Circle of Influence

Sometimes I find myself worrying about things I can’t change. They are outside of my circle of influence. When leading an organization or team on their agile journey, focus on what is in your control and how you can influence others to be more agile.

I first read about Circle of Influence in Stephen R. Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.   

In his book, he talks about understanding what things are in your control (circle of influence) vs. what is outside of your control (circle of concern). Do you find that you or others at your organization have many ideas about change? What can be done to make the organization or team more agile?

Something I have done to help get these ideas out in the open and take a look at what is in a team’s circle of influence vs. what is not, is to have a retrospective using the circle of influence vs. circle of concern (view this activity here). From this activity, there will ideally be a number of items that may be implemented quickly to drive positive change. For example, one that I have faced in my career is that most customers and stakeholders don’t attend an organization’s overall sprint review. As a product owner, I looked at this item and said to myself “that IS in my circle of influence.” Therefore, I set up a sprint review with a specific group of stakeholders and had a much more valuable sprint review by showing the software and discussing/getting feedback directly from the stakeholders.

Have you tried this exercise in a retrospective? What things have you tried to get ideas out in the open and discover what is in your circle of influence?

Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Leave a Comment

Copyright © 2020 Envision Agile