Jun. 13, 2021

Looking For Partners In Crime?

Okay, I might have to make clear that I do not intend to rob a bank. Although, following the Newcastle and Lake Mac overheating housing market, it is tempting. But let’s face it: It takes courage, commitment, agility, and many skills to rob a bank. I might lack the criminal element needed to succeed, but I am really keen to find local “partners in crime“ (rather “partners in business“); people who are aligned and driven by their purpose, who learned and earned to respect and trust blindly, and who truly work as a multi skilled team.

Jun. 3, 2021

Scrum Parent

I have been thinking a lot about the role of a Scrum Master. What I know is that I do not want to fill the role mechanically, as learned from a book. There is much more to it: I want to be a parent of a team. Emphasis is on “parent“ and on “team“. Obviously, each parent has a different parenting style. Young parents have to find themselves in their role, some do what their parents did (and they hate themselves for flipping back to the old style but can’t help), others try several parenting styles in a more or less agile way (they receive lots of feedback from their kids and external stakeholders such as schools).

May. 2, 2021

Just W.A.I.T.

Although I haven’t worked as a journalist for a while, there will be always a strong journalist heart pumping in my body. I love to learn, understand topics, grasp the essence and to find out what makes people tick. In the early days as a journalist I prepared many questions for my interviews. I believed in the power of smart questions. But I wasn’t experienced — or agile — enough to change my interviewing plan.

Apr. 25, 2021

Smile, Breathe, And Think Slowly

There are times for fast thinking and rapid decisions. And there are also times for slow thinking, for letting things develop over time, like good wine, vinegar or cheese. People who are fast talkers and fast thinkers do not see any value in digging deeper. Slow is the new black (or orange?) Let’s explore the “Slow Thinking Manifesto“, which I recently signed. Sometimes slow thinking needs another space, maybe a chat with a friend about something else or a long walk at the beach (my favourite way to come up with some creative ideas).

Apr. 15, 2021

Communicate Like Adults

A few years ago, I helped an executive in pitching his product to his clients at a conference. Together, we examined his clients' situation, problems and needs, and weaved a compelling story line leading to a strong call-to-action. There was only one tiny problem: The software wasn’t released yet. But the executive really wanted to show a demo of the solution to get feedback and maybe a buy-in. So, we had a meeting with the product manager…

Apr. 11, 2021

One Less Project Manager

One reason for becoming a Scrum Master was the absence of a project manager in the Scrum framework. See, I grew up in a cold waterfall world, and I worked with a lot of project managers (and occasionally, I was also in the role as a pm). Many project managers acted as scribes, protocol writers, gant-chart sketchers, and fierce budget watchers. Their entire focus was on following the BIG plan. We all know that planning is essential, but plans are often useless — so what about the project manager?

Mar. 28, 2021

The Value Of Your Stakeholder

Almost 30 years ago, I worked as an editor for a German computer magazine called “PC Praxis“. With a monthly circulation of about 200,000 copies, it was the top-selling magazine. In these days, you could be a know-it-all, we were exploring and writing technological history in real-time: I disassembled huge desktop computers and tested graphic cards, hard disk drives and modems; installed, tested and reviewed software (on DOS 3.1) and games, wrote how-to-articles and experimented with the Usenet.

Mar. 1, 2021

Why I Don't Like The Sprint

Wait a second: How can a Scrum Master not like sprinting? Well, I like the concept, but not the word: In Scrum, a sprint is an event and container for all other scrum events such as the sprint planning, daily scrums, the sprint review and the sprint retrospective. Depending on the stage of the project and risks involved, a sprint could last up to one month. So, what is wrong with that?

Nov. 6, 2020

Smart But Not Helpful

Take the future of a city full of autonomous cars (a technologist’s dream come true): The natural “enemies” of these smart vehicles will be cyclists and pedestrians as they are unpredictable human risks who will suddenly rule the streets (neatly programmed, autonomous cars will stop and obey when pedestrians stand in the middle of the road). In consequence, and to keep traffic flowing, a “smart system” needs to take care of all subjects disturbing that flow.

Dec. 8, 2019

Why the What matters

It is easy to “start with why”: You sit down, walk, brainstorm or meditate, and eventually you will come up with a lofty “why statement”, which will be your favourite mantra for the next few days. But what will you do with it? Many people then skip or only lightly touch the “what” because it is much more fun to explore the “how”: it is all about learning and acquiring knowledge, skills needed for future success; networking, talking, fiddling with technologies and figuring out perfect workflows for quite unlikely scenarios.

Aug. 3, 2019

How Often Shall I Share On LinkedIn?

I hear this quite often in my coachings. And I sense a feeling of insecurity and fear that interactions might gobble up too much time from an already busy work day. Interactions are important for deep networking. But it is not purely about frequency. You could be an “interaction monster“, “like“ and “share“ or “comment“ as much as possible. But really, what do you want to achieve with it? So the first question you need to address is this:

Sep. 1, 2018

Can You Read This?

Ok, so I do not speak any Chinese. I guess the picture above might be a DVD shop with some other stuff on sale. Maybe mobile telephone cards? Who knows. My native language is German. I can discuss deep world politics in English. Pardon my French. The rest in my language toolbox is rusty and pretty useless. We do live in a global world. While a few years ago English was the main language here in LinkedIn (it still is) and all German members posted their profiles and activities in English only, something has changed.