Phil LeNir is co-founder and managing partner of CoachingOurselves, which is a peer-coaching program developed by Phil LeNir and Henry Mintzberg that enables managers and leaders to learn from and coach each other, and organizations to build capacity for self-development. Phil has authored numerous articles and published a book in Japan on Social and Informal Learning for Managers.
Prior to CoachingOurselves, he spent 15 years in management positions in high tech companies specializing in speech-recognition systems. He has a patent on Speech Recognition and Speaker Verification using distributed speech processing, and he holds a Masters of Management and Honours Electrical Engineering degree from McGill University (Montréal, Canada).
In 2014, Professor Henry Mintzberg published his online manifesto: Rebalancing Society…Radical Renewal Beyond Left, Right, and Center. In this work, Mintzberg explains that our fundamental understanding of society, politics, and systems is being distorted by our tendency to see everything from a linear, black and white, perspective. For example: right vs. left, public vs. private, capitalism vs. communism, and so forth. In reality, our beliefs exist somewhere in the middle and, as a result, we define them in relation to these extremes. This has not only propagated many of the political and societal issues around the world today, but it has also resulted in pendulum politics and political paralysis that stymies attempts at change.
What is the solution? Mintzberg proposes a completely new design; a balanced society based on three sectors: private, public, and plural. The plural sector is communities, citizens, and civil society… it is us, caring and working together for change. Yes, it has always existed, but it has never been granted equal importance to the public and private sectors. This plural sector balances the extremes in our society, politics, and the world to solve many of the problems we are facing today.
How does this relate to agile organizations? The agile approach is a humanistic approach that balances the often rigid, analytical, and mechanistic approach to leading and running organizations. In the typical approach to project management, people are called resources and projects are broken down into tasks for these resources. What a dehumanizing view of real people in organizations! Unfortunately, most people are primed for this style of management from very early on, reviewing case study after case study that remove the human aspect from managing, turning them into cold and calculating leaders. No wonder most organizations today are led by people who can easily take advantage of their workforce, communities, and society as a whole to ensure their own success.
In comparison, the agile approach to management and leadership development results in a caring and engaged form of managing that greatly enhances an organization’s effectiveness. Though it can be challenging to switch to an agile management style, once achieved it’s hard to imagine how your organization ever functioned or was productive before.
So, how do you do it? CoachingOurselves is a great example of an agile approach to management and leadership development. Co-founded and based on the teachings of Henry Mintzberg, CoachingOurselves’ peer coaching methodology promotes modern, engaged, and people-focused management that helps train better leaders and build organizational culture through learning and collaboration. We believe that by training better managers, we will make organizations and communities better places. CoachingOurselves compliments and helps create agility in organizations and around projects, changing the nature of organizations and, in broader terms, contributing to a more balanced society.
To learn more, come visit us at the Pyxis booth on November 30th at Agile Tour Montreal 2017.