Archive for the ‘Linda Rising’ Category

#agileday2011 Reflections on Job Candidates and Dr. Linda Rising

September 29, 2011

I was revising a job description as I need more Project Managers at my company.  I stopped for a second on what seems like a standard, throw-away phrase in these sorts of things:

…attention to detail, a collaborative spirit, and a readiness to learn…

What do these really mean?  If you are looking to hire someone, how do they really exhibit these qualities?


#agileday2011 my raw notes from the Keynote with Linda Rising / #agile

September 27, 2011

Here are my raw, unedited notes from Agile Day New York. Will parse later and capture my reactions and those of others if I receive any.


– believes in the power of stories
– send her ideas for stories; call for insights

Presentation is on Patterns – mentioned Gang of Four book

New article series on IEEE software

Question she’s been asked “how can we force people to do Agile?”

Mentions Cisco vice president that if he has an initiative and people don’t do, he fires them. What you get from that is compliance. They will do as long as you are enforcing. “I believe onlybway to really change is to get people to believe it is the right thing to do.”

Asked who is rational. Found audience member – asked if married. Then asked if it was rational decision. Did he do a decision tree? No.

Cognitive scientists are telling us *none* of our decisions are rational.

Then mentioned how a deck on agile with rational argument for Agile does not take. Reason why people decide to do anything in an organization is not based on a rational decision. It is based on something else.

We don’t know, can’t know why we make the decisions we do. After the fact we can outline a reason why; we are good at making a rationalization. But has nothing to do with the real reason.

There are patterns on the website. First pattern set she showed:

Power of belief. If you are going to be someone who is going to change your organization, you must believe. Be an evangelist. Share your passion.

Agile might be a placebo. What do we think: Does it matter whether we have double-blind studies? We have no proof. We only have a lot of good stories, but no scientific proof.

Take small steps; build on successes and learn from failure. Repeat.
Test waters; Time for reflection; small successes; step by step. Then you can reach the tipping point. Has seen increments of a few hours at Amazon.

Timing is everything. For example better times to talk to people than others.

Companies announce: “Do more with less.” Means we have to work more.

How do these companies do this? They just announce it. Example at her husband’s company. And not a single person left; not a single person worked fewer hours. Not that they are resistant to change or stupid. Have no time to breathe or think of a better way.

How to get started?
Just do it. Do Food.

Goodness should win, right? Could it be that everyone thinks that his ideas are the good ones? Has nothing to do with tools. Bullet in a PowerPoint doesn’t convince, doesn’t brainwash.

An experiment shows that serving food opens the mind to ideas. So “do food.”. Double-blind studies show that the group fed food will support even bad ideas. Every time. And the qualitybof the food is important. Not what they say they want; what they really want.

All dictators say “I was doing it for good reasons. I am good person at heart.”

Build grassroots support:
– personal touch
– emotional connection

Main question is “what’s in it for me?” And if you cannot make an emotional connection, adopt another’s p.o.v., and only present rational, you cannot effect change.

Respect resistance; use it to your advantage.
– fear less
– trial run

We get stuck on differences. Male/female. Old/young. Etc. Hard-wired to do that. If we meet resistors we will start saying “those people” – we will start saying “those people.”

What do we do with those people? Fire them?

The most convincing thing you can do is to pay attention and listen. Treat that person as though they are wisest in the world. So play role of active listener and learner.

Seek them out. Respect that other point of view. 75% of the time that respect will listen them into being open to you. Move away from the fencing match model of “Ha! Ha! I win!” It doesn’t work.

#agile2011 Keynote with Linda Rising

August 12, 2011

[Updated on reflection. Scroll down for raw notes.]

This talk moved me to tears. So from the heart. First Dr. Rising gave us her background, and in doing acknowledged her age and mentioned she’d gotten a PhD late in life, defending her dissertation at age 50. Then she stated her intention was to help us, the audience, not make the same mistakes she had made. Importantly, she made a statement which said, roughly, “If what I say is useful for you, please follow that. If not, please disregard.” Her saying this reminded me of great Tibetan Buddhist masters who say the same thing. I’ll tell you why they do in a minute.

Dr. Linda Rising

Dr. Linda Rising