Data Privacy – Proactive not Reactive; Preventative not Remedial

With the shift from industrial manufacturing to knowledge creation and service delivery, the value of information and the need to manage it responsibly have grown dramatically. At the same time, rapid innovation, global competition and increasing system complexity present profound challenges for informational privacy.

While we would like to enjoy the benefits of innovation − new conveniences and efficiencies − we must also preserve our freedom of choice and personal control over our data flows. Always a social norm, privacy has nonetheless evolved over the years, beyond being viewed solely as a legal compliance requirement, to also being recognized as a market imperative and critical enabler of trust and freedoms in our present-day information society.

There is a growing understanding that innovation, creativity and competitiveness must be approached from a “design-thinking” perspective − namely, a way of viewing the world and overcoming constraints that is at once holistic, interdisciplinary, integrative, innovative, and inspiring.

Privacy, too, must be approached from the same design-thinking perspective. Privacy must be incorporated into networked data systems and technologies, by default. Privacy must become integral to organizational priorities, project objectives, design processes, and planning operations. Privacy must be embedded into every standard, protocol and process that touches our lives. This document seeks to make this possible by striving to establish a universal framework for the strongest protection of privacy available in the modern era.

The 7 Foundational Principles of Privacy by Design are presented below in Bold, followed by the FIPs principles that map onto each one.

Proactive not Reactive; Preventative not Remedial

The Privacy by Design approach is characterized by proactive rather than reactive measures. It anticipates and prevents privacy invasive events before they happen. PbD does not wait for privacy risks to materialize, nor does it offer remedies for resolving privacy infractions once they have occurred − it aims to prevent them from occurring. In short, Privacy by Design comes before-the-fact, not after.

Whether applied to information technologies, organizational practices, physical design, or networked information ecosystems, PbD begins with an explicit recognition of the value and benefits of proactively adopting strong privacy practices, early and consistently (for example, preventing (internal) data breaches from happening in the first place). This implies:

  • A clear commitment, at the highest levels, to set and enforce high standards of privacy − generally higher than the standards set out by global laws and
  • A privacy commitment that is demonstrably shared throughout by user communities and stakeholders, in a culture of continuous
  • Established methods to recognize poor privacy designs, anticipate poor privacy practices and outcomes, and correct any negative impacts, well before they occur in proactive, systematic, and innovative

Privacy as the Default

We can all be certain of one thing the default rules! Privacy by Design seeks to deliver the maximum degree of privacy by ensuring that personal data are automatically protected in any given IT system or business practice. If an individual does nothing, their privacy still remains intact. No action is required on the part of the individual to protect their privacy it is built into the system, by default.

 This PbD principle, which could be viewed as Privacy by Default, is particularly informed by the following FIPs:

  • Purpose Specification – the purposes for which personal information is collected, used, retained, and disclosed shall be communicated to the individual (data subject) at or before the time the information is collected. Specified purposes should be clear, limited and relevant to the
  • Collection Limitation – the collection of personal information must be fair, lawful and limited to that which is necessary for the specified
  • Data Minimization − the collection of personally identifiable information should be kept to a strict minimum. The design of programs, information and communications technologies, and systems should begin with non-identifiable interactions and transactions, as the default. Wherever possible, identifiability, observability, and linkability of personal information should be
  • Use, Retention, and Disclosure Limitation – the use, retention, and disclosure of personal information shall be limited to the relevant purposes identified to the individual, for which he or she has consented, except where otherwise required by Personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary to fulfill the stated purposes, and then securely destroyed.

Where the need or use of personal information is not clear, there shall be a presumption of privacy and the precautionary principle shall apply: the default settings shall be the most privacy protective.

Privacy Embedded into Design

Privacy by Design is embedded into the design and architecture of IT systems and business practices. It is not bolted on as an add-on, after the fact. The result is that privacy becomes an essential component of the core functionality being delivered. Privacy is integral to the system, without diminishing functionality.

Privacy must be embedded into technologies, operations, and information architectures in a holistic, integrative and creative way. Holistic, because additional, broader contexts must always be considered. Integrative, because all stakeholders and interests should be consulted. Creative, because embedding privacy sometimes means re-inventing existing choices because the alternatives are unacceptable.

