10 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Skills

One of the key topics in the Agile community is leadership. What kind of leader motivates people to get up every morning and give their all? Here are 10 ways to improve your leadership skills and help your team reach new heights.

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Prize-winning transformation @ Florius

If you’re a Dutch citizen and you have a mortgage, there’s a reasonable chance that your case file runs on a Florius platform. To reduce time-to-market and increase customer centricity, the company put together its first Agile Release Train about three years ago. Several prize-winning innovations later, there’s reason for SAFe Agilists Maartje van der Veen and Patrick Wijsman to look back and share the learnings at Agile@Scale.

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Combine Agile@Scale and Implementing SAFe with ‘SPC in a week’

Aspiring SPCs that want to improve their game should seriously consider the triple-deal ‘SPC in a week.’ The subtle work of the SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) requires a lot of what the Germans call ‘Fingerspitzengefühl’: in other words, experience is key. So, what better way to boost your beginnings as an SPC than with our ‘SPC in a week’ offer? Immerse yourself in a full week of mentorship, knowledge exchange and training by one the world’s most experienced SAFe trainers, SPCT Eelco Rustenburg with Marijt Weerts. From January 25th ‘til 29th… it’s all about the ART.

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“Combining Product Ownership with line management? Hold my beer.”

Agilists focus on program performance; line management focuses on functional excellence and control. Agilists preach a focus on product outcome, while line management tends to maximize output. Just two obvious stereotypes between the two groups. Sander Nienkemper looks forward to visiting Agile@Scale, because he combines both roles (as well as a third!) at insurance company Vivat.

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“The outcome is key, not the method.”

The first speaker to present a case on January 25t, 2021 at our upcoming event Agile@Scale is Rick van Benten, of telecoms conglomerate VodafoneZiggo. Offering a peek into his planned narrative, he says: “I wanted the desired outcome to lead us, rather than just unbox a method.”

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‘Hippie’ RTEs celebrate online togetherness

My personal highlight of the RTE Summit Global: seeing the conference’s chairman Ali Hajou wearing a black braided ‘hippie’ wig for a themed presentation halfway through the second day. That, and seeing so many seasoned RTEs share their stories of failure, struggle, strength and success at the end-of-day online roundtables. What was yours?

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From the business with love (for RTEs)

Chris James expresses a deep appreciation for the Release Train Engineer. He has to, in a way: as CEO of Scaled Agile, RTEs are his bread and butter. But as CEO he’s also a Business Owner himself, working with the RTEs of Scaled Agile’s own ARTs – and from that perspective he’s seen some room to improve for many who drive that Train. So, Chris James’ keynote for this year’s RTE Summit on November 9th… dives into the business-RTE relationship.

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Over 100 Agile Coaches welcomed in virtual Agile Coach Conference

It’s a wrap! On October 28th we received over 100 Agile coaches on our virtual online platform for the first edition of the agile coach conference. Over the course of an entire day, these enthusiastic professionals followed more than 8 presenting speakers, 3 keynote speakers, and 2 rounds of 6 workshops each, and many exciting ideas exchanged.

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Save the Date! Agile@Scale Global, January 25 promises ‘sparks of insight’

Eelco Rustenburg and Niels Groen,  SAFe Program Consultant Trainers (SPCT) and twin driving forces behind Gladwell Academy’s Agile @ Scale Global, explain why you should Save the Date of January 25, 2021

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Nike’s historic cross-continental SAP implementation

Jenny van Rinsum and Larry Anderson are both witty personalities who like to share a joke. They also share the responsibility for a monumental undertaking at Nike: the replacement of its huge legacy ERP platform Island Pacific with SAP CAR and S/4HANA. And that’s no joke, especially because it involves a cross-continental ART that has several complex dependencies with other ARTs.

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The Skeptics are your friend

They are a recurring voice in most Agile trainings, as they are in the workplace: the skeptical onlooker. I’m referring here to the voices that, while agreeing with the benefits promised by the transformation, they expect it will fail. I welcome such voices because their words hold a sad truth that is often left unsaid: many transformations do fail. And when they do, it’s usually because of precisely what the skeptics warned against.

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What I learned teaching Agile ideas to Financial Controllers

Let’s look at the following scenario. You are a business or financial controller, in an organization that has adopted Agile principles and practices. Let’s assume there are obvious positive effects on product development and customer satisfaction. One thing bothers you, though…

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Geertje de Jong: “A network of Agile knowledge”

Look into the ‘behind the scenes’ of the work that keeps the trainings running at Gladwell Academy, with Global Business Developer manager Geertje de Jong. Geertje talks about how she tries to offer her clients more than just a training: she offers them knowledge and peace of mind.

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Agile at UWV: From ‘walls of confusion’ to flow!

Seasoned Scrum Master Afra Shamshiri and Agile Coach Mark Heistek will present at the Agile Coach Conference about their work to transform business departments at the Dutch Employee insurance Agency (UWV) into more Agile Value Stream oriented lines. Here’s a peek at their plans for the conference.

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“To think like a designer, learn to feel like your customer.”

Design thinking isn’t rocket science, says Riekes Beelen. “To get good at it does take some experience. What we teach in the new course, Design Thinking and Customer Journey Mapping is a great start, but you’ll get better over time – it’s a hands-on sport!”

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Amy Doerflinger:  Diversity & Inclusion is the HeART of the ART!

RTE Amy Doerflinger of Boeing, a self-described “recovering project manager,” is planning a discussion at this year’s RTE Summit Global. Her activity will be based around how through increased awareness of diversity and inclusion she was able to facilitate improved unity, cohesiveness, and performance throughout her Agile Release Train.

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The three roles of an Agile Coach, pt. 3: Team Facilitator

In this final episode of our study into Lyssa Adkins’ three roles of the Agile Coach, Agile Coach and trainer Renate Cremer discusses how, at the most personal level, the Team Coach brings out existing solutions within a team.

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“An experienced trainer; lively sessions; learnings that matter.”

Paul van Sonsbeek, Agile Coach at the Volksbank reflects on the recent PO/PM training with trainer Andries Hettema. “Most of us were well-experienced POs, so we were looking for a kind of masterclass. So, Andries cut the entry-level theory and doubled down on storytelling and practical experiences.”

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Catch up with Weronika Śreniawa-Pisarska, ‘RTE of the Year’ 2020!

Each RTE Summit features the election of an ‘RTE of the Year’ in recognition of someone’s contribution to building the Release Train Engineer practice. In preparation for the RTE Summit Global, learn about what this year’s winner Weronika Śreniawa-Pisarska has been up to since receiving the award.

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Exploiting synergies: Gladwell Academy and wibas jointly offer the “Implementing SAFe® (SPC)” training course in German

The “Implementing SAFe® (SPC)” training course is part of the Gladwell Academy’s SAFe training portfolio. While all Gladwell Academy training courses were previously conducted in English, prospective SAFe 5.0 Program Consultants in Germany have been able to learn in their native language since September: the “Implementing SAFe® (SPC)” training course is offered in German on a total of four dates in 2020. These training courses are organised by the Gladwell Academy in cooperation with wibas GmbH, a leading provider of SAFe® training.

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