Skip to main content

Fist of Five – What does that mean?

So you use a Fist of Five consensus building technique to make decisions. That’s great! Does everyone in your group know what a five really means?

While reading about building a shared vision in the organization today, I ran across several words that the authors made a particular point to define and distinguish between them. Those words were: commitment, enrollment, and compliant. When discussing a corporate shared vision the distention between these is very important! For to have your organization truly committed to the vision is very different that enrolled in the vision or just compliant with the vision. The author states that real commitment is rare in today’s organizations. In his experience “90 percent of the time, what passes for commitment is compliance” (Senge, 2006).

The committed person brings passion and energy to the endeavor, they don’t play by the rules of the game, they feel responsible for the game itself, and if required change the game to achieve the goals. When multiple people are truly committed there is an awesome force to be reckoned.

The enrolled individual believes in the cause, and will support the effort, but is not going to great personal effort to ensure success. They may be nurtured into the committed camp, but that is not where they are starting from.

The compliant person will go along with the group. They do what is required and expected of them but they are not enrolled nor committed.

How would these words be mapped upon the Fist of Five?

5 – I am committed to the idea.
4 – I am enrolling in the group’s idea.
3 – I will be compliant with the idea.
2 – I do not support the idea as stated, and wish to discuss changes.
1 – I am against the idea as stated – period.
0 – I am not sure I understand the idea and need more clarification.

What does your Fist of Five mean? Is it just a graduated continuum from disagree (1) to agree (5)? If so you may receive deeper meaning and more passionate dialogs by attaching well defined meaning to the fingers. Try it, let me know what happens.

Comments

Most Popular on Agile Complexification Inverter

David's notes on "Drive"

- "The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us" by Dan Pink.

Amazon book order
What I notice first and really like is the subtle implication in the shadow of the "i" in Drive is a person taking one step in a running motion.  This brings to mind the old saying - "there is no I in TEAM".  There is however a ME in TEAM, and there is an I in DRIVE.  And when one talks about motivating a team or an individual - it all starts with - what's in it for me.

Introduction

Pink starts with an early experiment with monkeys on problem solving.  Seems the monkeys were much better problem solver's than the scientist thought they should be.  This 1949 experiment is explained as the early understanding of motivation.  At the time there were two main drivers of motivation:  biological & external influences.  Harry F. Harlow defines the third drive in a novel theory:  "The performance of the task provided intrinsic reward" (p 3).  This is Dan Pink's M…

Exercise:: Definition of Ready & Done

Assuming you are on a Scrum/Agile software development team, then one of the first 'working agreements' you have created with your team is a 'Definition of Done' - right?



Oh - you don't have a definition of what aspects a user story that is done will exhibit. Well then, you need to create a list of attributes of a done story. One way to do this would be to Google 'definition of done' ... here let me do that for you: http://tinyurl.com/3br9o6n. Then you could just use someone else's definition - there DONE!

But that would be cheating -- right? It is not the artifact - the list of done criteria, that is important for your team - it is the act of doing it for themselves, it is that shared understanding of having a debate over some of the gray areas that create a true working agreement. If some of the team believes that a story being done means that there can be no bugs found in the code - but some believe that there can be some minor issues - well, then yo…

Before Scaling Up - consider...

Before one scales up their functioning teams (I'm assuming one would not want to scale up non-functioning teams - yet I've seen that done) one should look for alternatives to the scaling problem.
"Scaling Agile methods is the last thing you should do" —@martinfowler, 2003This scaling problem has been studied:
"In 1957, British naval historian and management satirist Northcote Parkinson [known for Parkinson's law: “work expands to fill the time available for its completion”] painted a cynical picture of a typical committee: It starts with four or five members, quickly grows to nine or ten, and, once it balloons to 20 and beyond, meetings become an utter waste of time – and all the important work is done before and after meetings by four or five most influential members."


Why Big Teams Suck by Robert Sutton is a Stanford Professor and co-author (with Huggy Rao) of Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More without Settling for Less.
Studied in Academia "…

Do You Put “CSM” After Your Name?

I’ve noticed a new trend—people have been gaining titles. When I was younger, only doctors had initials (like MD) after their names. I always figured that was because society held doctors, and sometime priests (OFM) in such high regard that we wanted to point out their higher learning. I hope it was to encourage others to apply themselves in school and become doctors also. Could it have been boastful?

The Wikipedia describes these “post-nominal initials”:
Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, are letters placed after the name of a person to indicate that the individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honor. An individual may use several different sets of post-nominal letters. The order in which these are listed after a name is based on the order of precedence and category of the order. That’s good enough for me.
So I ask you: is the use of CSM or CSP an appropriate use of post-nominal initials?
If your not an agilista, you may wonder …

Situational Leadership II Model & Theory

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought the technique needed to move forward was one thing, yet the person leading (your leader) assumed something else was what was needed?  Did you feel misaligned, unheard, marginalized?  Would you believe that 54% of all leaders only use ONE style of leadership - regardless of the situation?  Does that one style of leading work well for the many levels of development we see on a team?

Perhaps your team should investigate one of the most widely used leadership models in the world ("used to train over 5 million managers in the world’s most respected organizations").  And it's not just for the leaders.  The training is most effective when everyone receives the training and uses the model.  The use of a ubiquitous language on your team is a collaboration accelerator.  When everyone is using the same mental model, speaking the same vernacular hours of frustration and discussion may be curtailed, and alignment achieved, outcomes …