How to Give Clear Instructions When Facilitating

It’s a classic facilitation blunder: You start giving instructions for an activity, and as you’re talking, people begin the activity. You try to reel in those eager participants so you can get the rest of your instructions out. Then, as everyone starts, you realize you forgot something important and need to get the group back

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Agile Leadership Myth #1: Telling people “You Are Empowered” Actually Works

A major challenge we run into when helping organizations shift or improve is leadership misconceptions. Agile leadership myths cause a lot of these misconceptions. We need to help avoid falling into the trap of these common myths because they limit our success. A root cause of many of the myths is that people simply don’t

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“I intend to …, and …”

I was co-training an Agile for Teams workshop with Rob Myers last week. This group had been trying to do Scrum, with some success.  Our job was to help them solidify their Scrum practice. I love workshops like these. There’s enough knowledge and experience in the room that if willing to learn, can create a

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Limit Engagement, Limit Success – Scientific Management Problems

We require environments where people can provide input and ideas. If we limit engagement, we limit success. We still have organizations who either believe or act like they believe some types of workers are “stupid.” This idea dates back to the ideas surrounding Scientific Management, Fredrick Taylor, and Henry Ford. The concept of the stupid or

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“We don’t expect a perfect Sprint. We expect a perfect effort.” – i.e. Commitment

As I train and coach Scrum across the country, I’m often struck with the power how certain words can create a sense of fear in people. In my experience, no word creates as much fear as ‘commitment’. Yet commitment is one of the five Scrum Values per the Scrum Guide! IMHO, that’s a problem.

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Principle Based Agile/Scrum Adoption

I’m a pragmatist.  I need things to make sense. So, when something like principles are introduced to me, I start to ponder questions like… What is a principle? Where did these principles come from? Are all these really principles? How do these principles relate to each other? Why should I care? Etc. Yep, I can

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Proposing Open Space Technology Sessions

When I am at conferences or events being run using Open Space Technology (learn more about attendee driven conferences), people often ask me “should I propose a open space session?” As we get into the discussion I tend to ask the same core questions:

  • Are you passionate about the topic?
  • Are you clear

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Open Space Conferences – Attendee Created Conferences!

Open Space is one of my favorite types of conferences. I was under the impression that most people in the agile, coaching, and leadership communities knew what Open Space was. I was wrong. Many have never experienced it.I_heart_openspace

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