Knowing “What Really Matters” in your life is the first step to designing the life you want that is full of satisfaction, joy, and fulfillment. Knowing “What Really Matters” in your business can create a powerful level of focus to help you create greater results. It’s easy to get swept away with the busy world we live in now with social media distractions, texts, emails, and other notifications going off all day on our phone. It can also be easy to slip into being supportive of the people around you without taking the time to really focus on what is important to you – the things you find fulfilling and the results you want to create.

If you never step back to think about what matters, you may be wandering aimlessly in a repetitive cycle from week to week and not feel like you’re getting ahead. Even if you do know “What Really Matters” – are you taking the active steps forward that will help you  achieve these goals and make the results you say you want a reality?

Enter the Personal Agility System Alignment Compass. A powerful visual tool for helping you reflect on where you’ve been spending your time to see if your behaviors, actions, and patterns are in alignment with the things you say are important. While your Priorities Map will help you see what you’ve achieved, the Alignment Compass provides an additional layer of insights, a holistic visualization of where you spend your focus.

You can see if you are in balance or if your attention has been pulled in different directions. This holistic view of how your actions have aligned with what you say matters can provide valuable insights and an opportunity to reflect while celebrating what you have achieved and providing the opportunity to choose differently if you want to create different results moving forward.

If you would like to learn more about the Personal Agility System and the Alignment Compass, join one of our upcoming events or training courses and unlock a level of higher performance: https://personalagilityinstitute.org/events

Join host, Piyali Karmakar and special guest, Mark Lombardi-Nelson at the Personal Agility Global Roundtable on September 16, 2021 at 12pm EST. Mark will be presenting on “Personal Agility for Leaders: The 5 Ms to Create Shared Actualization”

SAVE THE DATE! More details coming soon!

Join the Personal Agility Institute founders, Peter Stevens and Maria Matarelli, to explore the impact of alignment, purpose, and agility in business units of all sizes at the eXperience Agile global event on September 27th.

Executive practitioners of the Personal Agility System will share their experience achieving profitability goals, company turn-arounds and work-life balance for themselves and their organizations. Speakers include Walter Stulzer, Executive Director at Futureworks, a creative consultancy based in Zurich, Switzerland; Nayomi Handunnetti, Executive Director, Handun Villas & Restaurants in Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Ben Sever, CEO of eRemede, a fast growing med tech company in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA. 

Learn how applying Personal Agility as a leadership and coaching based framework can provide the foundation for the people in your organization to reach a state of higher performance.

After each executive shares their case, you can join the break-out rooms for a question and answer session with the executive of your choice to find inspiration, wisdom, and insights to accelerate your company’s own agile journey.

Join us → https://www.experienceagile.org

The Scrum Alliance hosted an interview series where they invited Peter Stevens and Maria Matarelli to talk about Personal Agility and how people can apply this simple approach in their life to do more of What Really Matters. Here, Peter and Maria discuss how to resolve relationship conflict using powerful questions which are a core staple in Personal Agility.

Read the full article: https://resources.scrumalliance.org/Article/resolve-relationship-conflict-powerful-questions-agile-coaches

The Scrum Alliance hosted an at-home agility interview series where they invited Peter Stevens and Maria Matarelli to talk about Personal Agility and how people can apply this simple approach in their life to do more of What Really Matters.

Watch the video interview: https://resources.scrumalliance.org/Video/high-impact-agile-practices-partnerships-families-friendships

Read the full article: https://resources.scrumalliance.org/Article/high-impact-agile-techniques-partnerships-friendships-families

The Personal Agility System helps people and organizations identify What Really Matters while providing a simple system to aid in achieving these goals. In addition to helping individuals and organizations gain clarity on What Really Matters, we go one step further to help people identify and create alignment. This could be alignment with the people in your life or in a work context, alignment with stakeholders and other teams throughout an organization.

Stakeholder alignment is important for any company using Agile. Having a clear vision for the teams to support clear initiatives that create a positive return on investment (ROI) for the organization.

