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About Esther Derby
In addition to consulting, Esther has an extensive background in designing and leading experiential learning. She teaches workshops both on-line and in-person around the world. Her workshops support leaders to explore how they can adapt the environment to amplify empowerment, engage in joint problem-solving, and evolve their systems towards better results.
Esther is co-author of Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (2005), a guide for people as they make the transition from technical work to management work, and Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great (2006), a process for teams to inspect, adapt, and improve the way they work. She has also published hundreds of articles, many of which are available on her website, www.estherderby.com.
Esther lives in northern Minnesota, near the shores of Lake Superior. She enjoys cooking from her northern garden, making garments with pockets, quilting, and baking bread.
Esther has an MA in Organizational Leadership and a certificate in Human System Dynamics.
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Project retrospectives help teams examine what went right and what went wrong on a project. But traditionally, retrospectives (also known as “post-mortems”) are only held at the end of the project—too late to help. You need agile retrospectives that are iterative and incremental. You need to accurately find and fix problems to help the team today.
Now Esther and Diana show you the tools, tricks and tips you need to fix the problems you face on a software development project on an on-going basis. You’ll see how to architect retrospectives in general, how to design them specifically for your team and organization, how to run them effectively, how to make the needed changes and how to scale these techniques up. You’ll learn how to deal with problems, and implement solutions effectively throughout the project—not just at the end.
This book will help you:
- Design and run effective retrospectives
- Learn how to find and fix problems
- Find and reinforce team strengths
- Address people issues as well as technological
- Use tools and recipes proven in the real world
With regular tune-ups, your team will hum like a precise, world-class orchestra.
Even if you don't have change management in your job description, your job involves change. Change is a given as modern organizations respond to market and technology advances, make improvements, and evolve practices to meet new challenges. This is not a simple process on any level. Often, there is no indisputable right answer, and responding requires trial and error, learning and unlearning. Whatever you choose to do, it will interact with existing policies and structures in unpredictable ways. And there is, quite simply, a natural human resistance to being told to change.
Rather than creating more rigorous preconceived plans or imposing change by decree, agile software developer turned organizational change expert Esther Derby offers change by attraction, an approach that is adaptive and responsive and engages people in learning, evolving, and owning the new way. She presents a set of seven heuristics—guides to problem-solving—that empower people to achieve outcomes within broad constraints using their personal ingenuity and creativity.
When you work by attraction, you give space and support for people to feel the loss that comes with change and help them see what is valuable about the future you propose. Resistance fades because people feel there is nothing to push against—only something they want to move toward. Derby's approach clears the fog to provide a new way forward that honors people and creates safety for change.
Great management is difficult to see as it occurs. It's possible to see the results of great management, but it's not easy to see how managers achieve those results. Great management happens in one-on-one meetings and with other managers---all in private. It's hard to learn management by example when you can't see it.
You can learn to be a better manager---even a great manager---with this guide. You'll follow along as Sam, a manager just brought on board, learns the ropes and deals with his new team over the course of his first eight weeks on the job. From scheduling and managing resources to helping team members grow and prosper, you'll be there as Sam makes it happen. You'll find powerful tips covering:
- Delegating effectively
- Using feedback and goal-setting
- Developing influence
- Handling one-on-one meetings
- Coaching and mentoring
- Deciding what work to do---and what not to do
- ...and more.
Full of tips and practical advice on the most important aspects of management, this is one of those books that can make a lasting andimmediate impact on your career.