  • A systemic, principled approach to embedding privacy should be adopted − one that relies upon accepted standards and frameworks, which are amenable to external reviews and audits. All fair information practices should be applied with equal rigour, at every step in the design and
  • Wherever possible, detailed privacy impact and risk assessments should be carried out and published, clearly documenting the privacy risks and all measures taken to mitigate those risks, including consideration of alternatives and the selection of
  • The privacy impacts of the resulting technology, operation or information architecture, and their uses, should be demonstrably minimized, and not easily degraded through use, misconfiguration or

Full Functionality – Positive-Sum, not Zero-Sum

Privacy by Design seeks to accommodate all legitimate interests and objectives in a positive-sum “win- win” manner, not through a dated, zero-sum approach, where unnecessary trade-offs are made. Privacy by Design avoids the pretence of false dichotomies, such as privacy vs. security, demonstrating that it is possible, and far more desirable, to have both.

Privacy by Design does not simply involve the making of declarations and commitments − it relates to satisfying all legitimate objectives − not only the privacy goals. Privacy by Design is doubly-enabling in nature, permitting full functionality − real, practical results and beneficial outcomes to be achieved for multiple parties.

  • When embedding privacy into a given technology, process, or system, it should be done in such a way that full functionality is not impaired, and to the greatest extent possible, that all requirements are optimized.
  • Privacy is often positioned in a zero-sum manner as having to compete with other legitimate interests, design objectives, and technical capabilities, in a given domain. Privacy by Design rejects taking such an approach – it embraces legitimate non-privacy objectives and accommodates them, in an innovative positive-sum manner.
  • All interests and objectives must be clearly documented, desired functions articulated, metrics agreed upon and applied, and trade-offs rejected as often being unnecessary, in favour of finding a solution that enables multi-functionality.

Additional recognition is garnered for creativity and innovation in achieving all objectives and functionalities in an integrative, positive-sum manner. Entities that succeed in overcoming outmoded zero-sum choices are demonstrating first-class global privacy leadership, having achieved the Gold Standard.

End-to-End Security – Lifecycle Protection

Privacy by Design, having been embedded into the system prior to the first element of information being collected, extends securely throughout the entire lifecycle of the data involved — strong security measures are essential to privacy, from start to finish. This ensures that all data are securely retained, and then securely destroyed at the end of the process, in a timely fashion. Thus, Privacy by Design ensures cradle to grave, secure lifecycle management of information, end-to-end.

Privacy must be continuously protected across the entire domain and throughout the life-cycle of the data in question. There should be no gaps in either protection or accountability. The “Security” principle has special relevance here because, at its essence, without strong security, there can be no privacy.

  • Security − Entities must assume responsibility for the security of personal information (generally commensurate with the degree of sensitivity) throughout its entire lifecycle, consistent with standards that have been developed by recognized standards development
  • Applied security standards must assure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of personal data throughout its lifecycle including, inter alia, methods of secure destruction, appropriate encryption, and strong access control and logging

Visibility and Transparency

Privacy by Design seeks to assure all stakeholders that whatever the business practice or technology involved, it is in fact, operating according to the stated promises and objectives, subject to independent verification. Its component parts and operations remain visible and transparent, to both users and providers alike. Remember, trust but verify!

 Visibility and transparency are essential to establishing accountability and trust. This PbD principle tracks well to Fair Information Practices in their entirety, but for auditing purposes, special emphasis may be placed upon the following FIPs:

  • Accountabilty – The collection of personal information entails a duty of care for its protection. Responsibility for all privacy-related policies and procedures shall be documented and communicated as appropriate, and assigned to a specified individual. When transferring personal information to third parties, equivalent privacy protection through contractual or other means shall be
  • Openness – Openness and transparency are key to accountability. Information about the policies and practices relating to the management of personal information shall be made readily available to individuals.
  • Compliance – Complaint and redress mechanisms should be established, and information communicated about them to individuals, including how to access the next level of appeal. Necessary steps to monitor, evaluate, and verify compliance with privacy policies and procedures should be taken.

Respect for User Privacy

Above all, Privacy by Design requires architects and operators to keep the interests of the individual uppermost by offering such measures as strong privacy defaults, appropriate notice, and empowering user-friendly options. Keep it user-centric!