We recognized early on how important it is to ensure that we create alignment with the people around us and alignment with the initiatives in an organization and we have created a tool at the Personal Agility Institute to help with just that.

Introducing the Stakeholder Interview Canvas. We have discovered this canvas can be a powerful tool when talking to stakeholders to uncover what is most important to them. The first column has questions related to “Who”, the second column has questions related to “Why”, and the third column has questions related to the “Desired Outcome”.

A powerful question at the core of Personal Agility, is “What Really Matters?” though we don’t immediately jump in to asking that question. We recommend going in the numerical order and jumping around the canvas. This encourages you to flow with the conversation and you can jump in and out of different questions as you go.

Begin with the first column with the questions related to “Who”. This is where we ask questions about the main goals or objectives.

Next, we go to the middle column and ask the questions related to “Why”. Here, we explore the challenges and impediments along with risks, concerns, fears, and frustrations.

As we approach the third column, we want to focus on the desired outcomes. This is where we ask about their definition of awesome and how we can support them in creating that outcome.

Next, we loop back around to summarize what really matters to the other person. You can summarize the top 3 areas of focus that emerged from the conversation or you may want to ask if they can clarify what the top 3 areas of importance are and identify any follow up steps.

Give it a try! Download a free copy of the Personal Agility Stakeholder Interview Canvas under the “Free Tools” section of the website here: https://personalagilityinstitute.org/freetools

We would love to hear how this tool works for you. Please give it a try and reach out to Maria (at) PersonalAgilityInstitute (dot) org to share your experience on how it helped!

 

 

Lyssa Adkins is best known as the author of the foundational book Coaching Agile Teams, which connected the Scrum Master role and Professional Coaching to give definition to the profession Agile Coach.

She co-founded the Agile Coaching Institute (ACI), which specialized in coaching agile coaches through their agile transformation. She led the development of the ACI until it was acquired by Accenture.

Challenge

Selling the company gave her a clean slate. “The key challenge I had around that time was how am I going to reorient myself and my business and even my public persona so that I can attract the business I wanted to attract, and so that I can do it in a way that didn’t sacrifice the sustainable pace I had very willingly and arduously crafted in my life?”

Desired Outcome

“I wanted clarity in how I spend my time, and to have more kindness to myself. I often didn’t count the things that were in the category of joy and play and family and community and alone time and recharging as valid or real. And I needed to.”

Result

“I definitely achieved that goal. One of my main categories under what really matters was called ample time. I wanted to have ample time to do everything I’m doing fully and well. I absolutely achieved that. Meanwhile, while the business piece was coming back up and getting reinvented, I found myself at the cusp of launching into new business ideas and new business ventures.”

“I had to constantly bring my attention to know relaxation is part of the job. Rejuvenation is part of the job; you’re actually doing tasks. You’re doing work by attending to your own foundation and the resilience that you will need in the future. This is what was going on in my head.”

“It took a long time to rewire the addiction to work, the addiction to achieving, and the addiction to saying yes to too many things (which meant I had to get them done). Getting past this addiction was a huge benefit. It took me a while to consistently direct my attention to what was really important.

That created a lot more happiness and joy in my own life, or maybe just helped me notice how much happiness and joy was already in my life.”

Tools

“Of all the tools of the Personal Agility System, what really stands out for me is the brilliant naming of the ‘Celebrate and Choose’ event.”

“I was on an addiction-to-work rollercoaster where I was moving from one thing to the next. And yes, I would have moments of recognizing my accomplishments or celebrating, but it was not a weekly ritual of celebrating what actually did happen.”

“Since I was tracking all this in my Priorities Map, I could clearly see what I accomplished.”

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh — I can’t believe I got that much done,’ even though I didn’t feel like I had been pushing myself. This new way of being was both more effective and more relaxed at the same time.”

“Personal Agility reminded me strongly that I do not celebrate enough. I wasn’t noticing enough what I accomplished or the gains I had made. I wasn’t giving myself any breaks or even trying to give myself a break. I had to rewire myself around the ritual of celebrating.”

