Starting a New Business

October 17, 2019

I’ve spent the past year and a half experimenting with products, but finally returning to my roots with the establishment of A Faster Horse as a consultancy.

Our first client is experiencing the usual digital disruption. They caught themselves from stagnating before the Uber of their industry came along and ended them. They hired us, experience design experts, to help them figure out the best way to talk about the offerings they have that they are calculating will bring them to the future, a combination of the industrial internet of things and insurance. With us they discovered that the disruption they were experiencing was just the beginning. They uncovered the fact that climate is very important to their business in a way that will be critical to their survival as a company (never mind as a species.)

Another client is more directly involved in climate issues. They are focused on bringing local plants to gardens and landscapes. We are working with them now to hone their brand and take their message to a broader audience.

For both clients we conduct workshops, bringing stakeholders together with conversation and interaction and getting not just “alignment,” but a shared understanding. We help with enablement guides so that our workshop and research work stay alive and evolving, honed in use in the field.

It’s an exciting moment for us. We hope you’ll join us. We’d love to help you with your business.

@dayleyagile #sgcal Leadership and Empowerment

April 12, 2017

I attended this session at the San Diego Scrum Gathering because of my interest in leadership. If you have a team, a co-equal group of people with equal say, what can happen? How do leaders function in general. Do we need leaders or can we get things done behaving like a murmur of starlings?

These are super raw notes:

Experience drives beliefs drives behaviors drives results. Leaders do first two; managers second.

Supervisors command laborers.

Coordinators delegate to agents.

Steward empowers professionals.

Catalyst inspires co-leaders.

Steward and Catalyst Actions: How to do it?

  • Create space ( for team to work, etc.)
  • Protect Boundaries ( let product owners make choices, self-organize)
  • Connect (elbow coaching — create connections)
  • Invite ( instead of tell people to do something)
  • Initiate ( when invitations don’t work) ( even sometimes set up meeting, give problem, leave)
  • Co-participate ( you can help your manager to transform)

Every one of us has power. We need to stop our organizations from blocking that.

.@ gez_smith Live Notes #sgcal Servant Leadership

April 10, 2017

At the Scrum Gathering San Diego 2017, found this session with Gez Smith to be incredibly interesting. He surfaced some interesting tools, such as the annoyance we have with people pointing out areas we ourselves need to work on. I want to explore more the idea I’ve run into over my career of ridding a team or company of someone whom people think are not performing and will never perform. The idea of “performance” as if the person was a machine is also of great interest of me. After all, that is the root of Taylorism, human as a flesh-and-blood actor in the machine-driven factory. Dispensable if replaced with robots. Coming out of this session, I read a lot more Servant Leadership books.

He traced the history of leadership thought in academia. Talked about John Kotter, J.K. Greenleaf.

Larry Spears, Ten characteristics list.

1. Listening

  1. Listening
  2. Empathy
  3. Healing
  4. Awareness
  5. Persuasion
  6. Conceptualization
  7. Foresight
  8. Stewardship
  9. Commitment to the growth of people
  10. Building community

Healing from previous projects is important.

Example of McKinsey looking for your next job.

Exercise: one thing to do to build more community – and what’s in your way?

Vocation: one wants to serve.

No Time to Lose, Pema Chodron

Used example of “trust them to get the job done” from Agile Manifesto and how trust works.

If badness can’t sit within you, then it is the system. Don’t waste your life staying in a broken system.

The thing that annoys you about someone else is the thing you dislike most about yourself.

What super power am I being trained in now? When someone annoys you, use it to work on yourself.

The value of compliments. If you compliment people, they’ll be more open. Ran a compliment exercise. Tested how it felt to compliment.

In traditional pyramid hierarchy causes energy to flow up.

“Great Man” theory

#sgcal Intro and Keynote by .@jeffsutherland – live notes – Scaling Scrum

April 10, 2017

If you are here, Dana and I have a session Wednesday at 1pm! “Growing by Sharing: Transitioning a Group to a Self-directed model” — a workshop.


Productivity is sometimes shunned by Agilists. 

His biggest issue is 61% of Agile teams aren’t delivering. 

Big companies are moving Scrum out of IT. So have to make implementation conversations everywhere.

Moore’s Law and exponential increase.

iRobot incubated on Scrum

Intel: what we’ve learned is nothing scales. Only fractal things scale. The only things that scale is the internet and Scrum.

Stephen Daukas, Simplivity. 

Jeff is going into detail on how to scale. 

Keep teams small.

Be fractal.

Jeff’s company does not allow 9 people. Max is five at his company. Scrum of Scrums instead. 


Have an Executive Action team that helps with impediments.

Hold meta Scrums. Keep it fractal.

(This reminds me of holocracy somewhat in the distribution.)

Saab is doing this. 3m doing. Started in health. Now their HR team is doing it.

Maersk was able to reduce costs with Scrum. Shipping part of company invited in. Referenced moneyball, book and movie. They crunched data and figured out those who got to first base got runs. BoSox did that and won series.

GE assessment: developers were doing things no one wanted.

If you know the efficiency number, raising that number is best thing to get Scrum to scale.

Everything in Scrum is data-driven. And this helps scaling.

Case Studies

He is consulting on changing the Toyota Way.  Getting rid of requirements. 

BMW: there will not be a single non-Scrum person at the company.

Microsoft after 10 years can now deploy every day.

Tesla – increasing market cap. Only shipping 50k a year.

BMW realizing they have to compete on this.

Agile is a different operating system. Have to change your business API and procedure calls.

Shu Ha Ri

Skype: because of the rat nest of dependencies, took 7 months to change a line of code.

To fix, implement Scrum: Find biggest problem and fix that.

Spotify. Why are projects late if all stories are early, they asked. Then they realized it was the managers.

Morning Star, food company. 

If Jeff was asked in 1993, he never would have guessed this many people. So in another 20? No idea, but think it will be awesome!