For non-native speakers, there’s phrase in English (and many other languages) “the fish rots from the head down”. Roughly it means that when an organisation or company starts to fail in some way, the leadership is the root cause. Hence the title “Rotten Fish”.

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, he describes how a management board needs to be a team. More to the point he describes what’s required to be a team. If the management board isn’t agreed on a common strategy – an agile transformation or otherwise – then any attempt to implement it is doomed by the in-fighting on the board level.

But boards aren’t famous for being made up of selfless team players. It’s usually about power and personal advancement. So any company-wide agile transformation you start under these conditions is fucked. If you can’t get the board on board, then save yourself a lot of pain and just don’t start!

Two articles encouraged me to finally get this strip finished (I literally had to research to draw punches first 😉 ):

Both of these confirmed my intuition and experience over the last few years. Which was reassuring on one level and depressing on another 😉