The best Privacy by Design results are usually those that are consciously designed around the interests and needs of individual users, who have the greatest vested interest in the management of their own personal data.

Empowering data subjects to play an active role in the management of their own data may be the single most effective check against abuses and misuses of privacy and personal data. Respect for User Privacy is supported by the following FIPs:

  • Consent – The individual’s free and specific consent is required for the collection, use or disclosure of personal information, except where otherwise permitted by The greater the sensitivity of the data, the clearer and more specific the quality of the consent required. Consent may be withdrawn at a later date.
  • Accuracy – personal information shall be as accurate, complete, and up-to-date as is necessary to fulfill the specified
  • Access – Individuals shall be provided access to their personal information and informed of its uses and disclosures. Individuals shall be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as
  • Compliance – Organizations must establish complaint and redress mechanisms, and communicate information about them to the public, including how to access the next level of

Respect for User Privacy goes beyond these FIPs, and extends to the need for human-machine interfaces to be human-centered, user-centric and user-friendly so that informed privacy decisions may be reliably exercised. Similarly, business operations and physical architectures should also demonstrate the same degree of consideration for the individual, who should feature prominently at the centre of operations involving collections of personal data.



Mentoring : Why you definitely need a Mentor

When I started my career, I was very fortunate to have a mentor, I didn’t go out and find one, but was taken under the wing by a very astute leader. I was very fortunate to be on the receiving end of a great mentor and as Tom’s career took off, he always made time to be there and support. The long-term impact of his mentoring really was life and career changing.

In my own situation, the mentor was a Assistant to the Regional Director & I credit for guiding me in my development as a leader, a strategist and a more complete business professional.

He did not instruct me, or provide on-the-spot coaching or training. Instead, he challenged me; he encouraged me to think through issues and approaches with his painfully difficult to answer questions, and he served as a source of wisdom when I needed it the most. While our relationship as mentor and mentee (sometimes identified as: mentoree) ended after I changed companies, his impact carries through in my work today.

Mentoring and Coaching: Similar but Not the Same

The terms mentoring and coaching are often used interchangeably, and that is misleading. While similar in their support of someone’s development, they are very different disciplines in practice.

Mentoring is a long term relationship where the focus is on supporting the growth and development of the mentee. The mentor is a source of wisdom, teaching and support, but not someone who observes and advises on specific actions or behavioral changes in daily work.

Coaching is typically a relationship of finite duration where the focus is on strengthening or eliminating specific behaviors in the here and now. Coaches are engaged to help professionals correct behaviors that detract from their performance or, to strengthen those that support stronger performance around a set of activities.

Both mentoring and coaching are incredibly valuable in providing developmental support, however, one offers high-level guidance for long-term development and the other helps you improve immediately.

History and Definition:

The original Mentor is a character in Homer’s epic poem: The Odyssey. When Odysseus, King of Ithaca went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his kingdom to Mentor. Mentor served as the teacher and overseer of Odysseus’ son, Telemachus.

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.” Others expand on that definition by suggesting that a mentor is “someone who is helping you with your career, specific work projects or general life advice out of the goodness of his or her heart.

Why Seek Out a Mentor?

As described earlier, I attribute part of my professional growth to the guidance of a patient mentor. He challenged me to think differently and to open my eyes and mind to different perspectives. While each of us develop at our own pace, it is reasonable to believe that this type of influence is positive for all of us.

A mentor is a personal advocate for you, not so much in the public setting, but rather in your life.

Many organizations recognize the power of effective mentoring and have established programs to help younger professionals identify and gain support from more experienced professional in this format.

What a Mentor Does for You:

A mentor takes a long-range view on your growth and development.
A mentor helps you see the destination but does not give you the detailed map to get there.
A mentor offers encouragement and cheer leading, but not “how to” advice.

What a Mentor Does Not Do for You:

A mentor is not a coach as explained above.
A mentor is typically not an advocate of yours in the organizational environment: the relationship is private.
A mentor is not going to tell you how to do things.
A mentor is not there to support you on trans actional, short-term problems.
A mentor is not a counselor.

Understanding the role of the mentor is a critical starting point for success in this relationship.

