let’s say, a hundred of whatever your products you are selling. And then at the end of the year, you will find out that you manage to sell the hundred. And so you’re happy and you get your bonus. However, if you then look and see that the competitors have actually sold 500 of their competitive products in that time, then maybe the hundred isn’t really that good, and vice versa. If you found out that all the competitors have sold only maybe 20, then the hundred means something completely different. So having fixed targets isn’t really adaptive enough to what’s happening in the VUCA world. So that was making targets relative.

Then we have the forecast which was about thinking what’s happening or what’s my assumption about what’s happening. And because things keep changing the whole time, what you need to do is to have kind of a rolling forecast, which is pretty known, I would think, in the agile world, which is we keep replanning all the time. So with every sprint, if we use Scrum, for example, we look again, where are we? And what’s coming next? What has the highest priority now? And therefore, we aim for that and plan for that. And that’s actually exactly needed in the way as well for budget. So it’s having a rolling forecast. Then also derived from that, the resource allocation needs to be as well dynamic based on what we came up with our rolling forecast. So, again, if you fix that a year in advance, oh my God, then you might have people sitting around and doing stupid stuff or they’re way too busy because you are not having enough people there, for example. Or you didn’t spend enough money on the right technology. Or you have a lot of money left over, which is also happening at times. And then what do people do? Well, they keep spending it anyway. This is also not helpful for the company. So if you keep being more flexible and adaptive to the current need, this really means that the company can be more successful also financially. Although I also know it sounds a bit scary. It sounds more secure to fix a budget in advance, but actually it’s not. It’s just a perceived security, but it’s not really there.

Henry Suryawirawan: So how about the adoption? Because, again, like you said, people maybe are scared, right? Because finance, they want to secure the sustainability of the company. Probably they know the profits and the expenses. They want to project based on your target, your forecast, and the resources allocation. So how does the company adoption so far? Has the company understood? And if it’s not yearly, what would you advocate then? Is it monthly? What is the cadence for this budgeting cycle?

Jutta Eckstein: So there are quite some companies doing that. Because we are now talking about this exactly and not about the BOSSA nova in general. So on the beyond budgeting website, that’s actually BBRT.org for Beyond Budgeting Round Table. I guess we can provide links later on. You will see there all the companies listed. They’re worldwide. It’s really a long list. So it’s not anything exotic, if you will.

There are different ways, well, as you can imagine, because we are speaking of the VUCA world. There is no one size fits all thing. So there are different approaches how you can deal with it. Just to give you some ideas what companies are doing, for example, you can think of defining a burn rate as a guidance. So you can ask your teams to operate with full autonomy within specific range or level. So where you say, okay, you can’t overspend that amount. But as long as you are in that range, you just do whatever you think is needed.

Another thing that people do is unit cost targets, where it says, well, you can always spend more if you produce also more. So then it’s dynamic to what’s the need in the market right now. Or you can think of benchmark targets where you can look at unit costs that are below the average of the peers, and the peers could be inside your company or external if you compare to that, or it can be also like a historic data of yourself. Or you can think of profit targets where you spend in a way that you are maximizing your overall bottom line. So this is another way. Or you could also say, well, we don’t have any kind of target and it’s just monitored. Probably top management also will only intervene if they feel like it’s needed. That’s also something that we see that’s happening. Again, there’s no one size fits all, which is, I think, good because in the VUCA world that can’t exist. And so there are just various ways that are done. Also, depending on the department that you’re in or whatever kind of work you are doing here.

Henry Suryawirawan: Thank you for sharing some of these permutations of different ways you could do this. So I, myself, don’t come from the financial background, so some of these things could not relate well. But I think for those people who are, so maybe you can use some of these techniques, and maybe you can find inspirations from some of the companies who have adopted this technique.

