Keynote : Why Team Happiness Can Be The Worst Thing To Aim For

A session at Lean Agile Scotland 2015

Wednesday 7th October, 2015

4:10pm to 5:10pm (GMT)

If you’ve ever tried to bring happiness into a team, enterprise or division, you know just how hard it is to ‘happi-fy’ everyone, and how it can sometimes become almost impossible when dealing with challenging ever-changing environments and difficult individuals with political agendas.

Known to previously be a strong champion for ‘team happiness’, in this talk Katherine shares an unexpected change of view when she began to see that aiming for team happiness could actually be counterproductive and, during her experimentation with ancient Eastern Philosophical models, what she found worked surprisingly well as an alternative.

So, in difficult scenarios, what could we try and do instead? Katherine suggests a very different kind of approach to get to cultural ‘nirvana’ by using 3 specific models as lenses - drawing from fresh ‘warts-and-all’ practical stories of her last year spent transforming IT culture in the wild.

Having a strong background in turning around difficult ‘out of the box’ Dev teams, Katherine began exploring ‘the people problem’ after working at the BBC for a number of years and seeing common patterns of behaviour which held back individual, team and enterprise transformation success. The techniques and methods she has developed are drawn from Eastern and Tribal philosophy and are specifically designed to compliment and support Agile/Lean initiatives and those working in tough, innovative, rapidly changing environments.

About the speaker

This person is speaking at this event.
Katherine Kirk

Now an independent consultant and researcher, Katherine has solid experience contracting and freelancing in a variety of roles within the IT and Media industries: from blue chip investment banking to media conglomerates. Most she has spent time as an Agile Coach at Rally after a period consulting as Delivery Improvement Consultant, Project Manager and Agile Coach at the BBC in the Future Media division in London. Katherine often finds herself specifically tasked with working with really "troubled" projects, where simplistic solutions don't quite cut it.

She is an active participant of a community of Lean and Agile practitioners in Europe who explore and challenge the status quo through experimenting and collaborating and is particularly interested in contextually driven edge-cases and the cultural interaction between hierarchical management and Agile teams. She supports this interest by Post Graduate studies in Software Engineering at University of Oxford, specializing in Process Improvement, Managing Quality and Risk, and Software Systems Security. Katherine also holds a first class BSc (Hons) Multimedia Computing.

10 attendees

  • Hans Kohls
  • Alejandro Alonso
  • Colin Angus Mackay
  • Dominic Smith
  • Jon Hopkins
  • Kevin Murray
  • K Kirk
  • Leanne Gallacher
  • James Murphy
  • John Gallagher

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Time 4:10pm5:10pm GMT

Date Wed 7th October 2015

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