5 Quotes we loved from LAST Conference

Last week The Agile Eleven team took a couple of days off and attended LAST Conference in Melbourne. We participated in a Business Agility Panel and presented our “7 step approach to coaching agile non-software development teams”. We had a great couple of days learning and knowledge sharing with a very active and expanding Melbourne agile community.

Here are 5 quotes we heard during the conference that resonated with us:

QUOTE #1: “Introducing agile in a system heading in the wrong direction only helps with learning and engagement”

We loved this quote from Peter Senge and we see this happening over and over. Changing the practices of teams in a company won’t be enough to achieve organisational agility. Sure, agile teams will learn faster and will be more engaged. But what companies need to understand is that in order to achieve organisational agility, their system of work, polices and frameworks need to change too. For example, it won’t help to introduce agile ways of working to improve collaboration if people’s KPI’s are still focused on the individual.

QUOTE #2: “Only through reflection we change our history”

The quote is from Humeberto Maturana and was mentioned by Peter Senge during his keynote. For us, this quote was a timely reminder to always create the regular space and time to think and reflect on the best way to move forward. We live in a world where busy-ness is seen as heroic and mistaken for progress. Barry O’Reilly expressed this very well a couple of weeks ago in his blog post “Busy to Death”. When was the last time you held a retrospective with your team? When was the last time you purposely made some time to just stop and think?

QUOTE #3: “The future ain’t what it used to be”

Another one from Peter Senge, and we couldn’t agree more. The future is not what it used to be. Changes happens at an exponential rate and is not longer linear (if it ever was). The way we used to manage organisations 20 years ago, will not longer work. This year, at the LAST Conference, we have seen an influx of talks about Business Agility, and practitioners seem to agree that it is the only way forward for companies that want to survive.

QUOTE #4: “I only learn by doing”

There are many quotes from the amazing keynote that Norman Bodek gave on the second day. Coming from a wise man who has written and translated so many books; this quote reinforced our thinking around the best approach to coaching agile in organisations. Don’t spend too much time (or money) on training programs; instead start where you are! Try, experiment, learn and adjust!

QUOTE #5: “You can only change yourself”

And the last one also from Norman Bodek around change. We also see this everyday. Everybody seems to be trying to unlock the secret sauce to change others in the workplace. Leaders try to change the workforce; agile coaches try to change leadership mindsets, and everyone wishes everyone else stopped trying to change them. Norman Bodek, who is 85 years old by the way, put it very clearly: “you can only change yourself”. Don’t try to change others, instead, be the change you want to see in others.

Our final point is not a quote, but a thank you note to the team at Tabar; Peter, Ed and Craig for supporting and keeping alive the vibrant agile community in Melbourne and Australia.

Looking forward to more learning and knowledge sharing at the end of this month at LAST Conference in Sydney.

Written by Eduardo Nofuentes

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