Archives for the Month of October, 2012

Fright Night Special: Scare yourself silly for free!

Enjoy a scary read for free

To celebrate this Halloween, we’re giving away free downloads of The Dream Team Nightmare, the first ever Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style story about Agile for 48 hours from 30 – 31 October inclusive.

The Dream Team Nightmare is great for ghostbusters because it’s packed full of ideas of how to make friends with the ghosties and ghoulies they meet every day. Coupon code: FrightNight.

Enjoy the scary read! Read it with friends and colleagues to trigger a conversation for daring change!

What reviewers say…

Vera Peeters, software developer and co-creator of The XP Game, says:
“Portia is trying to write down stuff from her own excperience since a long time. Now she finally found her format. It’s a great idea to make it an adventure! It is different, it is playful, it makes it fun to read and read again and to study. As always, Portia will inspire you and will challenge you to think about what you are doing.”

Steve Holyer, Agile Coach, says:
“The only way to learn Agile coaching is by doing. ‘The Dream Team Nightmare’ lets you experience a week as Agile coach for the Dream Team in a “choose-your-own- adventure” style book. It’s totally fun and surprisingly like real life.”

Staffan Noteberg, author of “Pomodoro Technique Illustrated”, says:
“The Game of life is to try, learn and adapt through small and frequent experiments. Portia’s book gives you the unique opportunity to understand Agile in an experimen- tal way. The palette of problems and creative solutions, presented in this book, will surprise experienced Agile practitioners as well as new enthusiasts.”

Olaf Lewitz, Agile Coach, says:
“‘The Dream Team Nightmare’ is the most compelling and intriguing ‘business novel’ that I have read so far. The message is so well wrought into the narrative flow that you barely notice you are learning a lot. The style of making assumptions, validating them to keep track of what you learn and plan to do is that of an effective change artist. To explicitly identify options, deferring decisions to keep options open, not only makes reading this gamebook very exciting, it is also part of the method you see applied. I highly recommend this book to agile readers of all experi- ence levels. You will learn. Let Agile Adventures entertain you!”

Transforming Workplaces into Somewhere We Belong

A lifelong journey begins with a baby step…

Do you feel all washed out and chewed up by your daily slog? Are you snowed under an ever-growing mountain of low value work? Do you dream instead of making a dent in the world through positive contribution to the world from where youʼre sitting? Then itʼs time to try the latest great indoor activity to reach corporations both small and large: Enterprise Gardening.

You’ll find the presentation content here. Click past the YouTube video to see the full presentation, complete with speaker notes on Slideshare.

… with help from some special friends

A BIG “Thank You” goes to:

  • Team TEDxMiltonKeynesJo, Gareth, Hannah and Jane
  • Pioneer Enterprise Gardeners who showed me how a lot of toil and even more heart can help us slowly but surely transform our workplaces into somewhere we belong: with special thanks to Dan Talpau, Chris Lane, Maria Bortes, Dyan Corutiu and Chantal Ellam and teams I’ve worked with over the years


Up Close and Uncomfortable

Challenging the Caring Profession

In the run-up to my Christmas baby, I’ve had more close encounters with those who work in the “caring profession” than I’ve had since I first arrived in the world over all those years ago.

And all the time I now spend in waiting rooms has given me lots of time to think.

Caring vs Competence

What makes me uncomfortable is the large number of people I’ve met who are not only not passionate about their job but are incompetent at what they do.

In my experience, the caring profession is no exception in a world where we are encouraged to demand more than the value we actually add.

What People Want

The usual demand goes something like this: “I want more recognition, more money, more influence, more power…” And so the wish list continues.

And I find myself asking in return: “How much value are you providing for your current wage? How do you provide a positive Return-On-Investment to your organisation?”

If you cannot answer these questions to your satisfaction and that of your organisation’s, how would you feel if your organisation asked for some of their money back? After all, it seems only fair.

If you’re not helping to make things better, it’s more likely than not that you’re making things worse.

What’s a “caring profession” anyway?

I’ve come to define a caring profession as one that:
a) Involves people AND/OR
b) Impacts people

Why? Because caring is key to creating a positive customer experience. Caring also inspires us to improve at our craft in order to serve others better. All this results in more value for everyone to enjoy.

Based on my definition, most of us work in the caring profession.

What if you were to blame a little less and care a little more? How could you change the world around you?