I have a new favorite word, clarity. I find myself wanting to use it more as this book has raised my awareness to a new level discussing the foundation and pillars of what it takes to be successful as a company. Of course, much of what she describes can be used to reach your personal goals and I’ve been reflecting on how to use it more. Her book weaves common sense that is not so common, antidotes, studies of human, team, and company behaviors and operational excellence, and experience with clients.
The tight connections with the agile mindset are also apparent to me as an agile practitioner in my work serving teams. While I have seen high performing teams, I have never seen an outstanding organization. What an experience it must be taking the journey with a coach like Karen.
My favorite parts of the book are the best discussion I ever read of Plan Do Study Adjust and why that fits better than PDCA, the story of the Blue Angels, the why and when of pairing, building discipline through practice and coaching, and the entire section on building engagement. These sections resonate with how I work and want to work and the book made it more clear to me.
The book is short and that leads to the one change that would have made the book even better to me. While most of the book’s ideas I have read or practiced, there were a few concepts that I wanted to know more about and her experience in implementing. That was the catchball, kaizen event and A3 Management. I found my self yearning for her to go into a lower level of detail.
I discovered Karen’s work via an agile related discussion in social media. After reading the Outstanding Organization, I am glad I was paying attention to what was being said. My problem now is to pick another of her books that fits my role best, read it and determine what I can apply.