The 2018 North American Global Scrum Gathering kicked off with a keynote presentation that was incredibly unique and inspiring. Billy McLaughlin is a professional guitar player who spent his life working to reach a level of success most musicians only dream about. But just as he reached the top, the tools that got him there began working against him.
Billy suffers from focal dystonia. You may not be familiar with this condition, but for a professional guitar player, it is one of the the worst things that could possibly happen because it means you can’t do the one thing you have spent your life mastering.
While something like this might cause a lot of people to give up on their dreams and find something else to do, Billy found a different path. He learned to play the guitar left handed instead of right handed. (Just for frame of reference, imagine learning how to write again, using your opposite hand, but having to write everything backwards… what Billy had to do was harder than that.)
In this interview you’ll hear Billy explain what focal dystonia is, how it impacted him and how he worked through relearning to play guitar all over again.
The story is inspiring all on it’s own, but for me, there is something deeper in this story. In the interview you’ll hear Billy talk about the struggle of working through all the relearning and how he stayed motivated and kept at it. While it doesn’t touch the level of complexity that Billy had to work through, there are some parallels to what traditional PMs go through when they have to relearn how to do their jobs using Agile. For me, that journey felt like I was being forced to unlearn everything I had spent years trying to master, and then start over from scratch. Maintaining some level of motivation and not giving up hope was one of the hardest parts of the transformation. This is something Billy and I discuss in the interview, and for any of you who need inspiration from time to time, my hope is that his story will help.
There is contact info for Billy below, but if you’d like to check out his keynote presentations from other events, you can find them here.
Links from the Podcast
Christopher Avery is the author of The Responsibility Process and Teamwork Is an Individual Skill. He’s also one of the most inspiring and impactful people I’ve ever had a chance to interview. The Responsibility Process is an approach to understanding how each of us takes ownership of our understanding, and response to the challenges we face. It includes techniques that provide clarity on how the internal narrative we all create shows the extent to which we are able to realize our role in, and the level of responsibility we are taking with the things we face.
In this interview Christopher and I talk about The Responsibility Process and how his online program The Leadership Gift, is designed to help people embrace the process and use it to ltransform themselves into more fully realized, present and engaged leaders.
Over the last 20 years, there are very few things I’ve read which have had as significant an impact on me as The Responsibility Process. I can’t recommend it enough. But, one word of caution… this book is very likely going to completely strip away your ability to stay in the mindset of someone who has been totally victimized by external forces.
In the next few weeks I am going to sign up to participate in The Leadership Gift and I’ll be posting periodically on how it is impacting me.
If you’d like to check out an additional video where Christopher explains the The Leadership Gift in greater detail, you can find it here: https://www.projectmanagement.com/videos/286574/Your-Agile-Leadership-Gift
To learn more about The Leadership Gift, go here: http://www.the.leadershipgift.com
For more on Noel Tichy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noel_Tichy
Last week, at the 2018 North American Global Scrum Gathering, the Scrum Alliance and Scrum co-founder, Dr. Jeff Sutherland, announced the creation of a new joint venture to train, coach, and promote Scrum@Scale. Scrum@Scale is an extension of the Scrum Framework that is designed to deliver business Agility across an entire organization.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to to sit down with Jeff during the Scrum Gathering and ask some questions about his partnership with the Scrum Alliance, Scrum@Scale, and how it can help organizations achieve greater business Agility.
Links from the Podcast
If you’d like to read the press release on the joint venture, you can find it here: https://tinyurl.com/yc5z4w3p
Here is a link to the Scrum@Scale Guide
Here is a link to Jeff's latest book, "Scrum, The Art of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time".
Contacting Dr. Jeff Sutherland
If you’d like to contact Jeff you can reach him at:
During the 2018 Scrum Gathering in Minneapolis, Dr. Rick Brinkman will be giving a keynote presentation called "Conscious Communication to Bring out the Best in People and Others". The presentation will introduce the crowd to Dr. Brinkman’s techniques for developing greater awareness of how to interpret the messages others are sending us and how we are bringing noise to the signal of the messages we are trying to transmit to others.
I had the chance to interview Dr. Rick about his work helping people develop stronger communication skills. In this interview we discuss ways to become more aware of how we each jam up the messages we are trying to send by letting buried emotions effect our tone, how to slow down and communicate with sincerity and what folks will learn by attending the closing keynote at the 2018 Scrum Gathering. Dr. Rick also offered some tips from his latest book "Dealing with Meetings You Can't Stand: Meet Less and Do More". (https://tinyurl.com/y9phwzeg)
Dr. Rick Brinkman has presented over 4,000 programs in 18 countries and is the author of a number of books including the international best seller “Dealing with People You Can't Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst” (https://tinyurl.com/yb5wgkmp) which has been translated to 25 different languages.
The Scrum Gathering 2018 Closing Keynote: Conscious Communication to Bring out the Best in People and Others will take place on Wednesday, April 18 at 3:45 PM in the main auditorium at the conference center. You can learn more about the conference here: https://www.scrumalliance.org/courses-events/events/global-scrum-gathering/2018/minneapolis-2018/home
This podcast features Michael Tibbert and Dhaval Panchal helping me out with a question submitted by a student that focused on implementing Agile in a traditional supply chain organization. We also address the question of whether or not it is easier to implement Agile in a band new organization than it is in an existing one.
Oh - and also… The Parable of the Watermelon
And if you want to read more about the Parable of the Watermelon
(And in 2 weeks, when he gets his website sorted, that will be added here as well.)