Approximate reading time: 12 minutes

The fourth Agile100 conference had, like the previous events, a diversified line-up and excellent speakers. In addition, a record number of listeners could be reported with almost 700 participants. The seven speakers had a broad range of topics from Entra- and Intrapreneurship to Agile Sales, Design Thinking, LeSS and even an Agile-Rap as a duet.

The speakers presented the following topics:

The Visual Artists Henk Wijnands and Holger Nils Pohl were again part of the team.

Tendayi Viki: The Authentic Intrapreneur

In his session, Tendayi talked about how companies (and the innovators within those companies) can manage to generate continuous innovation and use it to create value. His goal is that companies should focus on repeatable innovation processes and thereby continuously increase the outcome.

As explained in his current medium article, innovation or, as he puts it, intrapreneurship means above all to focus on things that already work and to develop them further. He thinks that intrapreneurship should focus on generating value and thus generate new value propositions and business models.
Similar to Markus Andrezak’s Living Strategy, Tendayi showed impressively how to successfully reinvent and develop oneself further, if one proceeds strategically and authentically.

Jurgen Appelo: Iterate and Increment with the Innovation Vortex

Jurgen Appelo spoke about his model of the Innovation Vortex. In his opinion, Design Thinking and Lean Startup are helpful, but no longer quite up-to-date models for prototype development. That’s why he has made some improvements with the Innovation Vortex and created a kind of extended hybrid model of Design Thinking and Lean Startup.

This innovation Vortex now consists of seven parts:

  • Systematize (Learn)
  • Contextualize (Focus)
  • Empathize (Discover)
  • Synthesize (Define)
  • Hypothesize (Ideate)
  • Externailze (Build)
  • Sensitize (Test)

According to Jurgen, the main point of criticism of the other models is above all the contradiction that, for example, the process in Design Thinking is linear, although cyclical development is repeatedly emphasized.
Moreover, in his opinion, the Lean Startup model does not go far enough, since it does not reflect the explorative work and the hypotheses that are to be formed.
From these points of criticism, Jurgen has created an exciting hybrid solution with the Innovation Vortex, which cyclically maps all the steps that he believes every entrepreneur and innovator should master. More about the Innovation Vortex can be found on Jurgen’s Medium article.

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Holger Nils Pohl: A new Framework to Create Clarity and Succeed

The third speaker is surely known to every participant by his beautiful visualizations of the past Agile100 sessions. Agile Academy Coach Holger Nils Pohl showed the power of visualizations in a technically exciting presentation.
His ‘Visual Framework’ has the goal to make communication and collaboration through visual media clearer and therefore more target-oriented.

For him, it is important that the corporate world in particular learns to focus more strongly on the essentials. Clarity in goals, objectives and reasons for action should again become more important.

In a very visual presentation, Holger impressively described how the Visual Framework helps in this work and why companies today tend to fail due to systemic challenges rather than product market fits.
The interview with Chuck Frey also provides a good impression of his way of thinking and working.

Marina Alex: Agile in Sales is a Competitive Advantage

Marina Alex explained in her presentation why the sales area should deal more with agile topics. For her, cold calls, e-mails and the sales representative methods at the front door are a sales form of the old millennium.
Marina sees a blatant shift between the methods that are still used today and the customer himself.
After all, at the beginning of the 2000s, product information, services and sales calls were largely offline, while the majority of online media now include online media in product research. ROPO (Research online, Purchase offline) is therefore something that, in their opinion, should receive much more attention in the sales area.

The customer has evolved. Therefore it is high time that this also happens to the sales staff. According to Marina, agile methods and ways of thinking help to break up these outdated ways of thinking. Gone are the days when it was one against all (others) in a sales department. In her opinion, collective cooperation in these areas has become much more important, since a single sales manager can no longer handle all tasks alone. She also advocates replacing the area manager with a business owner who aligns all qualitative and quantitative goals of the company with the customer.
More about that on Medium.

Bas Vodde: The Story of LeSS

Bas Vodde certainly knows best how to successfully scale Large Scale Scrum. The Story of LeSS’ deals with his experiences and the ideal implementation or scaling of Scrum with multiple teams.
Larded with several reading recommendations as well as his own experiences, Bas made it clear what advantages LeSS can offer when used and executed correctly.

Through the ‘inspect and adapt’ approach, the teams learn how to implement a project based on their own experiences and contexts. This gives them greater freedom of action than with other frameworks, which results in better work performance.

Bas shared his ideas and reasons for inventing LeSS and how the framework works with Infoq as early as 2016.
You can also watch his recording of the Agile100 as a sneak peak on the upcoming July videos here:

Jesse Fewell: Untapped Agility: 3 Leadership Moves to Transform your Transformation

Directly from his book Untapped Agility Jesse Fewell showed three of his best leadership moves. The trainer of the Agile Academy brings ideas and incentives for an ideal Agile Transformation.

Based on the three points: Boost, Barrier and ReBound he explains three leadership techniques to get sluggish agile transformations back on track.
You can see how to do this in his talk at the August event of Agile100!

Maria Matarelli: Personal Agility: A Simple Framework for an Empowered Life

What can I write when a session starts with an agile rap song? Performed by Maria Matarelli and Joe Justice (speaker of the 1st Agile100).
Joining us from sunny Los Angeles, Maria showed with conviction what she means by an ’empowered life’.

The following presentation supported the view that agile methods are also very well suited to structure both the professional and private life.
“What did I do yesterday, what am I doing today and where do I need help or can I get support? These are questions that help to set priorities, reduce the limit of work to be done at the same time and generally help to structure everyday life.

It is precisely the strengthened home office that finally shows who can structure themselves and who still needs help. After all, there is no one who notices when you get lost or run the risk of missing a deadline because you are working on different tasks than you should be.

In any case, she gave some impulses on how every single person can manage to change his or her life in a positive way and feel joy. And even if it’s a rap song about the work 😉

All in all, the seven lectures of this Agile100 were very varied. The speakers showed why they are masters of their trade and why they belong to the hand-picked circle of the 100 best agile thought leaders. 

The next Agile100 will take place on October 30th and tickets are, as always, free at: agile100.com

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