03 - 04 November 2016
M Shed, Bristol, UK

Herding cats: integrating techs & execs

Katherine Kirk

Session type: Keynote
Session duration: 60 minutes

About this Keynote

As our context gets faster and more complex, hierarchical decision making - from strategy to technical and everything in between - is on the out. No matter how much introverts and power-interested execs may sulk, no-one has the time anymore to wait for the perfect answer, from the perfect person, in the perfect format, in the perfect steps with everything perfectly considered. We gotta know yesterday, and decide with whoever is doing the work, and do it right away … that’s empowerment, right? That’s ‘continuous improvement’, right?

And so, in this environment over the last decade, techs and execs have been dragged out of their warm, dark corners and made to collaborate in the cold light of day for the sake of business advantage. We call that being ‘agile’ or ‘lean’.

Well...there’s few ways this can go spectacularly wrong - including the way a coach, leader or facilitator can unintentionally approach this process of herding cats.

In this keynote, I will draw on my experience as an ‘alternative agile/lean coach’ and use eastern and tribal philosophical models to point out 3 very simple ways I keep the ‘dark side’ of coaching and leadership in check. I’ll explain how I consistently aspire to achieve collaboration nirvana - ‘insight facilitation’ - unashamedly pointing out how I learned it all the hard way.

About the Speaker

Katherine Kirk is a highly experienced independent Agile/Lean Consultant and international conference speaker.

Her primary area of expertise lies in co-discovery and insight facilitation through exploring and combining eastern and tribal philosophy to find practical answers to tough, on-the-ground issues, specifically involving contextually driven edge-cases and the cultural interaction between hierarchical management and Agile/Lean teams.

After gaining a first class BSc (Hons) in computing she completed post graduate studies in software engineering at University of Oxford and currently enjoys being an active participant of a community of Lean and Agile practitioners in Europe who explore and challenge the status quo through experimenting and collaborating.

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