[00:32:56] Open Space

Henry Suryawirawan: So let’s move to this open space, cause you mentioned in the beginning, it came from this facilitation technique, right? Where probably it’s like a conference, you can have people opening up a certain topic. Any random people can just go in and chip in and collaborate and comment, or they can also decide to walk out. I don’t think people can just easily come and go and make decisions and run away, right? I guess there’s something else that you want to pick up from this technique. Maybe there are some values from it. Maybe you can share a bit about this technique.

Jutta Eckstein: So, I first would like to do a very quick recap on open space. So there are those principles. The one is, it starts when it starts. It ends when it ends. Whoever is there are the right people, and I just want to repeat this. They’re a bit more than that. But just with those three, very often we sit in meetings and, for example, we wait for somebody to show up who then doesn’t show up, instead of we are saying, well, whoever is there are the right people because they have the passion to really work on that topic, what the meeting is about, and therefore these are the right ones.

And also if I refer to the second one that I just mentioned, like it ends when it ends. What I’ve also seen just if you think of regular meetings, that sometimes it feels like the time is filled just because the meeting has been set up to a one hour thing and therefore we meet for one hour or thought we might be done earlier. Only we might even need more time. Also, this can happen. And so, open spaces here, more focused on what’s needed, really, and where is the passion? Now keeping on with the principles, there’s also, whatever happens is the only thing that could, so the topic might also shift a little bit because that’s where the passion leads us to.

And then it also says, the last principle here, is wherever it happens is the only place it should. So it might happen like wherever we are right now, or we need a specific location. I talked already about this law of two feet. If we now think about taking those principles to the organizational level, then, well, we talk a lot here about self organization, meaning that everyone really is invited and we even rely on everyone to suggest and work on any idea that’s important for the company. However, that invitation has some limits and the limits should be guided by the passion people are having. If I’m not passionate about it, but I think, well, somebody should really work on this. Well, then it’s not going to happen. And I see that a lot as well. That people say, well, this is some advice, this and that not really working out. But if nobody has the passion to fix it, nothing will happen. So passion is kind of a constraint.

Another constraint is the responsibility. We actually put this often together and say passion bound by responsibility. The responsibility is, for example, the overall vision of the company, or another thing is, well, we know about the ethics of the company. And then there are other things. So, like the passion follows that overall strategy. The other thing is that we are all self responsible for the learning of ourselves, but also kind of helping others to learn. So what we are basically talking about is empowerment, because anything can happen, that’s inspired by anyone, actually.

Henry Suryawirawan: So yeah, thanks for sharing this open space. I think it makes sense, right? It is not just to be translated as is. So some of the principles that you mentioned, whoever that is there is the right people, whenever it starts is the right time, and when it’s over, it’s also it’s over. So I guess these are some of the principles from the open space technique and some of the values, like you mentioned, self organization, passion and self responsibility, and the last one is empowerment. People should be empowered to make decisions and work on what the things they’re passionate about.

Jutta Eckstein: Can I add one more thing? Because people keep asking us so often about that because there is open space agility as a concept that some people might know. So they are asking how this relates. For us, open space agility, which is actually using open space, the workshop format for your agile journey. So for bringing agile to a team or to teams of teams and so on. And so this is how we think about open space. So you can also start thinking of getting on your journey for companywide agility by using various workshops that are following an open space format. What we are doing is really more looking at how can we use the principles on the strategic level.

[00:37:58] Sociocracy

Henry Suryawirawan: So it’s the principles and the values rather than just doing the activities or the techniques. So let’s move to the third technique, which is sociocracy. You mentioned it’s about having people working together. It’s about collaboration, distributed decision-making process. So tell us more about, maybe there are some principles as well behind the sociocracy, and how should we use it in organization?

