We are excited to introduce Mike Burrows, Founder of Agendashift & Positive Incline Ltd.

In the lead up to Lean Agile Global 2021, taking place as a live virtual conference on 24 & 25 May 2021, we will be introducing you to some of the fantastic speakers in our lineup.

Q. How would you describe yourself in a single tweet?

A. Founder, author, and former CTO; in the business of building wholehearted and deliberately adaptive organisations.

Q. In your opinion why should people come and join us virtually at Lean Agile Global 2021?

A. Even from its beginnings in the London Lean Kanban Days conference it has been a leading Lean-Agile conference – to many people the Lean-Agile conference – and with global reach. Online, there can be no doubt about its depth and reach.

Q. We want LAG to be a diverse and inclusive conference. What does that mean to you?

A. It took me a while to find the right word for it. But I’m a self-confessed pluralist – plenty of evidence for that even in my first book (2014), ostensibly a Kanban book but really very much broader than that, a stance I made quite explicit in Agendashift (the 2nd edition just out) and Right to Left (2019, audiobook 2020). As communities, we need to learn to be less judgemental of outsiders and outside models, instead of expecting to find things that change our understanding for the better. It doesn’t always happen, but it happens often enough to make that optimistic curiosity easy to justify. To my mind, the alternative hardly bears thinking about – an inward-looking community is not a healthy one.

Q. Why should people come to your talk at Lean Agile Global 2021?

A. Taking a purely process-centric or framework-centric approach to organisation we stand little chance of building humane (or even very effective) organisations. Scale that broken kind of thinking up, and we only make things worse! We need better ways to think holistically about organisations and their constituent parts, using tools that are long-proven to work at every scale in combination with the good things that Lean-Agile has to offer. The Deliberately Adaptive Organisation (“business agility at every scale”) integrates Agendashift – an engagement model with Lean-Agile roots and sensibilities – into the consultant’s secret weapon, Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model. We’ve done it in such a way that it makes several of scaled and unscaled Agile’s dysfunctions easy to recognise, explain, and avoid. And it scales down usefully too, describing effective leadership behaviours and personal development strategies. All that from one model!

Q. What are you most looking forward to after Covid has settled down?

A. I’m optimistic about the “new normal”. I’ve had a productive lockdown and I look forward to finding the right balance between working from home and travelling. I will travel a lot less than I used to and I feel good about that.

Before that, meeting up with family members outside our immediate household. For my daughter’s sake we were “shielded” and I’ve been with neither my mum nor my eldest son for 18 months now. That’s too long.

Learn more about Lean Agile Global 2021: https://leanagile.global/e87t
Learn more about our speakers: https://leanagile.global/cpt2
Discover the LAG21 schedule: https://leanagile.global/qh28
Get your tickets now: https://leanagile.global/cs58

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