Archives for the Month of February, 2010

Help Grow the Agile Fairytales Community

Help Make Your Dreams Come True!

Making Dreams Come True

We’ve created a virtual space to grow the community around the Agile Fairytales. It’s a place where you’re invited to share – be it thoughts, ideas, feedback and anything else that you deem relevant to the group.

You’re invited to use the space to:

  • Exchange stories on how you first came across the Agile Fairytales
  • Share your experiences of how you use the Agile Fairytales at work and at play
  • Broadcast upcoming events featuring Agile Fairytales.

We’ll also use the space to:

  • Broadcast upcoming Agile Fairytales sessions
  • Agile Fairytales releases and updates
  • And, of course, we’d love to hear your ideas on how to spread the joy and share the fun! 

Meanwhile, read more about the adventures of Agile Fairytales here. And why not experience the adventures for yourself? Find out when the next Agile Fairytale coming to a place near you. Watch this space!

Count Me In!

To join in, sign up to the LinkedIn group and send a request to join the group. In your request, tell us a bit about yourself and why you would like to join the group.

Meanwhile, keep well and I hope to see you at an Agile Fairytale session soon!

Love What You Do

Mirror, mirror on the wall... Do you love what you do?

‘Real love stories never have endings’ – Richard Bach

A Classic Tale of Love and Hate

On 13 January 2010 at 12.10 precisely, my friend Jack calls me to announce he’s resigned with a new job ready to start in March. Jack has been unhappy in his old job for over a decade. You’re probably thinking to yourself, ‘That’s your typical Man-Gets-Paid-To-Do-A-Job-He-Hates story. So what?’ and you’d be right. Except that’s not where the story ends.

Ever since Jack handed in his resignation, he’s taken on more responsibility and become more assertive. His colleagues tell me how he’s been helping to deliver more value to the organisation in the last 20 days than he has ever done in the past 10 years. Intrigued by this mysterious twist in the plot, I call Jack.

‘I’m not sure what’s happened really,’ says Jack. ‘The day after I handed in my resignation, I had an epiphany. You know I’m not a religious bloke. I just figured out that, instead of ekeing out my existence during my notice period, I would do what I’ve been meaning to do for a decade. A good job. By that I mean, make my voice heard. Share my ideas with people even if they’re a bit out there. After all, my boss can’t sack me anymore.’

Know Yourself

Stephen King says, ‘If you love what you do, you can do it forever.’ First you need to know what it is you love doing. Then find out what makes it so lovable. Richard Bolles, author of ‘What Colour is Your Parachute’, outlines an exercise in his book for coming up with your ideal job profile (aka job description). They are:

  1. Your favourite interests
  2. Geography – where you like to work (venue and location)
  3. Your favourite people and environments
  4. Your favourite values and goals
  5. Your favourite working conditions
  6. Salary and level of responsibility
  7. Your top 6 favourite skills.

It’s up to you how much time you invest on completing the job description. I remember it took me a total of 5 hours one fateful weekend all that time ago. Once you’ve got your ideal job description, you’re ready to go job shopping.

Remember how much you enjoyed shopping for that gadget or picnic basket? And how was that possible? Because you’d somehow distilled (implicitly or explicitly) the key attributes of what it was you needed to achieve your goals. As Paul Arden said, ‘Without having a goal, it’s hard to score.’

Love the Job You’re In

Now imagine this. You’ve identified your goal. And you’ve got your dream job description. Ask yourself these 4 questions:

  • What would happen if you got what you wanted?
  • What wouldn’t happen if you got what you wanted?
  • What would happen if you didn’t get what you wanted?
  • What wouldn’t happen if you didn’t get what you wanted?

Answering these questions might be a challenge, but they really make you think. The questions force you to question why you want what you want and this, in turn, helps you refine your goal and your strategy to do what you need to achieve that goal.

The Neverending Story

On 11 February 2010 at 12.15 precisely, Jack calls me with some news. It turns out that, having seen his remarkable contribution in the past 4 weeks, Jack’s boss has asked him to stay and offered him a package that exceeds his other job offer. And that, dear Reader, is where our story ends. But not Jack’s. And what of your story?

Agile Fest 2010

Treasure Map of Agile Fest

Going Agile

The second ever Agile Fest, short for ‘Agile Festival’, took place last Tuesday in the UK. Agile Fest is an annual internal event run by one of emergn‘s clients to promote awareness of how and where Agile is being used within their organisation as well as to create an opportunity for 1-2-1 networking and community building.

Fun and Games

A game of Poker anyone?The event atttracted an exceptional turnout, with more than 250 visitors dropping in and taking part in the 3 hours it took place. The festival consisted of 12 stalls, with topics ranging from Planning Poker and Agile First Aid to Evolutionary Design and Distributed Teams. Each stall was run by internal Agile enthusiasts, with support from emergn’s coaches, giving practical advice on and demonstrations of Agile Principles, Practices and Techniques.

Where's the value in that story?It was super fun because it gave me the opportunity to work alongside the client and a bunch of emergn Coaches, first in preparing for the event, then in mingling with the participants. Can I sum up the kinds of people who attended the event in 4 words? I think I can. It’s ‘Curiosity’ and ‘Willingness to Learn’. These are essential traits for an organisation serious about delivering more value to their customers.

Organising the Organising and Giving Back

The organisation of Agile Fest in itself was an example of agility in action. The event was made possible only by the incredible creativity, contribution and collaboration from both the organisers and the participants. Great thoughtfulness had gone into the event, such as handmade badges and a homemade cake sale which raised £300 in sales for the Haiti Relief Fund (which the organisation is doubling!). My tastebuds tell me Collin’s special carrot cake with coconut shavings had something to do with how much we raised!

Champagne Cheers for a job well done!

Most Memorable Moment

The fantastic turnout and number of compelling questions asked is evidence of what transforms an organisation from Good to Great. How are you going to add value at work and beyond this week?

New Release: The Yellow Brick Road Game Version 2.0

Isn't it time you learned about Peer Coaching?

Thanks to all your feedback on the game and your enthusiasm for Peer Coaching, we’re pleased to announce the release of version 2.0 of The Yellow Brick Road Game – Fresh Insights Through Peer Coaching.

The headline changes include:

  • Making the game and session more generic – Not only can you use it to learn about peer coaching for Agile Adoption, you can now use it to learn about peer coaching for any context or domain you wish
  • Full presentation with speaker notes – The presentation for running the session is now available so that you, too, can run it with ease and flourish at work (and even with family and friends)!
  • New User Manual – Detailing the contents of the downloadable game kit and further resources about peer coaching

Find out more about Happy Endings with Agile Fairytales. Keep the feedback coming! Happy Peer Coaching!