Jutta Eckstein: So at the core of sociocracy we have equivalence. That’s, I would say, really the key to everything. Maybe I’ll start with decision making. So one thing that sociocracy is suggesting is to make decisions by consent. If you think about the way how we often make decisions, so there are various ways, so one can be autocratic. So one person says this is the way we go and decides for everyone else, which is super fast and sometimes really super helpful as well. At other times, not so much because people don’t have the buy in to the decision because they never got asked. Then we have like maturity votes. So what we often do in retrospectives that people do dot voting on things, and where we have the most dots is kind of the thing that we are doing then, which is great in a sense, because we ask everyone. Everyone has a voice. However, the minority is ignored. It might not have the buy in to what we are doing.

There are other ways to come up with a decision, for example, with consensus, where we really ask everyone, and we have long, long discussions until we are coming to an agreement, and this is the way we go. Of course, you can also do like a random decision making. So you throw a dice and say, if it’s a six, we do this, and if it’s a one, we do the opposite or something. Now, sociocracy comes with another way of making decisions, which is called deciding by consent. It sounds a bit like consensus, but it’s not. Remember, consensus was about coming to an agreement. Now consent is about coming to acceptance.

One of the key questions we often ask there is, can you live with that decision? Do you have an objection that might go in the direction that you see our joint goal at risk if we decide that way? Or can you tolerate that decision? So it’s really more about, can I accept it? And not necessarily do I agree with it? I might favor something different, but can I live with that? Maybe yes so. And then there are some other things that we often put together here, like we ask, well, is that decision maybe good enough for now? Safe enough to try? And safe enough to try might then also be true if we say, what about if you put a time box to it? What about if we try that for the next three months and then revisit? Every so often we think whatever we do is for eternity, but it seldom really is if we look back what happened in the past, right? And so why not making that more transparent that it’s not for eternity although it feels like that. So, again, the key thing is looking for acceptance, not agreement, and asking everyone’s voice. So asking really everyone who is involved here. So that’s decision making.

Another thing that’s really super important in sociocracy is how we are looking at the structure in an organization. So I mentioned before that very often we see like more hierarchy that’s top down. And so the information trickles down and decisions go top to bottom and so on. It’s not only slow, but it also means we are ignoring a lot of people on the way from top to bottom that maybe know a lot about the stuff that we are looking at right now. Again, in that VUCA world, we need all the different perspectives to make good decisions or to bring all the information together and so on.

And so, sociocracy kind of starts off where we are. So we have the top-down hierarchy, but then it introduces, now using more natural term, a feedback link in the structure. Because that’s what’s missing in a top-down hierarchy. Everything goes top to bottom. But now if we introduce a feedback link, it’s also having that structure bottom to top. This is done by electing representatives of every level in the hierarchy that’s representing that level, one level higher up. And so if you think of a department or a team that they have kind of two leaders. So one is appointed top to bottom, maybe a classical manager, and the other one is elected bottom to top. Now they both together collaborate with everything that’s around leading the team. And then if you think of how we make decisions based on consent, then you also know that we always hear all voices, also the ones from the bottom.

Henry Suryawirawan: Wow. This is a very interesting technique. So there are so many things that you unwrap here about sociocracy. The first is about decision making by consent, it’s not consensus. Again, you explained it very clearly. Consent doesn’t mean that everyone agrees and accepts, but you will have some of these questions: can you live, can you tolerate with that decision? So it’s not necessarily just acceptance. And you also mentioned about election, right? The concept of top bottom, bottom up, right? So you should have two leaders maybe representing from the bottom as well, so that it’s not biased just from the leader’s point of view. But the feedback from the bottom is also kind of like a channel through the top and everyone make decision by the consent together. Again, it’s really beautiful way of explaining that.

[00:44:04] Agile Values

Henry Suryawirawan: So the last one, I think most people know about agile, Agile Manifesto. But I would like to pick up these values that you actually took from the agile manifesto. You use it as a generic thing, not just for software development, but for the organization in general. So maybe, can you share us these four values of the agile part of BOSSA nova?

