I had the pleasure of hearing Barry Rogers and Ken Howard speak at a recent regional conference and that lead me to read their new book Individuals and Interactions, An Agile Guide. The book is a gem. With so many books focused on the practice side of agility, it is refreshing to see a new book focused on the people side.
A recurring theme in the book is the DiSC framework to assess one's primary and secondary behavioral styles in the workplace. I apparently am an "Si", meaning my primary style is Steadiness with secondary style of Influence, and my priorities tend to focus on Enthusiasm, Collaboration, and Support. I found the model intriguing and plan on learning more about it.
Even though the book deals with the messy, touchy-feely people side of agility, Ken and Barry take a very pragmatic approach toward discussing such things as team dynamics, communication, collaboration and team behaviors. Their use of real world examples taken from their considerable experience is very helpful in framing their discussions, and I particularly like their convention of closing comments at the end of each chapter to restate their key points.
To cap things off, the authors include a "Workshop" as the final section of the book, providing a extensive set of exercises, complete with facilitator instructions, that ably demonstrate the discussions throughout the rest of the book. The Bridge Building exercise has already become my favorite. Building bridges from plastics straws, rubber bands, paper clips and cellophane tape, teams get a firsthand, up close and personal look at the behaviors of self-organizing, self-directing teams in a way that no amount of discussion would close to matching.
Individuals and Interactions is a straightforward, plain language discussion of some very sensitive topics that I think anyone focused on growing agile teams will find to be a great resource.