Kanji – Foundation

This course shows ambitious leaders how Agile Lean Leadership (ALL) can transform an organization. It demonstrates how to scale Agile and Lean principles for a single Team, for a whole organizations, for large projects or for single Teams handling multiple streams of work.

The module details, the Why, Who, What and When of the transitions and contrasts the approach  to Neo-Taylorist management.

This ALL Foundation course assumes prior knowledge of Agile and Lean thinking. It is for people who are Scrum Masters or Product Owners or have taken ALL course #1 Introduction. Read a PDF description of the course here…

Find the other courses in the series here:

The Challenge

Change in an organization is always hard. For decades the Neo-Taylorist, reductionist way of seeing an organization as a giant machine that can be programmed by the appropriate expert has dominated management thinking and been regarded by many as undisputed fact. Alongside this idea the imperial leader emerged, either of the bureaucratic or the heroic type. The worst consequence of this is the resulting separation of thinking and doing; people’s pride of workmanship is gone, as is their sense of autonomy and sometimes also their sense of purpose.

This approach may have worked well for mass production, or commodity type businesses, but in today’s highly technical and rapidly innovating world, the challenges are much more complex and the average worker, more highly educated and skilled. So faced with novel and complex challenges, organizations must learn how to organize in ways that allow them to  adapt and survive in uncharted territory, where knowledge may be fragmented or non-existent, requiring it to be acquired through experiment and analysis..

Luckily the solution requires more common-sense than rocket-science. In fact, as much as Agile-Lean Leadership is forward looking and innovative, it also reflects on a time when craftsmen were respected for their skills and trusted with the responsibility of doing their jobs well. Today’s “craftsmen” include engineers, designers, technologists and scientists, but the idea is the same, de-emphasize the top-down command and control approach and give responsibility to those doing the work. Make them accountable to their team, but allow them to solve their own issue with minimal external direction.

The Agile Lean Leadership Foundation course will teach the participants the foundation of building an organization that:

  • Is fast
    • Delivers value fast
    • Learns quickly
    • Changes quickly and inexpensively when needed
  • Has a consistency of purpose
    • Is focused on the long term and and the sustainable
  • Is reliable and resilient
    • keeps promises and commitments
    • Have high quality standards in all aspects
    • Is able to react quickly and sensibly to the unexpected
  • Is innovative
    • Have motivated, energetic employees
    • Can explore and experiment
    • Can handle complex challenges
  • Has balanced empathy
    • With the customer
    • With the employee
    • With other stakeholders and society at large

The following principles and models are used

  • Cynefin for complexity and sense-making
  • Systems Thinking
  • Design Thinking
  • Beyond Budgeting
  • Dual Leadership
  • Lean thinking, Scrum and Kanban
  • The Learning organization

Target group

Ambitious managers/leaders at middle and top level, who want to capitalize on the benefits of Agile Lean Leadership.

Learning objectives

Agile Lean Leadership Context

Understand the history of leadership and management. Understand how complexity has to change our ways of working and is  the antithesis to the prevailing Neo-Taylorist, plan and numbers-driven management paradigm. Understand intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.

Agile Lean Leadership Values and Principles

A deep understanding of the four values and 16 principles and ability to apply them in context. A deep understanding of the ALL pattern: Teams, Circles on different levels, manifests and relationships and why these patterns work.

Agile Lean Leadership Organization

Principles and practices of organizational design. Starting from the periphery, where the real customers and clients are and working towards the service teams in the center. How to handle and escalate opportunities and issues.


  • Opening gambit
  • What’s in it for us? Reality check, the challenges and benefits of ALL, why is it a plausible way forward?
  • The Age of Complexity – Theory, Cynefin in detail. How to use this in daily life and choose the right approaches in actual contexts.
  • The history of management and leadership – How did we get here? The rise of Neo-Taylorism and its consequences. Where did all things Agile and Lean come from? Lean thinking, Scrum and Kanban, Systems Thinking, Beyond Budgeting, The Learning organization.
  • Intrinsic motivation and team work – with checks and balances. People want to have purpose, autonomy and mastery.
  • Agile Lean Leadership, the four values and 16 principles – Clarity of purpose, a clear vision. A clear line of sight to the customer, be clear on who is served and why. Leadership in complex domains, the organization as a complex organism. Binding people together with common goals and values, not rules and regulations. Focus on sustainability and resilience, keeping everything working through time and changes. Building psychological safety and leading for learning.
Circle Relationship Map
  • The ALL organizational pattern – How to generalize Teams into Circles with Relationships in a network. Primary focus on serving the customer, decision making and escalation, cross-cutting concerns.
    • The power of a hierarchy of Circles (Level two Circles or Teams of Teams) for Escalation and Resolution.
    • The power of guilds (Secondary Circles). Dealing with skill-based, cross-cutting concerns.
    • The power of manifests for Circles and Relationships.
    • The Organizational Relationship Map (ORM) showing Circles and Relationships.
  • The Roles in ALL
    • The dual leadership pattern, inherited from Scrum.
  • Application of the pattern to the special cases of Scaling Up (several Teams and one backlog) and Scaling Down (One Team and several Backlogs)
  • A Model ALL organization is built – A model ORM is built. Canvases are developed for the business case and the roadmap for introducing Agile Lean Leadership.

Deep Questions and Answers

“The temptation to lead as a chess master … must give way to that of a gardener” – Stanley McChrystal

Prices and Conditions for Courses

  • Each public ALL one-day course is offered at an Early-Bird price of EUR 640, USD 720 or DKK 4,950 when registering more than a month before the course date, after that the prices are: EUR 720, USD 900 or DKK 5,400.
  • Each public Public ALL-Certified to-day Course (ALLSM or ALLPO) is offered at an Early-Bird price of EUR 1,230, USD 1,350 or DKK 9,450 when registering more than a month before the course date, after that the price is EUR 1,350, USD 1,500 or DKK 10,450.
  • All Prices are excluding Danish VAT.
  • Courses include meals, course materials, certificate of participation, access to online resources and free participation in follow-up events for two years.
  • Participants can choose to sit an examination after each course. This consists of handing in a written assignment for review and assessment by the instructor and one independent instructor. The students will receive comments and a passed/failed note, grades are not given. The examination costs EUR 160, USD 180 or DKK 1,200. Read more here…
  • Registration via email at info@agileleanhouse.com, invoices are sent out from the organization arranging the training course. Payment has to be received before the start of the course.
  • Cancellation policy: Registration can be cancelled up until one month before the start of the course without any fees. Cancellation between one month and two weeks before the course start is charged with 50% of the course fee. Cancellation the last two weeks before the course start will be charged fully. Transfer to a later course can be negotiated, in case unforeseen circumstances appear.
  • For free events we kindly ask participants to register via email at info@agileleanhouse.com. Registration can be cancelled up to 24 hours before the event FOC. After that, a no-show fee of EUR 55, USD 60 or DKK 400 will be invoiced.
  • The courses are also offered as internal, on-site courses for organizations and companies. Normally a minimum of 10 participants are required. If you are interested please contact us for further information, via email here… or find the right contact person here…

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