Category Archives: Leadership and Management


Organizational Revolt

Many years ago a friend told me about an experience he had facilitating the ball point game for a team.   For some reason he   decided to start tossing the balls at the team instead of having them start the game.  Obviously the team wasn’t ready….they….ahem, dropped the balls if you will…and then he told me something amazing happened.

The Scrum Master stood up, held his hands up, stood between the facilitator and the team and yelled STOP!

Clearly the Scrum Master wasn’t going to put up with this nonsense.

So why do so many teams put up with this nonsense at their workplace?

Today I spoke with a friend who said he felt he had just been threatened to get a project out the door by X date or “it’s his ass”.  This in an environment where project priorities have changed daily over the last couple of months, where people have been moved between projects multiple times and in some cases, a person may be the only person working on a multi-month project.  By himself.  Half the time.  Perhaps he was exaggerating about the “it’s your ass” part, but I’ll take him at his word.  Perception is often reality.

A couple of weeks ago it was anti-bullying week in Toronto.  My kids’ school had an anti-bullying rally and of course, it’s all the rage nowadays.  We have to stop kids from bullying!  My 8 year recently stood up against a couple of 12 year olds at the park because they were acting like jerks and they threatened to blow up his house.   We found out who the kids were and went to their school and reported them to the principal who dealt with the situation.

Bullying is part of life and finely engrained in our society and it isn’t going to stop in our organizations until people like our resident Scrum Master I mentioned earlier react the same way on a real project as he did on that simulation.

15-min-on-air (1)

15-minutes on Air with Jurgen Appelo

I recently sat down with Jurgen Appelo to talk about the next edition of Lean Change Management which is being published by Happy Melly Express.

We talked about what’s in store for the next edition and how Happy Melly Express is helping new authors create higher quality content by offering a variety of services like content editing, image and media production and more.

I understand now what it means when I hear authors say writing a book is a labour of love!  I’m enjoying working through this and despite the late nights and giving up free time and weekends, I’m thrilled with the progress made thus far!

Support Happy Melly Express!

Recovering from Failure, A Year Later

Last year I completely tanked at Agile 2012.    We, in the Agile community, like to say that failure IS an option and in order to learn and grow, you must fail.  Rightly so I suppose, but it sucked.

It really sucked.

It felt horrible to feel embarrassed in front of my peers, more so when I was asked “so, how’d your session go?”.

But do we really learn more from failure than success?  Who knows.  Google that and you’ll find articles that contradict each other citing various research papers and experiments.  You’ll also find the famous quote from Einstein where he says he didn’t fail, he simple found 10,000 ways that didn’t workContinue reading