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Leadership [clear filter]
Monday, August 5

10:45 EDT

Scientific Method to Hire Great Scrum Masters (Pavel Dabrytski)

In 2018, I was looking for a better method to interview and hire people. I had been an independent Agile consultant for over three years by then, and I had simply run out of time I could give to my clients. Every single day was booked out with classes, coaching sessions, or meetings. If I wanted to grow my business further, there was no other choice. But the thought of hiring always scared me. What if I get the wrong person on board?
The science and statistics of hiring were not on my side either. Daniel Kahneman, in his book Thinking Fast and Show, claims that employers make hiring decisions based on pure intuition after a few short interviews, and such procedure is almost useless for predicting the future success of recruits. Multiple social science studies claim that managers hire people who look like them, talk like them, and think like them – not the best strategy to grow a successful business. Thankfully, Kahneman's book led me to Paul Meehl. Meehl's Clinical Versus Statistical Prediction work outlined a few simple steps that help rid of cognitive biases and hire the best person for the job using statistical data. It worked well for me too and, I want to share the technique with you. This workshop will teach a better, scientific method to hire winning candidates.

Learning Outcomes:
  • * Learn about the research behind interviewing and hiring
  • * Understand more about cognitive biases
  • * Determine key traits necessary for candidates to succeed in the new position in your company
  • * Create an interview pack for your company based on the scientific method



Monday August 5, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
National Harbor 12/13

10:45 EDT

WE make better sense than me - the art of Collective Sense Making (Antoinette Coetzee, Jason Knight)

Making sense is too important to do alone. We each see a part of the puzzle. It's only when we combine our collective sense of what's going on that we see more of the reality around us. Too often, it remains hidden. We need this collective wisdom to make sense of volatility, uncertainty, accelerated change, and ambiguity in order to respond.
Did you know there is a framework for having a Collective Sensemaking conversation? And, if done properly, it develops the thinking of everyone involved? In this session, you will observe a live demo with a detailed breakdown of the demo to illustrate the power of this approach. You will then have an opportunity to practice yourself. Come to this interactive workshop and learn how you and your organization can apply this framework to better respond to the challenges you face.

Learning Outcomes:
  • * Describe the Sense-and-Respond pattern
  • * Recognize the power of Collective Sensemaking in catalyzing deep individual growth and development
  • * Understand and demonstrate Collective Sensemaking and its value in co-creating solutions
  • * Explain the link between developing Collective Sensemaking and the impact on our leadership capabilities
  • * Understand key nuances in the practice and application of Collective Sensemaking
  • * Apply Collective Sensemaking to your own problem-solving
  • * Demonstrate the kind of interactions and attitudes needed for Collective Sensemaking
  • * Explain how the practice of Collective Sensemaking can significantly impact the quality of relationship within groups (e.g. in meetings) and teams


avatar for Antoinette Coetzee

Antoinette Coetzee

Agile Coach and Trainer, Plain Agile
Antoinette has been in the Agile world since working with some of the original Manifesto signatories in 1996. She spent several years as Agile team member, developing software products. She has been an Agile mentor since 2005, then received coaching from Agile Coaching Institute in... Read More →
avatar for Jason Knight

Jason Knight

Organizational Effectiveness Partner, Sapphire Digital
Jason Knight is known around Tulsa, OK as the guy to talk to about Scrum and agility in general. He loves software development, the practice of agility and servant leadership. His journey has taken him from small development jobs to enterprise level coaching and teaching. Along the... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
Maryland Ballroom B

14:00 EDT

The Life Changing Magic of Holding Space: A stance for leaders decluttering complex space (Steve Holyer)

Does your leadership stance spark joy?
Would you like to clear clutter from the complex system where you lead?
How do you cultivate an Agile mindset for yourself and others?
Open Space Events like Agile Coach Camp, or a regional Agile Open Conference, or an internal Open Space Company event can spark joy, and help you cut through the clutter surrounding you in the systems where you lead. Can Open Space Technology be life-changing for leaders?
This session asks; "What can a leader learn from the principles and law of an Open Space Event. How can that radically enhance their practice of agile leadership and spark joy in themselves and others?
We will explore leadership in autonomous, self-organising teams as well as leadership that supports autonomous self-organising teams. We will also explore ways to improve an organisation's level of agility, and we will look at psychological safety.
If you're a leader at any level — including manager, founder, scrum master, product owner, coach, or developer—I invite you to explore the principles (and one law) of open space with other leaders who share your passion in this session. I invite you to deepen your leadership with the practice of holding space.
This is not a session about Open Space Agility (in case you were wondering). Nor is it a session for training new open space facilitators (although open space facilitators may pick-up some tips). This is is a session about how the agile adjacent practice of "holding space", which comes from Open Space Technology, can deepen leadership at all levels. This workshop will explore how this practice can be one of the allusive keys to leading with an an agile mindset.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe the principles of Open Space and explain how they relate to agility in an organisation and support it
  • Learn practical ways to enhance your leadership stance by enabling and following the "law of mobility"
  • Explain "holding space" and relate it to systems thinking.
  • Understand new ways to lead by "invitation"
  • Discuss practical ways to encourage autonomous self organisations and name related agile practices both well-known and emerging
  • Create a plan or stance for open space leadership when you return home