“The ‘Celebrate and Choose’ event helped me recognize what actually did happen. Good, bad, or indifferent, it represents learning and I know I can choose differently next time. That was huge.”

Path to Success

“I think that the biggest thing about Agility itself is transparency.”

“That’s really it in a nutshell. When I get it all out on the Priorities Map — and I’m working my Priorities Map every single day — I’m seeing what’s going on and I’m seeing what I am not getting done. This allows me to be a more conscious choice maker. When I say I want something, and then notice that I’m making different choices, it’s easier to correct my choices toward what I want.”

“I am so aware that Personal Agility will continue to benefit me because it helps me ensure I have the right things on the calendar. My Priorities Map helps me do things completely and not overbook myself or go crazy with too much work in progress.”

Tips for your Journey

“I love the stories that we have heard from people pulling themselves out of desperate financial situations, to people getting in and out of business partnerships, and just making a lot of very declarative and meaningful changes in their lives.”

“Working with the Personal Agility Institute, I have really loved being involved with the groups that Maria Matarelli and I have led through the process. What I’ve learned is that everyone does it a little bit differently. And I love that. So I think to replicate my success, you just use the tools and follow along the process, and you’re going to do it your own way.”

“You will have different things that matter to you, you will have a different way that you’re charting your course across the ocean of your life, you will have different things that get in your way. My particular ways of getting in my own way will not be your particular ways. But all of this can be revealed and worked with in a really kind way.”

Janani Liyanage is an enterprise agile coach who is passionate about helping people embrace the agile mindset. “I want to support people on the road to their success.” Janani is married with an 8-year-old son and lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka. When she started with the Personal Agility System, she was working toward her certifications as a Scrum Trainer and Enterprise Coach. She wanted to connect her passion more with her profession. How could she feel that she is living her purpose every day?

Challenge

“As a person, I wanted to lead the life of a coach, not just do coaching. I wanted to know which opportunities would help me realize my purpose. I was doing too many things. It looked like many things were helping me achieve my purpose, but I wasn’t actually making any progress. I needed to do some filtering to focus on what really mattered.”

Desired Outcome

“I wanted to be my profession. To me, living the life of a coach means I want to lead an agile life. I want to share my inspiration with more and more people. An agile life for me means I want to do things that are meaningful and not always have to say, ‘I am too busy’. We are living in uncertain and chaotic times. I want to be able to stay calm and evaluate what really matters so I can do the right thing. I want to be open to new ideas and new opportunities. I want to get away from being perpetually busy.”

Result

“Initially, I was not able to accept that there was a problem. I would make excuses for why I wasn’t changing.”

“The first thing I achieved was awareness and acceptance. I became able to take accountability for my actions. I had to do some tough negotiations with various people in my life, like my family and my employer. It became much easier to have these crucial conversations.”

“Before, I was plagued by self-doubt and “inner chatter” that interfered with what I really wanted to achieve. Now I am able to act. I’m not sure if I can ever say that I have achieved an agile life, but I feel I am well on the path.”

Path to Success

Janani used the Celebrate and Choose Event, the PAS Priorities Map and Breadcrumb Trail, and the PAS Stakeholder Canvas.

“The Personal Agility System helped me build awareness and acceptance of myself. I could stop making excuses, face the challenges, and take action on the things that matter to me. Now it helps me to take the steps continuously. The next step is, I want to feel more accountable. The visualization of the PAS Priorities Map with the color codes helps me. Before, I needed someone else to appreciate my efforts. Now, with the Celebrate and Choose event, I realize it is more important to explain things to myself than to others. I can appreciate myself for the things that I did and have accountability for the things that I didn’t.”

Ben Sever is CEO of eRemede, the rapidly growing Health Tech company in Tampa, Florida. Their focus is enterprise level services that are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Challenge

The goal was to quickly establish the company as a player in a new line of business, despite the complexity and compliance requirements of health care solution. The whole team had already been through Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) training and they were already working more productively thanks to the training.

