Project Management

The Reluctant Agilist

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Date

Creating Connections with Together To Gather

Getting people to open up to one another and connect at work is not an easy thing. It wasn’t easy before the world went remote, and now that many of us are somewhere in the middle of being half remote and half in-person, it’s not getting any easier. But if we can get to know each other a little better and a little deeper, we will foster stronger connections. As we become more invested in one another, the work we do together will improve as a result. 

Together To Gather is a card game developed by Lia James from &Human and Jessie Shternshus from the Improv Effect to help leverage the power of great questions to inspire meaningful conversations. If you are looking for a really fun way to build deeper relationships with your team members or any group of people you interact with, you should definitely check out this interview. During our conversation, Jessie, Lia, and I talk about how and why the game works and discuss different use cases for it. You can even watch us play a few rounds and learn one of the reasons I was so bad at working in a recording studio.

If you would prefer to listen to an audio-only version of this podcast you can find it here:
https://on.soundcloud.com/pDpKf

 

You can find more about Together To Gather Here:


Connecting with Lia


Connecting with Jessie

Posted on: September 28, 2023 11:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Jessie Shternshus - Improv, Safety, and “Yes, … and”

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. 

SHOW NOTES

00:00 Podcast Intro
01:58  Interview Start
02:22 What Jessie has been up to lately
03:42 Jessie’s work coaching people to help them amp up their presentation skills
04:45 The Creative Courage Summit
05:58 Jessie’s Book “CTRL SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today” 
06:17 Intro to the Improv Discussion
07:00 Dave’s fears about the safety provided by the improv framework
07:46 “I’m happy to tell you your being dumb”
08:22 How can you have an environment that is supportive AND critical
08:41 Dave missed some important pieces 
09:08 Learning from what makes you uncomfortable
10:04 It’s important to find the class that is right for you
11:50 How you establish a safe improv space
13:36 Safety comes from setting expectations, modeling behavior and getting to know people
16:12 Finding a way to use improv to build camaraderie with remote teams
18:20 Do you always have to “Yes, and…”
18:50 How “Yes, and” works, and the benefits it can bring
21:22 What skills improv can offer to individuals and teams working in an office setting
22:50 Advice from Jessie on how to pick the right class for you
25:19 Part of being creative involves tapping into your childlike self, but you have to feel safe going there
26:18 What if you can’t let go of everything and reach that childlike state? 
28:20 Being mindful of the things you are resisting
30:02 Getting in touch with Jessie

CONTACTING JESSIE

http://www.improveffect.com
https://www.facebook.com/improveffect/
https://twitter.com/TheImprovEffect

LINKS

Jessie’s Book: CTRL SHIFT: 50 Games for 50 ****ing Days Like Today http://amzn.to/2rhOxPk
The Creative Courage Summit: http://CreativeCourageSummit.live

My Video Podcast interview with Jessie at the 2015 Agile Conference: https://vimeo.com/135568636

Posted on: May 15, 2017 04:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Being Agile vs. Doing Agile

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.

 

 

Show Notes 

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

38:29 Close

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 Hammond is is the Director European Product Development at eBay and can be reached via his website: http://phammond.com or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/phammond

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/

Posted on: November 21, 2016 09:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
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