Paul @ Scrum Gathering Seattle – Day 2 Recap #sgsea

So after another day at the Scrum Gathering in Seattle, I am tired! Not just from the sessions, conversations, and the learning but also from waking up in a time zone that is not my own. I live near Toronto which is 3 hours earlier than Seattle. I am slowly getting used to it. Especially that today is a sunny day.

Mastering the Basics of Leadership Storytelling by Steve Denning
Steve Denning showed us how the art of storytelling can uplift and help people to see why a change is needed. He got all of us to do an exercise (1) What’s the problem? (2) What would the world look like if the problem was fixed? (3) Tell the story of the person who doesn’t want the change.

When I did the exercise I though of a client that saw that there was value in using Scrum and Agile but was unable to see the need for organization to adopt them or the urgency to make the change as soon as possible.

Steve also spoke about 3 good ways to get peoples attention: (1) share something unexpected (2) share something relevant to the audience (3) and make it negative. I understand what he is saying but I am more motivated by a positive outlook instead of scaring people by harsh realities. To each his own I guess.

Steve also shared the 7 rules for performing storytelling: (1) maintain eye contact (2) maintain open body stance (3) don’t hide behind notes and podiums (4) use gestures using your whole body (5) dare to pause! (6) practice, practice, practice and (7) be there, be present by planting feet on the ground.

Steve Denning - Leadership Storytelling

I will co-train with Carlton Nettleton
I met again with Carlton Nettleton who is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) out of San Diego. I am excited that will be co-training a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) training seminar sometime in Toronto during the month of August or September. So… keep those dates open! He is very interesting guy and I have no doubt that he is a great teacher and trainer.

I also met Mike Cohn
If you don’t know who Mike Cohn, I recommend searching for him on the net right now! He is a well-known author, trainer and coach in the Agile and Scrum world. We spoke about our experiences and some of our learnings. I also shared how Mishkin Berteig and I have used OpenAgile to help C-level managers and upper managers to be an Agile team so that the teams on the ground see the example by the leadership. He is open and kind man.

Agile Coach Self-Assessment: Where Do You Stand on Competencies by Lyssa Adkins
This is by far my favourite session that I attended in the first 2 days of the 3 day conference. She got all 30 participants to stand and be players in the session. This is what we need more of in conferences that are in the Scrum and Agile world.

Lyssa Adkins - Coaching Competencies

She placed 8 phrases on the ground that were quadrants coming from a centre point that represented parts of an Agile coach. The 8 phrases were: (1) mentoring, (2) technical mastery, (3) transformation mastery, (4) teaching, (5) facilitating, (6) Agile Lean practitioner, (7) business mastery and (8) coaching. We had to do a few things. First, figure which section we were strongest in. Second, choose which section which we wanted to be in. Third, decide which will be our sections to work on (we had to choose 3 in priority) and then choose on section that we would let go.

I also met Vibhu Srinivasan who is one of the newest CSTs (just become one on Sunday). He lives in India and is an extremely nice guy. We were asked to work with one person at the end of the session with Lyssa and then check in with each other to see what progress we made.

Second day was great! Tomorrow we get to be part of the “un-conference” sessions where the participants choose what is important and then prioritize that stuff and work through it together. It should be great!

Warm regards,
Paul Heidema


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