Jutta Eckstein: So, yeah, as you said, we looked at the Manifesto because what we found was that the VUCA world is asking for companies to be agile and therefore we have a lot about agile out there. And so looking at the Manifesto just made sense. If you look at the values, what they basically mean is that you need transparency, you need self organization, you need a constant customer focus, and continuous learning. So these are the four values that guide a company towards being agile.

If we then look at what this means is, well, transparency means that we need to be transparent for everyone who is involved in two directions. Two directions mean I am transparent about what I am doing, but I also know that if I seek information for something that other people are also lowering those barriers, that I can find the information. So the thing for us is that we don’t think necessarily that everything needs to be transparent. But whoever needs whatever kind of information will be able to get that information. For me, at least it’s kind of important to not necessarily make everything transparent because there’s so much information overload already. So there are also things that are not important for me to know, and so I’m fine with that. And, of course, also here, it depends. Whatever your setting is, it might be important for you to make everything transparent.

If you look into self-organization as the next thing is that we really think it’s super important to have cross-functional teams. And we recommend that the teams select themselves, which is actually sitting in open space as well, where you have the passion guiding the people what they want to work on. So if they select themselves, they also follow their passion with responsibility. Remember, we said that passion also should be linked together with being responsible in what we are doing.

And then if we look at constant customer focus, that means in whatever we are doing, we always need to have the customer focus in mind. So no matter if you are looking at the product, process, structure, strategy, or our individual contributions, kind of every aspect should be related back into how does it provide the value for the customer.

And then the fourth thing was continuous learning, which is really about we never should stop learning and we also have a responsibility to contribute to other people’s learning. And then we keep getting feedback into that, which probably sits the most in the agile area here.

There’s maybe one thing that I find important. We talked a little bit, that I said sustainability and the environmental aspect is kind of important to me, at least. There’s a reason for it. So if you manage to be agile as a team or as an organization, as a company, and you also say so. That you say, oh, we are an agile team. We are an agile company. Then this comes actually with an expectation. So just consider you say you are an agile team, and then people find out that you are not inclusive, that you are not welcoming all kinds of people, then I’m pretty sure people will say, well, I thought you are agile. Or if a company says it’s agile, but then people find out it’s not paying fairly, or it’s maybe even polluting the environment, then also people would say, well, I thought you are agile.

That’s actually still in the BOSSA nova book as well. The last part where we say, well, okay, you think you have managed that journey? Yes. On the one hand, you did, but now you need to look at your external responsibility. If you then look again at the values, that’s why I wanted to make that point here. Those values, the meaning of the values shift a little bit. So transparency then leads to making the company’s actions transparent both internally and externally. Or self-organization then means that we should regard the company as one node of a global network that creates an environment. It lives in together with other companies and societal institutions. So self-organization is now really not only what’s happening with the teams inside, but what’s actually the bigger part of the company. If we look at constant customer focus, then it means like understanding the economic, ecologic, societal, and social environment as a customer that needs permanent attention. So sometimes I do a shortcut to that and say, well, constant customer focus in that sense means we also take the planet as one of the stakeholders. And then continuous learning then means learning continuously from and with society to make the whole world a better place. So, again, it’s the same values. But now really more with the shift to what’s our external responsibility in the ecosystem we are living in as a company.

[00:49:50] Transparency

Henry Suryawirawan: Thank you for the plug of this sustainability angle. So I really love it, the way you explain and using the same four values. You mentioned transparency, self-organization, constant customer focus, and continuous learning. I have one interest about this transparency because I myself had experience in a non-transparent company versus very transparent company, and it’s really totally different. In a transparent company where you have access to all the information, you could even make sense of why certain decisions are made. I pick up a quote that you mentioned in the book from Michael Herman saying that troubles can be bounded by transparency. So I’d like you to maybe elaborate on this angle because I can see this is probably one of the insight that distinguish between non-transparency versus transparency. Why is it such the case that sometimes troubles is because of the boundary of transparency?