Additional requirements include:

Investing your time in seeking out the mentor.
Sharing your goals and fears openly.
Not expecting the mentor to solve your short-term problems or do the work for you.
Not expecting specific advice.
Sharing where you are struggling or failing.
Listening carefully and then researching and applying the mentor’s guidance.
Showing that you value the mentor’s support.
Not abusing the relationship by expecting political support in the organization.
The Bottom Line:

A mentor can be a difference maker in your career and life. It is important to come to the relationship with open eyes on the role and to have proper expectations. And remember, the impact of a mentor’s guidance and wisdom now may not be felt for years to come. However, it will be felt.

Authenticity: A Key Aspect in Building Relations and Trust

Authenticity has been explored throughout history, from Greek philosophers to the work of Shakespeare (“To thy own self be true.” –Polonius, Hamlet), and Human beings seem to have a  remarkable capacity for creativity when it comes to making excuses for why things didn’t, or aren’t, turning out quite right.

From genetic predispositions and chemical imbalances to structural inequities and bad luck, a wide swath of humanity is convinced they are not to blame when their state of mind or life is undesirable.

Postmodernism is a term assigned to an intellectual movement that has increasingly dominated academic, cultural, and political circles since essentially posits that nothing really exists except that which is constructed through language, or that which is decreed by postmodern potentates to be true.

Principles of postmodernism promote a convenient credo of moral relativism, thus affording human beings with pretended power to redefine moral principles to suit their own capricious conceptions of right and wrong. However, well intentioned its acolytes may be, elevate human beings with the power to determine what is and what isn’t real on the contradictory premise that nothing really is at all, except that which is constructed by language and the pompous proclamations is largely fraught with selfishness, hedonism, confusion, nihilism, and hopelessness.

If you lead and build relationship this way, you will easily be found out by your employees.

The aim of Self-Action Leadership is not to create critics, but to develop doers. It seeks to teach and train those whose desires lie not outside the stadium in the cirque du critique, but inside the arena on the platforms of performance. In the words of President Teddy Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Leaders and followers both associate authenticity with sincerity, honesty, and integrity. It’s the real thing–the attribute that uniquely defines great managers! Authentic leadership is an approach to leadership that emphasizes building the leader’s legitimacy through honest relationships with followers which value their input and are built on an ethical foundation.

Developing on this quality organisations are able to approach their work in ways that express their individuality and they feel more personally invested and accountable as a result.  They experiment to see what works best, building flexible and innovative organizations.  And they examine why they do what they do and challenge assumptions.  This allows people to really get behind the boundaries that are reasonable and necessary, and creatively challenge those that have been formed by habit or tradition.  Authentic organizations generate trust and loyalty amongst stakeholders and clients.  And authentic organizations inspire productivity and resilience as workers increasingly stand behind, protect and take pride in where they work, devlopming new ways to deliver results

Authenticity is an anagram of employee engagement – It’s not really, but if you want to know what really gets people to to get involved? it’s the opportunity to do their work in their own way, to learn and grow within an organisation they believe in!

Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development

Erik Erikson proposed a psychoanalytic theory of psychosocial development comprising eight stages from infancy to adulthood. During each stage, the person experiences a psychosocial crisis which could have a positive or negative outcome for personality development.

Like Freud and Piaget, Erik Erikson was a constructivist who believed that children developed in stages, with the skills acquired at each level acting as building blocks for the next level.

Since he trained under Sigmund Freud’s daughter, Anna, much of Erikson’s theories were based on Freudian principles. However, he believed that his predecessors were too limited in their thinking.

According to Erikson, the ego develops as it successfully resolves crises that are distinctly social in nature. These involve establishing a sense of trust in others, developing a sense of identity in society, and helping the next generation prepare for the future.

Erikson extends on Freudian thoughts by focusing on the adaptive and creative characteristic of the ego, and expanding the notion of the stages of personality development to include the entire lifespan.

Like Freud and many others, Erik Erikson maintained that personality develops in a predetermined order, and builds upon each previous stage. This is called the epigenic principle.

The outcome of this ‘maturation timetable’ is a wide and integrated set of life skills and abilities that function together within the autonomous individual. However, instead of focusing on sexual development (like Freud), he was interested in how children socialize and how this affects their sense of self.