“My biggest challenge was the inability to let go and delegate large projects and deliverables to others. As a CEO, I was underutilizing my team and taking on too much. I wasn’t effectively delegating to my leadership team which led to me not working at a sustainable pace.”

Desired Outcome

“I hoped that the Personal Agility System would assist our entire company in understanding both ourselves and interactions with each other. I wanted my executive team to thoroughly understand the Agile mindset because they were already receptive to the business application. They knew Scrum, they knew Agile, as a concept, but Personal Agility allowed them to embody, embrace, and live optimally. If achieved, the outcome would be an organic co-creation of self-organizing teams and optimized performance.”

Result

“We reached our desired valuation in half the time.”

— Ben Sever, CEO eRemede

“Our original roadmap was to be worth $35 Million by the end of 3 years. We shortened the timeline to reach our desired valuation in half the time.”

“I gained clarity from stepping back and shifting my focus from doing all the work myself to delegating and shifting to self-organizing teams, so instead of having just a patient engagement platform, we added two other enterprise platforms that allowed us to penetrate any vertical and expand our market reach on a global level.”

Path to Success

Ben took advantage of the full palette of the Personal Agility System, including What Really Matters, the PAS Forces Map, PAS Priorities Map and Breadcrumb Trail, Celebrate and Choose and hearing stories from other Personal Agility Recognized Practitioners.

“The Personal Agility System allowed me to better understand my executive team because we’re empowering each other’s personal lives. It’s helping us all to be able to motivate each other and understand each other.”

“When you actually understand what really matters to each other, by looking at each other’s Priorities Maps you can more effectively hold each other accountable to their goals in their overall life. We had visibility into each other’s Forces Maps where we could see what was important to each other. This process increased the effectiveness of how the leadership team set the tone for the entire organization in getting business results. Celebrating each other’s growth while reflecting on smaller wins allowed for clarity in necessary ongoing steps and actions for continuous improvement.”

“We don’t just use Agile in development and leadership; we truly integrate Agile in a holistic view from business to our personal lives. This accountability helped us achieve our priorities in our personal lives and in business.”

“Overall, the Personal Agility System helped us achieve a culture in which delegation and motivation are appropriately in alignment. At the end of the day, we connected with people’s true motivations which evolved into organic self-organization and increased efficiency. Personal Agility brought transparency to the surface which led to increased trust, which led to more effective delegation. As people felt trusted, they felt empowered and motivated. Personal Agility helped us create trust, empowerment, and alignment, which is the backbone of culture.”

“Coaching had a profound impact and was an essential element of our success. I believe It’s imperative for a leadership team to have a coach. It is a great way to strengthen accountability in the team. Thanks to our coach, people spoke up more authentically. Although we had worked together for years and I thought I knew them, I learned things I never knew about my leadership team and we as a team grew together.”

“Having a coach maximizes the output by keeping the conversation on topic and facilitating true collaboration. There is something in the visualization and simplification that makes complex new projects seem simpler and more doable. We could see that exponential improvement didn’t need exponential effort. The essential service of a coach is to ask the right questions. When the coach has experience with leaders in similar situations, their authenticity and relatability help maximize insights. Our coach ensured that our conversations covered what really mattered and created an environment where deep thinking was possible. We were able to generate new insights and genuine answers.”

And

“The Personal Agility System helped my leadership team and I get visibility into each other’s lives and what was important to us, which helped us become even more connected as a team in all facets of our lives. I thought they were already rock stars, but it gave me the confidence as the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company to begin to effectively delegate so that my team could grow as autonomous leaders and the company could scale. By doing this, it freed me up from doing extensive operational execution so that I could be able to focus more on the vision and strategy with my advisory board. In that step alone, we were able to go from one flagship product offering to three which tripled our total addressable market.”

“As a culture-centric transparent CEO, I would recommend making Personal Agility mandatory as a part of the onboarding and business formation process, so that understanding people is the baseline and foundation of your teams.”

