Jessie Shternshus is the founder of The Improv Effect and the author of “CTRL SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today”. In her work, Jessie often incorporates improv techniques to help people tap into the things they need to become better communicators, team members and leaders. She also coaches organizations through Agile transition and cultural change. After recently completing my first improv class, and not feeling very confident that I “got it”, I had lots of questions. Jessie was kind enough to spend some time talking with me about my experience, the benefits improv can provide, what “yes, and…” really means, why it is important and the elements needed to create a safe space where people can thrive and be creative.
00:00 Podcast Intro
My Video Podcast interview with Jessie at the 2015 Agile Conference: https://vimeo.com/135568636
In this podcast, Jessie Shternshus , Paul Hammond and I take a shot at addressing the question of whether organizations have become so focused by the need to “do” Agile that they may have lost the ability to actually “be” Agile. During the conversation we touch on a number of the key challenges organizations are facing and how these challenges are impacting individuals at the team level.
00:45 Introduction to Jessie and Paul
02:00 The Topic(s): Do we need to return to a more simple version of it so that people can better understand/internalize the fundamental intent behind it and not simply get lost in dogma and going thru the motions? How do we help “them” figure out the “why”?
06:30 Does leadership need to deeply understand Agile to help support transition to Agile or can the organization succeed if they just want to “do Agile”?
08:48 Changing the conversation to help people approach Agile with a more open mindset?
10:48 Mapping organizational values to Agile Manifesto values
11:30 How to create hope (that things can improve) at an organization?
14:20 Taking the option to “Make a choice”
16:37 Advice for getting “Buy In”
18:03 How do we unfreeze the frozen middle?
20:08 Should leadership demonstrate vulnerability when trying to transition to Agile? (crickets)
20:46 How do I help my company become a place innovative, agile people will want to work?
22:47 You can’t put a band-aid on culture
23:56 What id you hire for the culture you want, and disappoint the new folks with what you have?
26:15 Has anyone’s Agile transformation ever gone fast enough? What is the pace of transition that you need?
27:17 Remember to acknowledge the positives
28:00 Advice for Senior Mgmt. on adopting Agile
32:36 Advice for Team Members who feel like Mgmt. doesn’t get it yet
36:30 How to reach Jessie and Paul
Contacting Jessie and Paul
Jessie is the founder of The ImprovEffect. You can reach her at her site here: http://www.improveffect.com or via Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheImprovEffect. She also has a number of upcoming events which can be found here: http://www.improveffect.com/events/
Paul is also on the Board of the Agile Alliance. You can find more about the upcoming Agile Alliance Technical Conference here: https://www.agilealliance.org/agile-alliance-technical-conference-2017/
Jessie Shternshus visits with Dave Prior at Agile 2015.