Erikson’s (1959) theory of psychosocial development has eight distinct stages, taking in five stages up to the age of 18 years and three further stages beyond, well into adulthood. Erikson suggests that there is still plenty of room for continued growth and development throughout one’s life. Erikson puts a great deal of emphasis on the adolescent period, feeling it was a crucial stage for developing a person’s identity.

Like Freud, Erikson assumes that a crisis occurs at each stage of development. For Erikson (1963), these crises are of a psychosocial nature because they involve psychological needs of the individual (i.e. psycho) conflicting with the needs of society (i.e. social).

According to the theory, successful completion of each stage results in a healthy personality and the acquisition of basic virtues. Basic virtues are characteristic strengths which the ego can use to resolve subsequent crises. Failure to successfully complete a stage can result in a reduced ability to complete further stages and therefore a more unhealthy personality and sense of self. These stages, however, can be resolved successfully at a later time.

The eight key stages he described were:

Trust vs. Mistrust:This stage occurs between the ages of birth and 2 years and is centered on developing a sense of trust in caregivers and the world. Children who receive responsive care are able to develop the psychological quality of hope.

Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt:This stage takes place between the ages of 2 and 3 years and involves gaining a sense of independence and personal control. Success in this stage allows people to develop will and determination.

Initiative vs. Guilt:Between the ages of 3 and 6 years, children begin to explore their environment and exert more control over their choices. By successfully completing this stage, children are able to develop a sense of purpose.

Industry vs. Inferiority: The stage that takes place between the ages of about 5 and 11 years is focused on developing a sense of personal pride and accomplishment. Success at this point in development leads to a sense of competence.

Identity vs. Confusion: The teen years are a time of personal exploration. Those who are able to successfully forge a healthy identity develop a sense of fidelity. Those who do not complete this stage well may be left feeling confused about their role and place in life.

Intimacy vs. Isolation: The stage that takes place in early adulthood is all about forging healthy relationships with others. Success leads to the ability to form committed, lasting, and nurturing relationships with others.

Generativity vs. Stagnation: At the stage occurring during middle adulthood, people become concerned with contributing something to society and leaving their mark on the world. Raising a family and having a career are two key activities that contribute to success at this stage.

Integrity vs. Despair: The final stage of psycho-social development takes place in late adulthood and involves reflecting back on life. Those who look back and feel a sense of satisfaction develop a sense of integrity and wisdom, while those who are left with regrets may experience bitterness and despair.


Further Reading

Bee, H. L. (1992). The developing child. London: HarperCollins.
Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.
Erickson, E. (1958). Young man Luther: A study in psychoanalysis and history. New York: Norton.
Erikson, E. H. (Ed.). (1963). Youth: Change and challenge. Basic books.
Erikson, E. H. (1964). Insight and responsibility. New York: Norton.
Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.
Erikson, E. H., Paul, I. H., Heider, F., & Gardner, R. W. (1959). Psychological issues (Vol. 1). International
Universities Press.

Change the World by Making Your Bed – by Admiral William McRaven

Admiral William McRaven, author of “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe The World,” explains how making your bed every morning can have a positive impact on your well-being and behavior throughout the rest of the day.

McCraven, the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, relayed several lessons he has learned in 36 years as a Navy SEAL, starting with some advice that was music to the ears of exasperated mothers everywhere.

“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.

The human brain is wired to favor routine over novelty, even if that routine is unhealthy. A recent study published in the journal Neuron(link is external) found that habits and goals are stored differently in the human brain. Specifically, a region known as the orbitofrontal cortex is responsible for converting wishful goals into solid, automatic habits via the neural messengers known as endocannabinoids.



Change for the Better

The only prerequisites for successful change are a willingness to learn and make small incremental changes that will result in increased levels of resilience and an ability to deal with change that does not result in negative stress.

Change both inside and outside of the business world is becoming increasingly complex, fast-paced and ambiguous resulting in feelings of uncertainty, confusion and fear.

Our ability to deal effectively with the nature and pace of change is being tested daily and resulting in reduced resilience levels and increased negative stress. This is UNSUSTAINABLE.

