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Presentation Details

Scaling Agile like a Fish...

Hölzle said, At scale, Everything breaks. Through experience, I have found that scaling is “outward” not an upward exercise. This involves flattening hierarchies, break silos and fluid human networks. This talk examines agility at scale, leadership, people dynamicss and a bit about a fish.

Scaling agility is like trying to kick a dead whale down the beach: The harder you kick, the messier it gets. A trap many organisations fall into is thinking that scaling can be somehow be achieved by focussing on frameworks and tooling. They forget to ask the most important question: How do we scale the interactions between people?

Human systems and agile environments are non-linear and fluid. Rigid organisational structures and traditional reporting lines stifle creativity, innovation and delivery. So how can we replace these structures? How can we fundamentally change our approach to leadership and people dynamics to create fluidity and flow?

This session is anecdotal and based on my last 10 years of coaching and consulting. Throughout the presentation, I give real examples of approaches to scaling, leadership and people dynamics and how these approaches shaped the organisations around them for better or worse. Threaded through these stories are the lessons of the dichotomous nature of leadership, the trade-offs and the decisions that each leader will undoubtedly face when attempting to scale agility.

Top 5 Takeaways:
1 The challenges of traditional hierarchies
2 The challenges of scaling frameworks
3 The Uniformity Trap
4 Scaling outwards instead of upwards
5 How to approach Leadership differently to lead in a flat networked environment, allowing new leaders to emerge out of non-linear fluid human-systems.
Speakers Profile

Stephen de Villiers Graaff

Speakers Profile

I am a professional trainer and coach specialising in Agile practices. Over the last 20+ years I have worked in many different industries from the collar and tie of large corporates to the hard-hats and steel-caps of manufacturing. In these industries, I have been responsible for building and leading teams in the delivery and support of customer value primarily using Agile frameworks.

I have discovered through this journey that true agility has nothing to with frameworks and processes. True agility is about people, and more importantly, about how people interact with each other. How do we create a culture that self-assesses and corrects over time? How do we ensure that the learned behaviours we pass on are those that we truly value?

I love helping people to discover new ways of thinking, learning and relearning. How can we improve the end to end delivery of value together? How do we embark on our own unique journey while embracing the vital elements of respect, focus and simplicity? I ask these questions constantly as we strive to build cohesive and collaborative teams: Magic is formed when people are encouraged to be creative, expressive and collectively responsible.

Make no little plans: they have no magic to stir men’s blood. – Daniel Burnham

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