avatar for Steve Holyer

Steve Holyer

Agile PO Coach and Trainer, engage-results.com
Steve Holyer is a product ownership coach, trainer, facilitator and consultant helping product organisations unleash value and deliver results. Principal consultant at Steve Holyer and Associates in Zurich Switzerland; he is an international speaker and trainer on Scrum and Agile... Read More →

Monday August 5, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
National Harbor 12/13
Tuesday, August 6

14:00 EDT

Build Your Modern Management Mindset: Adapt How You Lead for Agile Success (Johanna Rothman)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Agile approaches have downplayed the role of management. Too many people say, “We don’t need no stinkin’ managers.” On the contrary. We need managers to create and refine the agile culture and create leadership capability across the organization. Without a modern management mindset, any agile transformation dies a quick and ugly death. Instead, it’s time to invite managers to change their mindset to enhance an agile culture.
Agile managers value collaboration over resource efficiency and multitasking. They value autonomy over micromanagement. And, they value delivery over spreadsheet-based management.
These agile managers reject the contemporary myths of utilization and the indispensable employee. They reject the illusions that they can manage by spreadsheet or that time spent at work is a useful measure. They reject the traps of process standardization and that people don’t need to time to learn.
Learn to see and create management excellence for your agile culture.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn to see the myths, traps, and illusions that prevent management from achieving leadership excellence and agility.
  • Learn actions to bypass these myths, traps, and illusions.
  • Learn the basis of management thinking patterns that do not serve agile teams or organizations.
  • Learn ways to invite your or your manager's thinking patterns to change.


avatar for Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman

President, Rothman Consulting
Johanna Rothman, known as the "Pragmatic Manager," provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see problems and resolve risks and manage their product development. Johanna was the Agile 2009 conference chair. Johanna is the author of several books... Read More →

Tuesday August 6, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
National Harbor 12/13

14:00 EDT

Using Beyond Budgeting and Sociocracy for agile-friendly performance appraisals (John Buck, Jutta Eckstein)
Limited Capacity seats available

There are many suggestions dealing with Agile-friendly performance appraisals, which promise to rely on trust, honesty, respect, safety, and servant leadership. The Agile Manifesto does not address performance appraisal although it does generally mention regular and frequent feedback, which can also be applied to performance evaluation. Two related methods, Beyond Budgeting and Sociocracy, offer interesting approaches to agile performance review. In this session we want to present these two different performance appraisal approaches, how they're are supported by the values of BOSSA nova (short for Beyond Budgeting, Open Space, Sociocracy & Agile) and want to invite the participants of this workshop to discuss the synthesis of the two approaches.
This session looks at several real-world examples from actual companies including Accenture, Equinor, and Google.
The first principle of Beyond Budgeting asks to “engage and inspire people around bold and noble causes; not around short-term financial targets,” the eleventh principle advocates: “Evaluate performance holistically and with peer feedback for learning and development; not based on measurement only and not for rewards only.” Thus, the main strategy of Beyond Budgeting is to separate (financial) bonuses from performance evaluation and to use relative and not fixed targets as a foundation for the evaluation.
Sociocracy suggests holding 360 degree in-person meetings. The person being reviewed should request it when needed, not just on a rigid annual basis, and perhaps not just once in the year. In the 360 degree meeting, the organization itself can be critiqued in the review - “the way we organize is causing performance problems.” Similar to Beyond Budgeting there is a focus on the vision and mission of the specific department as well as the overall company as a source of inspiration and motivation. The output of the performance review meeting should be a development plan that the immediate group of supervision, peers, and subordinates consent to.
Based on BOSSA nova, we invite participants to dive into what Beyond Budgeting and Sociocracy combined offer for performance appraisals. Participants will take away insights that they can use in their organizations.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Get to know the performance evaluation approach of both Beyond Budgeting and Sociocracy
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the Beyond Budgeting and Sociocracy performance appraisal approaches
  • Explore possible synthesis of the two approaches
  • Take-away concrete ideas on how to improve the performance evaluation in your organization


avatar for John Buck

John Buck

President, GovernanceAlive LLC
John Buck is the coauthor of the very recently published book Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy, see http://www.agilebossanova.com/ and #agilebossanova. The second edition of his earlier book was also recently released We the People: Consenting to... Read More →
avatar for Jutta Eckstein