When Dealing with Change and Building Resilience you should understand what’s going on in your brain when faced with unprecedented levels of challenge:-

  • move through the change process quicker
  • change your current perspectives about how you think about change
  • bounce back out of the dips of work and home life
  • return to thinking clearly and rationally regardless of the levels of pressure
  • make informed, balanced decisions and
  • problem-solve in a calm and considered state    

Explore at a deep level what good and bad stress is, the nature and origins of change from our earliest of times and how you can override our evolutionary instinctual reactions to be able to respond and tackle life and work challenges head-on – with a calm and considered demeanour.

The ability to stay cool under pressure is a critical element of being an effective corker, manager or leader. You need to role model the behaviours we expect in others and that includes understanding your emotions, your emotional responses and how to dampen down heightened emotions and respond calmly.

You should leverage leadership and management experience that deliver strategies that work, making lasting, sustainable behavioural and attitudinal change.

Focussing on the work to deepen knowledge and understanding accompanied by an appropriate and comprehensive set of reflection questions, should be the guiding light, with a vision that leaves your teams well directed with targets to deliver.

Attitude is Everything – Brian Shul – From Butterflies to Blackbirds

This video by Pilot/Author Brian Shul is an inspiration. Brian was born in Quantico, Virginia, in 1948. He graduated from East Carolina University in 1970 with a degree in History. That same year he joined the Air Force and attended pilot training at Reese AFB in Texas.

Brian served as a Foreign Air Advisor in the Viet Nam conflict, flying 212 close air support missions in conjunction with Air America. Near the end of all hostilities, his AT-28 aircraft was shot down near the Cambodian border. Unable to eject from the aircraft, Brian was forced to crash land into the jungle. Miraculously surviving, he was severely burned in the ensuing fireball. Crawling from the burning wreckage, he was finally found and rescued by a Special Forces team.

Watch his Story below

Thoughtfully shared with me by John H. Russell

Building Processes that Reduce Waste & Create Capacity

Building processes that work, is quite a straightforward task, we can take out our pens, and sit and record how it works, but building processes that reduce waste is a whole different ball game.

What Exactly is Waste?
The simplest way to describe waste is as “Something that adds no Value.”  Would you be happy if you received a bill in a restaurant that included a meal that was prepared in error? No; you would argue and demand that it was removed from your bill; yet if you buy a product in a store the price that you pay will contain costs that you would not want to pay. Would you want to pay for the machine operators wages whilst they sat idle waiting for a delivery, or for the rework processes that had to be undertaken because the machine was incorrectly set, or even for storing your product for three months before it was delivered to the store? These wastes are included within the cost of your products, either inflating the price you pay or reducing the profit of the company.

Why Remove Waste?
Profit is your selling price less your costs, no matter how you think about the selling price it is very much dictated by the market not by yourself. If you charge too much then your customers will go elsewhere, even if you charge too little you may lose customers as they will perceive there may be something wrong with what you are offering. Therefore the only way you have to improve your profits are to reduce your costs; this means removing all elements of waste from your processes.

In addition to improving profits you will find that waste has a major impact on your customer’s satisfaction with your products and services. Customers want on time delivery, perfect quality and at the right price.

Leadership is Different to Management

Leadership is very different to management, and yet it is easy to consider them both as the one in the same. Management, is ensure processes are followed, reports are completed and targets are achieved. Management by Objective.

Leadership is enabling your people , to be the best they can be, helping to work with pride, feeling valued and adding value.

Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position in the hierarchy of a company. Too many talk about a company’s leadership referring to the senior most executives in the organisation. They are just that, senior executives. Leadership doesn’t automatically happen when you reach a certain pay grade.

Leadership has nothing to do with personal attributes. Say the word “leader” and most people think of a domineering, take-charge charismatic individual. We often think of icons from history like Winston Churchill or President Lincoln. But leadership isn’t an adjective. We don’t need extroverted charismatic traits to practice leadership. And those with charisma don’t automatically lead.

Leadership to empower others to self-organise. Providing clear direction while allowing employees to organise their own time and work is an important leadership competency. No leader can do everything themselves. Therefore, it’s critical to distribute power throughout the organisation and to rely on decision making from those who are closest to the work.

