By

Jim Ruprecht

A Heritage Created by People with Brains, Heart & Guts

The principles, values and core beliefs of the Agile Manifesto have been around since Moby Dick was a minnow. Over the years, they’ve been successfully employed by motivated and enlightened leaders in a wide variety of industries—a heritage created by people with brains, heart and guts. Agile: Traced Back to Post-WWII Japan Contrary to common...
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4 Unfortunate Reasons Why Agile Is Close to Being a Fad

A fad, according to Merriam-Webster, is a “practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal.” It’s often a new thing or a revived thing. Yet, Agile is neither a new thing nor a tech thing. Even so, it’s in serious danger of becoming a fad. 1. Agile Isn’t Something You “Do” There are...
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Understanding the Four Levels of Initiative

Initiative is “the energy or aptitude displayed in an initiation of action, or an introductory step,” says Merriam-Webster. In short, you need it to act—to move forward.   The Four Levels of Initiative As a leader, it’s important to understand the four levels of initiative that your team exhibits. Knowing where they fall now can...
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Micro & Macro Agility: Surviving Through Whole-System Organizational Transformation

Your organization and its health can be directly compared to your body and its health. Just like when a small health concern turns into a life-threatening emergency, you must change to survive if your business is struggling. Micro-Medicine vs. Macro-Medicine You’re enjoying life and you’ve gotten comfortable. Other than normal bumps like a typical cold...
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Career Advice From Someone Who Broke Free

I have had, and continue to have, an eclectic career—on purpose. Besides being more interesting, it has also protected me from a “follow-the-herd” mentality that’s all too common in just about every profession and industry. It enables me to look at situations and see things others may not, and to find connections that might otherwise...
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Understanding the Four Levels of Initiative

Initiative is “the energy or aptitude displayed in an initiation of action, or an introductory step,” says Merriam-Webster. In short, you need it to act—to move forward. The Four Levels of Initiative As a leader, it’s important to understand the four levels of initiative that your team exhibits. Knowing where they fall now can help...
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Why Purpose Comes Before Process or Tools in Agile

I have a long-standing directive for whatever work must be done, whether it be research, a problem to solve, a hypothesis to test or a product to develop: purpose before process and process before tools. To move from your process into your tools, you must follow these steps, in this order: simplify, standardize and systematize....
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The Chinese Village: Breaking Free Through Diversity & Inclusion

Imagine going to a village in the remote regions of China. You ask the village leaders to assemble the smartest, most imaginative, highly respected members of the village. Then you commission them to create the best home possible with no constraints. If they can imagine it, and if physics permit it, they can build it....
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Persuasion, Selling & Manipulation: The Hierarchy of Effective Communication

After years of experience in the field, I’ve found that there is a hierarchy in ways one can convince another person of something. Understanding this hierarchy is critical for effective communication from the C-level down. The Hierarchy of Effective Communication Manipulation: Lacking the Character Traits of Honesty, Integrity & Civility The lowest plane of communication...
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Agile Leadership: Two Key Properties for Building Effective Working Relationships

One of the most important pieces of the Agile leadership puzzle is the forming of effective working relationships between you and your colleagues. Without durable relationships, the optimization of an organization simply can’t happen. To build these effective relationships, two properties must exist: confidence in the other party’s competence and mutual trust. I first learned...
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