“I do believe that if we had learned Personal Agility sooner at the beginning of our Agile journey, this road toward exit would have been smoother. Personal Agility builds trust beyond what’s tangible so when you have to make tough decisions and innovative pivots, the foundation of trust minimizes disruption and enables self-organization around the change in direction. It enables increased accountability and ownership through delegation. When your culture is connected through shared trust, the roadmap to output will be smoother. We have a track record of operational efficiency, but to be able to pivot and shift seamlessly is where Personal Agility becomes essential.”

“I recommend other CEOs do Personal Agility with their executive team and maximize their insights by working with a coach to create cohesive alignment between personal and professional goals. This approach will ensure that leaders will have ongoing actionable realizations the way our team did that leads to true continuous improvement.”

“As our team grew and our clientele became Enterprise, we realized that it was essential to better understand our people. When leaders take the time to reflect on what really matters and take the time to understand the motivation of the people they work with every day, they are able to optimize the individual connections that lead to increased alignment.”

“When we first started, our success was reliant on the value of our product, however as we began to grow, the value of our people became equally as important to our focus on the value of the product.”

“If you’re asking people to execute critical tasks that affect business and culture, but you’ve only shown them the business application of Agile, you haven’t yet fully holistically empowered the person, you only gave them 50% to do the job. You didn’t hire a business to work in your business, you hired a person to work in your business. Therefore, the strategy I chose to empower every person on my team was through the Personal Agility System.”

“When you choose to go beyond developing a person’s performance in business to include the overall quality of their personal life, it becomes true optimization because a person is at work only one third of their day. You’ve got two thirds of other variables impacting their mood and productivity when they come into work. It’s a leader’s responsibility to enlighten people and show them that their personal wellbeing is a direct catalyst to their professional happiness and growth. It’s imperative to empower both if you want an ideal culture.”

Excerpted from Personal Agility, by Peter Stevens and Maria Matarelli.

In April 2019, Tuhan Sapumanage from Colombo, Sri Lanka was a last-year student at Coventry University (UK), working towards his BSc (Hons) Computing. He was also working as Operations Coordinator at TAC (the largest Social Media Marketing Company in Sri Lanka) and was President-Elect of the Colombo Gavel Club.

He had a lot of plates on his table. There was his degree, his job and his duties with Gavel Club, and a few other things. So he had a high workload and a lot of things to keep track of.

Tuhan explained his goals: “I wanted to systematically allocate my time to each of my duties. Not to give too much time to the wrong aspect. “

“Despite my high workload, I wanted to have time for family, friends and recreation.”

— Tuhan Sapumanage

“I was thrilled by the results. I was able to master my time management problem. Late in 2019, I was appointed Secretary of the All Island Gavel Community. I was able to discover a new passion which is to be an event-host compere (MC) as a hobby.

Cultivating my relationships with friends led to my becoming a recurring guest speaker for a national TV program aimed at giving the youth the opportunity to voice their opinions. And I successfully completed the Bachelors with a first class (with honors) and completed CIMA Mgt Level. Personal Agility also helped me to understand the Agile Module during university.”

The Personal Agility tools that Tuhan used included the 6 Questions of PAS, the concept of What Really Matters (WRM), the Celebrate and Choose Event, the PAS Priorities Map and Breadcrumb Trail, and the PAS Stakeholder Canvas.

Tuhan felt the “Celebrate and Choose” event was the single most important element.

“The Personal Agility System helped me to manage time, or better, helped me to manage myself to use the time available. Rather than get stressed out, I could appreciate what I did. I could take a break without feeling guilty about it. PAS helped me to identify the people who could help me achieve my goals. Asking the right people gave me an inside understanding and support for my future job application. This would not have happened if I hadn’t been using the PAS Stakeholder Canvas.

‘What Really Matters’ helped me establish my personal brand. By knowing WRM, this helped me to avoid chasing distractions.”