Agile2019 has ended
Back To Schedule
Tuesday, August 6 • 09:00 - 10:15
Lead the Play: Leadership Lessons from Space Pirates (Derek W. Wade) popular

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Limited Capacity seats available

What if you could organize and motivate people to double their highest-expected productivity goals?
The future of leadership is emerging to guide 21st-century organizations beyond the small, cross-functional, green-field software development teams of the 1990s. Agile enterprises must respond to emerging markets, provide unity of purpose to workers with conflicting motivations, and foster order when change is the only constant. Agile leadership must cope with distributed teams, "gig economy," diverse skill-sets, and the impact to morale of unexpected changes. But the measure of success is still delivery to the market: volume, quality, reliability.
Early in 2017, a group of several hundred independent players of the futuristic massively-multiplayer video game Elite:Dangerous faced all the above organizational challenges yet still managed unprecedented delivery to their market. And they did it despite the "me first" culture of online games. We'll explore the structural, social, and cognitive factors which enabled this large distributed team of casual volunteers to deliver twice as much as their nearest competition. And we'll uncover how to amplify those factors in your own workplace.
You'll learn the powerful effects of making individual contributions visible, expanding the scope of your regular team synchronizations, having a loose leadership hierarchy, and encouraging diffusion of innovation. And you'll see how community engagement is an essential quality of a servant leadership culture. This is a compelling story about leadership that's relatable to anyone regardless of their interest in or experience with Agile, online gaming, or space pirates.

Learning Outcomes:
  • At the end of this session attendees should be able to summarize, and identify application opportunities in their own organization, the lessons highlighted by the case study:
  • 1. Seeing complexity in the workplace -- The leadership challenges in the modern workplace result of interactions between internal/external forces, from systems and people. Knowing what components make your workplace more complex helps you target your interventions.
  • 2. Visibility is more than cards on walls -- Expose opportunities for individuals to contribute emergent best practices to the whole organization.
  • 3. Self-organization doesn't mean chaos -- Leadership networks must be allowed to form and be visible. Hierarchy isn't all bad. It takes "just enough."
  • 4. Learning is the new productivity -- To be a fast, resilient organization, encourage experimentation over compliance.
  • 5. Servant leadership is more than removing impediments -- It's actively working to create a culture of engagement


avatar for Derek W. Wade

Derek W. Wade

President, Kumido Adaptive Strategies
Derek W. Wade is the founder of Kumido Adaptive Strategies, an organizational performance consultancy specializing in cognitive/learning science. His human-centered approach has improved hundreds of collaborative efforts across a broad range of industries from healthcare to finance... Read More →

Tuesday August 6, 2019 09:00 - 10:15 EDT
Maryland Ballroom B