Some time ago over lunch with an Executive Vice President of a major international bank, the conversation turned to continuous learning at the executive level. She shared with me a fairly profound piece of information I had not really though about: executives find it difficult to “let their guard down” and learn from others, because there is always somebody trying to sell them something. Consequently, executives are always on their guard and unwilling to open up about their experiences, especially problems they face. I asked several other executives from a wide range of companies of they felt the same way, and received a 100% “Oh yes, I never feel safe to openly discuss anything” response. Which is sad, very sad. So I decided to take action, creating and organizing the Executive Roundtable.
The Executive Roundtable that we are sponsoring aims to provide a safe, open, relaxed forum for executives to share their experiences in adopting Agile approaches, and learning from their peers in solving issues that crop-up. My hope is that this type of forum will help correct this issue.
How? Well, the forum has no advertising, no marketing, and no salespeople. Just peer-to-peer conversations.
The format is very simple: one executive gives a short presentation (a talk, an exercise, a little PowerPoint) about their specific experience with adopting Agile. This is followed by an open discussion amongst all those present. At the end of the event, we will decide when the next one will take place, and who might like to lead this next session. I have coordinated and organized several such Executive Roundtables. I think it fair to say that all in attendance learned a lot about others, often having a different perspective of their own potential difficulties as a takeaway.
Everyone needs a safe place to open our mind and learn. The Executive Roundtable aims to provide this space for Agile leaders in and around the Twin Cities. The next session we will feature…
Peter Callies, Surescripts
Vice President, Product Development Lifecycle
Peter will discuss how his organization sustains their Agile adoption, and how Surescripts relies on existing and new practices to further their business goals. From this discussion, you can also expect to learn about the approaches many organizations use today to successfully adopt an agile approach. You will also have an opportunity to share your own experiences, which others can learn from.