Thomas’ perspective on business starts with the idea that businesses exist to generate value for people. The ones inside, as well as outside the business.
As he started the book, he realized that the digital age had transformed our ideas about what being human in that medium was all about. He set out to write about what it meant to be humn in the digital age. However, that was just the start of the book.
In that first part of the book, Thomas explores questions such as “am I a resource?”, a very common question we hear when we talk to teams.
This exploration leads to the realization that businesses have to generate value for customers, stakeholders, but also (and critically) for employees.
The needed transformation of business on the path to Business Agility
Thomas looks at businesses as organisms in constant transformation. In the context of the VUCA world we face (see this episode with Nick Horney for more on the VUCA concept), Business Agility becomes a way to thrive in that context, and Agile becomes a natural next step, not only a “transformation for better”.
When applying Agile, we learn that the interpersonal relationships are critical, and we start to focus more on the teams, and how they develop over time. Coming full circle to the first part of the book, we discuss how businesses need to adapt to the human elements that enable and unlock team performance.
The 21st Century business paradigm
Thomas describes the 20th Century business paradigm as “the business as a machine”, and there the focus on the business “machine”. As we move into the new paradigm, which Thomas describes as “the business as an organism”, we stop looking at the business as a linear organization where humans are resources. Instead we focus on the people inside, and outside the business. Where work is about trust and respect.
There are big advantages to this change in focus. The focus on people allows us to grow a network of collaborating people in the business (and outside, with partners and suppliers), and create a more flexible, more adaptive business.
Listen in to learn about what Thomas calls “the currency of change”, a key enabler for change and growth in the business.
Key lesson for Scrum Masters: the 4th question in the daily standup
How can we, Scrum Masters, put these idea in practice with the teams we work with? It all starts with “the 4th question in the daily standup”. Thomas shares with us a story of a team, and how a 4th question added to the daily standup became the most important question. So important that the team decided to start each standup with that question.
About Thomas Juli
Thomas is a human business architect, his vision is to help establish Human Business as the new business paradigm by the year 2030.
You can find Thomas Juli’s website, Motivate2B here.