#118 - Lead Without Blame: Building Resilient Learning Teams - Diana Larsen

Tech Lead Journal

Jan 30 2023 • 57 mins

“When blame is our focus rather than understanding what happened, people spend as much or more energy avoiding the blame and less time to be productive, creative, and energetic."

Diana Larsen is the co-founder of Agile Fluency Project and co-author of the latest book “Lead Without Blame”. In this episode, we discussed insights from her book about building resilient learning teams by moving away from blaming culture. Diana first described the definition of blame and its characteristics, and explained the negative impacts it can bring to an organization and its culture. Diana advised that instead of a blaming culture, organizations should build a learning culture by adopting the 3 essential motivators (team purpose, autonomous teams, co-intelligence) and the 4 resilience factors (collaborative connection, embracing conflict, inclusive collaboration, minimizing power dynamics).

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:05:30]
  • Understanding Blame - [00:08:58]
  • Blaming Habit - [00:11:50]
  • Leaders & Accountability - [00:18:12]
  • 3 Essential Motivators - [00:21:21]
  • Essential Motivator: Team Purpose - [00:27:19]
  • Essential Motivator: Autonomous Teams - [00:31:21]
  • Essential Motivator: Co-Intelligence - [00:35:36]
  • Resilience Factor: Collaborative Connection - [00:39:55]
  • Resilience Factor: Embracing Conflict - [00:42:55]
  • Resilience Factor: Inclusive Collaboration - [00:46:40]
  • Resilience Factor: Minimizing Power Dynamics - [00:48:48]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:52:59]


Diana Larsen’s Bio
Visionary pragmatist Diana Larsen is a cofounder, chief connector, learning leader, and principal coach, consultant, and mentor at the Agile Fluency Project. Diana coauthored the books Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great; Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams; and Five Rules of Accelerated Learning. She co-originated the Agile Fluency model and coauthored the book The Agile Fluency Model: A Brief Guide to Success with Agile. For more than 20 years, she led the practice area for agile software development, leading and managing teams, and guiding agile transitions at FutureWorks Consulting.

Through the Agile Fluency Project’s programs, Diana shares the wisdom she’s gained in over 35 years of working with leaders, teams, and organizations. To serve her communities, she delivers inspiring conference keynotes, talks, and workshops around the world.

Follow Diana:

  • Website – DianaLarsen.com
  • Twitter – @DianaOfPortland
  • LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/dianalarsenagileswd
  • Agile Fluency – AgileFluency.org


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For episode show notes, visit techleadjournal.dev/episodes/118.

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