Jutta Eckstein

Independent Coach, consultant, trainer and speaker, IT Communications
Jutta Eckstein (http://jeckstein.com) is an independent coach, consultant and trainer from Braunschweig, Germany. Her know-how in agile processes is based on over twenty-five years’ experience in project and product development. Her focus is on enabling agile development on the... Read More →

Tuesday August 6, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Maryland Ballroom C

15:45 EDT

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself - Emotional Self-Management for Leaders (Lorraine Aguilar)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Have you ever regretted getting defensive or sending an email while angry? Emotional self-management is especially important for leaders because all eyes are on you - your behaviors are more visible than others employees, who expect you to be a role model.
This session is for leaders who want to manage their emotions instead of letting emotions manage them. You will develop the capacity to empathize instead of react by applying a simple kinesthetic process to translate an emotional trigger into constructive dialogue. In this lively and practical session, teams will spar by testing how quickly they can extinguish a verbal fireball with empathy instead of making a "career-limiting reaction." By playing this game, you will learn to speak free of blame and judgment and reveal the deeper human needs that drive our behavior. This technique is based on Nonviolent Communication (NVC), a set of principles and practices that promote empathy, inclusion, collaboration and innovation.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply a kinesthetic process to empathize instead of react.
  • Use constructive language to express yourself without judgment or blame.
  • Demonstrate self-awareness and self-empathy by identifying the deeper human needs that drive behavior.


avatar for Lorraine Aguilar

Lorraine Aguilar

Working Harmony, Inc.
Agile communications training and leadership programs.

Tuesday August 6, 2019 15:45 - 17:00 EDT
Chesapeake 4/5/6
Wednesday, August 7

10:45 EDT

Crucial Leadership Conversations – A Chance to Practice What You Preach (Bob Galen)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

A recent HBR article referenced a survey where leaders were found to be uncomfortable with employee conversations. To the tune of ~ 70%. These were simple conversations and not crucial or pivotal conversations. These were even harder for leaders to engage in. A second HBR article/survey on self-awareness showed that while over 85% of leaders felt they were self-aware, only 15% actually were.
Net-net, as leaders, we generally suck at communications and we don’t even know it. But never fear.
In this session, we’ll do two things. First, we’ll share some useful tools and frameworks for your leadership conversational use. But more importantly, we’ll break up on a Dojo format and give you a chance to practice your conversations across a wide-variety of agile transformation scenarios. You can pick one of mine or come up with your own, but everyone will get the chance to refine their situational conversational skills.
Which are the very ones a successful agile adoption needs from you as you envision, engage, and guide your teams through the change.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Setting the stage with some HBR research and findings on leadership communication and self-awareness.
  • A set of communications tools to help frame and execute more effective crucial conversations.
  • Practice and practice of several conversations in a Dojo-style group, so that you take away some practical ideas and experience.
  • Each Dojo session will end with a retrospective/critique, helping to increase your self-awareness.


avatar for Bob Galen

Bob Galen

Principal Agile Coach, Zenergy Technologies
Bob Galen is an Agile Practitioner, Trainer & Coach based in Cary, NC. In this role he helps guide companies and teams in their pragmatic adoption and organizational shift towards agile methods of working. Bob has been doing that since the late 1990s, so he’s deeply experienced... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
Chesapeake J/K/L

10:45 EDT

Laughing for Leadership - Strengthening Leadership Skills with Improv Comedy (Mary Lemmer)
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Like an improv show, companies are unscripted and start with nothing. Everyone is figuring out as they go.
Whether they realize it or not, business leaders are improv comedians. Great business leaders and great improvisers adapt to change, build trust among teams, communicate clearly, and make decisions with limited information.
Considering the similarities, I and others have discovered some things improv comedy can teach leaders. During this interactive session, we’ll do improv games and exercised, popularized by theatres that have trained world-famous comedians like Tina Fey and Steven Colbert, to help leaders strengthen leadership skills.
This improv session replaces podiums, tables, and desks with group activities and exercises that get people to practice new skills as opposed to just listening to someone talk about them. In addition to developing important skills, improv is so much fun!