Leadership is Fostering a sense of connection and belonging. “communicate often and openly” and “create a feeling of succeeding and failing together as a pack” build a strong foundation for connection. We are a social species — we want to connect and feel a sense of belonging. From an evolutionary perspective, attachment is important because it improves our chances of survival in a world full of predators.

Leadership is showing openness to new ideas and promoting organisational learning. they encourage learning; they don’t, they dont stifle it. Admitting you’re wrong isn’t easy, and the negative effects of stress on brain function are partly to blame — in this case they impede learning. To encourage learning among employees, you must first ensure that they are open to learning (and changing course) themselves.

Leadership is Nurturing growth. Think of the people to whom you’re most grateful — parents, teachers, friends, mentors. Chances are, they’ve cared for you or taught you something important. Showing a commitment to peoples growth, will enable employees to be motivated to reciprocate, expressing their gratitude or loyalty by going the extra mile. While managing through fear generates stress, which impairs higher brain function, the quality of work is vastly different when we are compelled by appreciation. If you want to inspire the best from your team, advocate for them, support their training and promotion, and go to bat to sponsor their important projects.

These seven areas present significant challenges to leaders due to the natural responses that are hardwired into us.

Deep self-reflection and a shift in perspective (perhaps aided by a coach), there are also enormous opportunities for improving everyone’s performance by focusing on our own.

Building Technology that Works – Agility

We have built business here in the Western World based on a Financial model including Departments, Budgets and a Project & Programme Managers to keep technology builds on budget and on time, leading a Sequential Development, or the Waterfall methodology..

Agile is a term used to describe a general approach to software development. All agile methods, including Scrum, emphasize teamwork, frequent deliveries of working software, close customer collaboration, and the ability to respond quickly to change.

Where Did Agile Come From?
In 1970, Dr. Winston Royce presented a paper entitled “Managing the Development of Large Software Systems,” which criticised sequential development. He asserted that software should not be developed like an automobile on an assembly line, in which each piece is added in sequential phases. In such sequential phases, every phase of the project must be completed before the next phase can begin. Dr. Royce recommended against the phase based approach in which developers first gather all of a project’s requirements, then complete all of its architecture and design, then write all of the code, and so on. Royce specifically objected to this approach due to the lack of communication between the specialised groups that complete each phase of work.

It’s easy to see how the “waterfall” methodology is far from optimised compared to agile methodology. First of all, it assumes that every requirement of the project can be identified before any design or coding occurs. Put another way, do you think you could tell a team of developers everything that needed to be in a piece of software before it was up and running? Or would it be easier to describe your vision to the team if you could react to functional software? Many software developers have learned the answer to that question the hard way: At the end of a project, a team might have built the software it was asked to build, but, in the time it took to create, business realities have changed so dramatically that the product is irrelevant. In that scenario, a company has spent time and money to create software that no one wants. Couldn’t it have been possible to ensure the end product would still be relevant before it was actually finished?

Why Agile?
Agile development methodology provides opportunities to assess the direction of a project throughout the development lifecycle. This is achieved through regular cadences of work, known as sprints or iterations, at the end of which teams must present a potentially shippable product increment. By focusing on the repetition of abbreviated work cycles as well as the functional product they yield, agile methodology is described as “iterative” and “incremental.” In waterfall, development teams only have one chance to get each aspect of a project right. In an agile paradigm, every aspect of development — requirements, design, etc. — is continually revisited throughout the lifecycle. When a team stops and re-evaluates the direction of a project every two weeks, there’s always time to steer it in another direction.

The results of this “inspect-and-adapt” approach to development greatly reduce both development costs and time to market. Because teams can develop software at the same time they’re gathering requirements, the phenomenon known as “analysis paralysis” is less likely to impede a team from making progress. And because a team’s work cycle is limited to two weeks, it gives stakeholders recurring opportunities to calibrate releases for success in the real world. Agile development methodology helps companies build the right product. Instead of committing to market a piece of software that hasn’t even been written yet, agile empowers teams to continuously replan their release to optimize its value throughout development, allowing them to be as competitive as possible in the marketplace. Development using an agile methodology preserves a product’s critical market relevance and ensures a team’s work doesn’t wind up on a shelf, never released.