Jutta Eckstein: Well, the one thing is that we cannot solve a problem if we don’t know about it. And so, if we keep hiding stuff, like any kinds of troubles or problems, then they will sit there. Most often, that’s at least my experience, if we have a problem and it sits there, it typically doesn’t go away. Most often, it gets bigger. There might be some exceptions, but most of the time, a small problem gets bigger over time. So we need to be transparent.

Maybe it also has to do with courage. So we need to be courageous about stating the problems and therefore then being able to address them. The thing is, again, we are coming to the passion again. I mentioned that before, but what I see as well, that people point out problems, but then you find out nobody has the passion to solve it. So then we really have to accept that’s a problem. Maybe that’s not important to us, and then we should also start stating it as a problem, if that’s the case. Or we keep stating it as a problem, and then we need to ask why has nobody the passion to work on it? Maybe it’s not so pressing.

Henry Suryawirawan: I also had an episode with Jim Benson not so long ago where he shared this concept called Obeya, where people put all the information in one place so that everyone gets informed of anything that happens within the project, or maybe the department and team. And so you can make informed decision, what the problems are, what the solutions, decision records, probably. I think it’s also an interesting concept that I learned from Jim.

[00:52:22] 3 Tech Lead Wisdom

Henry Suryawirawan: So, Jutta, thank you so much for sharing all this. I think there are so many information. It’s like an information overload, because there are so many techniques that you mentioned, the values and the principles. I will refer people to read your book if they want to know more about all these different techniques. Unfortunately, we have to wrap up pretty soon. But before I let you go, I have one last question that I normally ask for all my guests, which is to share this thing called three technical leadership wisdom. So it’s like some kind of advice that you want to give to the listeners for them to also reflect and maybe adopt if it makes sense for them. So maybe if you can share what are your three technical leadership wisdom?

Jutta Eckstein: Well, I would think the first thing is you need to keep learning. So your learning journey never finishes, and maybe that’s a key thing, especially for leaders. Because sometimes we think we are now in a leading position and therefore this means we know it all, which definitely is not true. So we have to keep learning also from the people we are leading.

Maybe the other thing is we should be aware that we are only a leader because somebody is following us. So there’s no leadership by appointment, really, because if nobody follows and they don’t trust us as a leader, they will find a way around us. This, of course, is then a waste of time of everyone. It’s my own waste of time, because I try to be beneficial for my team, but my team doesn’t want that because it doesn’t feel it’s my team. Because it’s not following. So it’s also a waste of my own time and, of course, the time of the team as well. So there’s no leading without following.

And then, probably because we have talked so much around that, which is passion bound by responsibility. So also the people you are leading and the way you are working yourself, ensure that people can follow their passion. Again, bound by the responsibility that it cannot be something that’s completely outside of what the company is doing, or what’s important for us and so on. So it’s not that it’s going wild, but if you are working with the passion of people and which is also true for yourself, then I think everything is possible.

Henry Suryawirawan: Wow. I really like the leader, you cannot be without any followers. So it’s not only by appointment. Actually, you need to make sure that people can and do want to follow you. Maybe it comes back to the consent as well. They consent to have you as a leader as well, right?

Jutta Eckstein: Yeah. True. Yes.

Henry Suryawirawan: So thank you so much, Jutta, for your time. So for people who would like to follow your work or maybe reach out to you, if they want to ask further questions, is there a place where they can reach out?

Jutta Eckstein: Well, the easiest is to reach me on Twitter and my Twitter handle is JuttaEckstein. So first name, last name, one word. Or on LinkedIn, and I should be easy to be found there also just with my name there. They’re both fine.

Henry Suryawirawan: Thank you so much for your time, Jutta, and for explaining all this concept. I really like the BOSSA nova. So the different types of meanings that can come up out of that term. So thank you so much for sharing today.

Jutta Eckstein: Thank you for having me.

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