Learning Outcomes:
  • This session is targeted at managers and leaders inside the company who want to develop their own leadership skills, as well as walk away with the tools and methodologies to develop leaders in their teams and companies.
  • Attendees will leave this session with:
  • Improved leadership skills, including, but not limited to the ability to make decisions with limited information, communication skills, emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Knowledge about how to apply improvisational principles to their leadership practice
  • Ideas for how to develop and inspire leaders, with fun and laughter
  • Confidence in their leadership abilities
  • Less fear
  • A way to handle changing environments and the changing learning needs of others
  • A strengthened ability to think quickly
  • Exercises and games they can play with their teams to share their ways of practicing leadership
  • A huge smile on their face!


avatar for Mary Lemmer

Mary Lemmer

Founder, Improv4
Mary Lemmer is an entrepreneur, improviser, comedian,and writer. Mary is the founder of Improv4, an improv training company specializing in cultivating leadership and team building skills for companies, teams and leaders. Mary has helped dozens of companies, including Plenty, Ozlo... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 10:45 - 12:00 EDT
National Harbor 12/13

14:00 EDT

Your Agile Leadership Journey: Leading People, Managing Paradoxes (Paul Boos)
Limited Capacity seats available

When the people of an organization embark on their quest for increased agility, they are essentially begin working on the opposite side of a paradox that has been ignored. Often times, though as they take their journey, they begin experiencing the downside of now ignoring the the traditional, control-based approach and there is an outcry to revert. A dilemma is created.
What are these paradoxes? Well, the first four you encounter are described in the Agile Manifesto’s values. If one could have both sides of the “over” statements easily, we’d take them. Successfully maximizing the appropriate upsides of each side of these values while minimizing the downsides becomes a swinging pendulum to manage. This becomes key to leading others in your organization. If you are a manager, team leader, or executive trying help your organization get traction, then this session will provide some new insights into how to balance change with stability.
These four values are just the start of the paradoxes that will emerge as you take your journey. This workshop will help you use a technique called Polarity Management to help manage the upsides and downsides of this balancing act so that you can lead people effectively. Once out in the open, dilemmas created with a swing one way or another become easier to handle and perhaps can even be avoided.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Recognizing the paradoxes within an organization’s Agile Journey
  • Applying the Polarity Management technique to understand and manage them effectively
  • Understanding how to depict your paradox using a Polarity Map


avatar for Paul Boos

Paul Boos

IT Executive Coach, Excella
Paul is an IT Executive Coach with Excella Consulting helping managers and teams improve their game. He focuses on pragmatic ways Agile, Lean, and leadership techniques can be applied to create more effective organizations. Paul has led small teams to large groups as a Federal, commercial... Read More →

Wednesday August 7, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Maryland Ballroom C
Thursday, August 8

14:00 EDT

Mindful Agile Leadership – the elements of mindful success (Kathy Berkidge, Geof Ellingham)

Are you struggling to build a positive agile culture and foster the agile mindset? Juggling countless tasks and multiple stakeholders’ expectations in a volatile environment with little or no time? Unsure whether the decisions you make are the best to deliver successful business outcomes?
The most effective agile leaders are those who invest in their own personal development as well as the development of those around them. Transparent, flexible, adaptive and supportive, the agile leader encourages and empowers teams to become autonomous and high performing. Core personal skills such as self-awareness, emotional self-management, and social awareness are the basis of emotional intelligence, which is a key indicator of leadership success. Mindfulness is a foundational skill that can grow and deepen emotional intelligence and successful agile leadership.
In this session, you will hear why mindfulness is the secret ingredient to develop effective agile leadership. Beyond just simple awareness, you will learn how mindfulness help leaders to show up as the very best versions of themselves. Through mindfulness, you will improve your focus, think more clearly and make better decisions that lead to more successful outcomes.
We will take you beyond individual meditation, sharing techniques to apply mindfulness in meetings, presentations and everyday activities, to build greater self-awareness in your teams, and to help you become a more inspirational agile leader.

Learning Outcomes:
  • What mindfulness is and how it helps agile leaders become more effective
  • How mindfulness can help increase your focus, enable clearer thinking and better decision making to benefit you and your teams
  • How to practice mindfulness and practical ways to introduce and use it within your teams and wider organisation
  • The Elements of Mindful Success - how mindfulness enables greater awareness and better leadership


avatar for Kathy Berkidge

Kathy Berkidge

Agile coach and trainer, Mind at Work Consulting
With a background in software development, Kathy is an agile professional with 30 years of experience in I.T. She delivers agile training and coaching services to many organisations in Australia and around the world including large corporations and government departments. Since 1999... Read More →
avatar for Geof Ellingham

Geof Ellingham

Chair, Agile Business Consortium
I'm a coach and consultant with 30 years experience in strategy, leadership, management, delivery and education in the public and private sectors. I've also spent two decades as a non-executive Director and Chair within the non-profit sector, the last two as Chair of the Agile Business... Read More →

Thursday August 8, 2019 14:00 - 15:15 EDT
Maryland Ballroom D