Episode 167: Unlearning and the Improv Effect with Jessie Shternshus

Craig and Tony are at Agile Australia in Melbourne and with guest revolutionist Toby Thompson (who was sitting at the table and initially didn’t want to speak on the podcast but then we couldn’t keep him quiet!) catch up with Jessie Shternshus, CEO at The Improv Effect and author of “CTRLShift“:

  • Agile 2015 keynote “Individuals, Interactions and Improvisation
  • CTRLShift – 50 games for different types of days you might be happening
  • Agile Australia keynote “Unlearning: The Challenge of Change
  • When you are facilitating you need to know your audience and believe in what you are doing – to get people involved, do things in small groups in partners so nobody has the attention on them initially and then build them up to group activities
  • Make people safe and get them to laugh – then you have them for the ride
  • Tony imitates a dinosaur (which we keep telling him doesn’t work on a podcast)
  • Introduction Tiebacks – introduce yourself as the facilitator and then when it comes to your turn tie your introduction back to the person who came before you
  • Game ideas come from twists on old games or from things people say
  • Last Letter Conversation – use the last letter from what someone just said to be the first letter of what you say
  • Improv Encyclopedia and a bunch of books are good resources but are usually made for actors (so you need to amend for the workplace)
  • Improvisation For The Spirit” and “Improv Wisdom” are books more geared towards people and everyday life
  • Agile Australia keynote from Martin Fowler “Agile in 2018” around faux agile
  • Our brains have a hard job letting go, need to help people figure out what’s in it for them (the haveta versus the wanna)
  • The Backwards Brain Bicycle
  • Helping people change comes back to listening and empathy
  • Walkshop – 4 day hike for leaders to help them unlearn and connect
  • Unlearning – need to find experiential learning that helps people unlearn – backwards number game or name things around the room differently
  • Mayor of Weirdsville – dealing with pushback, pretend you are the mayor, make a proclamation and then the rest of the town has to poke holes in your idea

TheAgileRevolution-167 (25 minutes)

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Episode 166: A Trip Down Agile Memory Lane with Jeff Smith

Craig and Tony are at Agile Australia in Melbourne and talk to their former leader Jeff Smith, EVP and COO at World Fuel Services and former CEO of Suncorp Business Services:

  • Australian Agile journey took him from Telstra, to a small startup and then to Suncorp, and later IBM and World Fuel Services
  • Scale of thought is more important than scale of people
  • The Suncorp Agile Academy was born out of the fact that learning matters, but the idea was for other companies to create content that could be shared in the Agile community which did not happen
  • Suncorp Building Quality In program
  • It all comes down to great people and working through problem
  • It’s hard for companies to build great leaders that are interested in building great teams
  • Jeff Smith keynote “Leading an Agile Company
  • Availability is not a skillset
  • Thinking from a team point of view is important – at World Fuel for example, the MTR dropped 80% due to this approach
  • Don’t waste time on people who don’t want to follow what you want to do
  • Most companies surround themselves with the companies being disrupted, not the disruptors – need to work with people and companies who want to change the game
  • You learn a lot from being around better people
  • For ANZ, the key to their Agile journey has been that CEO Shayne Elliott was willing to spend time outside the organisation and learn
  • You need to be structured to support end to end cross functional teams formed around the work – the structure of the team matters
  • The next disruption is the physical versus virtual world, in particular what happens to things like networking appliances
  • It’s easy when something is new to find ways to shut it down, its harder to keep it going

TheAgileRevolution-166 (33 minutes)

Episode 165: Two Years and Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

Craig and Tony sit down for a personal chat with the microphone turned on for the first time in 2 years (that is not an interview) (wow, time files…), unfortunately without Renee who was out sick:

TheAgileRevolution-165 (69 minutes)

Episode 164: Agile Australia 2017 Vox Pop #2

Craig and Tony are once again roaming the halls at Agile Australia in Sydney and finding random folks to talk to at the conference:

  • Sarah Romeyn from WorkCover Queensland – enjoyed Pete Steel talk “Developing an Experimentation Culture” and Sherif Monsour talk “The art of building a roadmap
  • Rachel Slattery from Slatterys (organiser of Agile Australia) – 1,200 attendees (a sellout) at the conference, such a good level of goodwill in the Agile community, half of the conference are new people and 60% hear about it through word of mouth, all flavours of ice cream (even coconut apparently…), AgileAus hub for all things Agile in Australia
  • Melissa Perri keynote “The Build Trap“, teal organisations tend to form like that at inception, other organisations have the people but the process to get there is still hard
  • Adam Boas and Andy Kelk from Marketplacer – enjoying the deep dive sessions as a way to talk to speakers you normally don’t get the opportunity to talk to, outcomes over output is a key theme at the conference

TheAgileRevolution-164 (19 minutes)

Episode 163: Agile Australia 2017 Vox Pop #1

Tony and Craig are at Agile Australia 2017 in Sydney and wander the very busy hallways catching up with attendees and with old friends:

TheAgileRevolution-163 (27 minutes)

 

Episode 162: Leadership and Coaching Beyond the Team with Esther Derby

Craig and Tony are at Agile Australia in Sydney and catch up with Esther Derby, co-author of numerous agile books including Agile Retrospectives and Behind Closed Doors. We also ask the question whether Tony is cool or not….

  • Agile Australia keynote “Leaders At All Levels
  • Leadership is the ability to adapt the environment so that everyone is empowered to contribute creatively to solving the problem
  • Need to develop the people we are leading as well as the environment
  • Need a bigger overlap of the knowledge in organisations so that we can make better decisions
  • Systemic failure that we assume because you are good at something (like software development) you will be good at management / leadership – they are very different skills
  • Three C’s – clarity (people know what to work on and how it fits into the big picture), conditions (the means to do the work and access to resources required) and constraints (guidelines to know to act and decide) – things you need to consider if you want to move a complex, adaptive system and build empowered teams
  • Need to focus on the work that needs to be done not just on the little boxes or our job description
  • Ask the question to leadership – what are you willing to change?
  • Coaching Beyond the Team workshop with Don Grey
  • Whilst smaller organisations can focus on the team, bigger organisations have to focus on the systemic level to make any visible difference
  • People are interested in the allure of the Agile benefits and what to cherry pick in relation to practices, the same happened with TQM and Lean – need to ask what next shift will help you deliver value to your customers
  • The millenials will be a big disruptor to management practices

TheAgileRevolution-162 (32 minutes)

Episode 79: Vomit Value with Jim Benson

14491375311_22bf182a39_zAt Agile Australia 2014 in Melbourne, Jim Benson of Personal Kanban fame takes some time to talk with Craig, Renee, Tony and (a very silent) Kim Ballestrin and along the way they talk about:

  • early work implementing David J. Anderson’s Agile Management which resulted in Jim focussing on the person (Personal Kanban) and David focussing on the organisation (Kanban method) – two different viewpoints on the same solution set
  • XP, Scrum, Kanban method and Personal Kanban exemplify the people who created them
  • The Oath of Non Allegiance
  • Scrum vs Kanban
  • Why Limit WIP and Why Plans Fail books out now and working on an upcoming book about meetings
  • Individuals and interactions is redundant – relevant in 2001 to shake people out of complacency
  • Agile is anti-manager
  • Agile in knowledge work
  • WIP limits and avoiding “death flow”
  • Vomit Value – user stories with spurious and arbitrary value in a 2 week sprint
  • standardisation of humans and collaboration
  • Toyota change of culture – “what’s good for your life is good for Toyota”
  • Product Owners (#nopo) – should be the stewards of the value stream

TheAgileRevolution-79 (45 minutes)