Stepping Stones into the Future through Leadership Agility (with Leadership Teams at Ericsson)

Within Ericsson we have gained lots of experience from Agile Way of working!
But what about our leadership? Have we become increasingly adoptable at responding to the degree of change and complexity that pervades today’s workplace?

Trigger for my curiosity and inspiration

My curiosity started in my work in leadership teams, and reading about adult learning and growing into new stages of awareness and leading. I had the opportunity to meet with a very inspirational leader in a different branch than where I’m working, and through understanding more about the work she has been doing from a co-creator way of leading, I got inspired to dare to start using some of my skills in the leadership teams I am active coaching in.

I created WS material for the Leadership Agility model

I created together with a colleague (Per) from a different part of Ericsson, four blocks of material around the Leadership Agility model, using some techniques from Training from the Back of the Room thinking. Each block in itself is self contained, and the theory is broken up with short presentations in the big group, self-reflections and “pair share” with a colleague and sharing with the rest of the group.

What we tried to achieve was…
– Communicating an understanding of the Leadership agility concept.
– Understanding of the Leadership Agility Compass (the supporting capabilities).
– A self-assessment of your own leadership maturity/style (according to the different maturity levels).
– And finally to define the next step in your own leadership development with the support of pair coaching (Buddy Coaching concept, thanks Micke!)


Picture: Leadership Agility Compass showing areas of concern. All are needed as you grow into new insight. None can be left out.

I dared trying it out ☺

The idea was to first try out in a safe environment, and learn from the interactions with the leaders participating. There was no master plan as an end vision, but as we went along there were doors opening to new experiences and settings to try this out. For me, this was my own ego trip in learning as much as possible, assisting the leaders in their learning process, and being as open as possible to the ”NOW” unrolling.

First we tried the WS in a small scale at a local Leadership Community of Practice at Ericsson in Kista.

Then continuing with a global Ericsson Community of Practice (“HTE”, High Performing Teams Environment). The material was explored over video conference and about five sites in different countries and continents, participated.

Next, three leadership teams tried it out. They were well known to each other and ready for the next step and wanted to be challenged. This was also run over video conference, and people from different sites/countries paired up via video.

I also used this as part of a face-to-face activity for a leadership team that is usually spread over four sites. Taking the opportunity to take the leadership to a new level when being in the same time zone, and as part of a full blown getting-to-know each other (and mostly ourselves) better when face-to-face. The workshop fit nicely together with fireside chats on purpose and also gave a stepping stone into the future and vision work.

As an outdoor activity, ”Radical Walk”

The most moving part of this story was to do the same setup but as an outdoor activity. I call this kind of outdoor and Leadership training a ”Radical Walk”. The walk was truly a journey for several of the participants. The basic idea of the concept is that we become creative, focused and even inspired while walking in nature!

For more info about the “Radical Walk concept” see the article Radical Walk. (under construction)

Photo 2014-05-08 09 13 42

Picture: Action Inquiry book by Torbert is under display. Otherwise, the training was done in post-heroic fasion, using the knowledge in the group as a base.

As an outdoor book circle, “Wood Wandering”

In addition to the WS activities I have started a Book Club together with some friends at Ericsson reading “Leadership Agility – Five Levels of Mastery for Anticipating and Initiating Change” by Bill Joiner & Stephen Josephs. We decided to experiment by doing it as a “Wood Wandering Book Circle”, at lunch time in the vicinity of the Kista office. Half of the participants from the “Radical Walk” also participate in this book circle ☺ It is weird to me, reading the book for the second and third time, and still new things pop up as I read. And also, for each new workshop I run on the subject, I actually tend to feel that maybe it is me who learn the most from these workshops? It could actually be true.

For more info about how we carried out the “Wood Wandering book circle” see the article Wood Wandering book circle (under construction)

More info and contact

For more information about “Leadership Agility”, see: White paper on Leadership Agility. Here is an article in Swedish that works as a good introduction, too.

If you want to know more about this initiative or arranging a Workshop as part of your transformation into a more Agile management team, don’t hesitate to contact me, or Per.