This week I have held 3 different presentations to 3 different groups of people. The first one was targeted towards a Leadership Team, who have once a quarter a retrospective and as they also have Product Management in the same retros, the topic was selected to answer something like: “anything that would give some hint what Lean-Agile could mean for Product Management”. I had some options for how to address these needs and I knew that either I will talk alone 45min, or then I will be able to get the people discuss. It all started with my monologue but luckily there were 2 persons who seemingly had a passion to challenge me. Of course I did not answer that challenge but with some discussion and tricks got more people involved and afterwards only used some of my slides for changing the context a bit. After 75 minutes of deep and passionate discussion one person from Product Management wanted to show some slides and I happily let them her do it. For me this was really a great session, the point was not at all my presentation but how we get this team to discuss in a serious manner. They already had some answers but at least most of the correct questions in place. When time was over (15 minutes overdue) someone commented “Sorry for your presentation, it was ruined” and I answered “Not at all, I think this was a success. You got much more out from this that you could ever get from a dull presentation”. This is something that gives me motivation and new insights: seeing that we have a lot of unreleased potential for the change and new people who are willing to contribute.
My second presentation for this week was in our company`s internal conference, which has a long history of serving the needs in Processes, Methods and Tools area (with a lot of Agile flavor in it). This is where people meet and collaborate in their different networks, share and discuss. I had a topic “How to coach Traditional Managers into Agile and Lean”, a pretty new presentation that I actually changed quite a bit day before the session. I took some pictures of Gandalf, Dalai Lama, Superman, my son and others into it and got rid of some dull corporate style slides. I tried to have a serious message and put all my effort into it, and learned a lot during the presentation. It requires some courage to say some of the things I said but the feedback was good. This session was also recorded so I need to come back and learn more where to improve. Main learning for me was to use even more pictures and visualization, it will make a difference in the presentation. And that you need to address different audiences with a bit changing presentation style.
In the third one I was asked to present some basics of Lean-Agile and experiences from us to people who work (mainly) as managers in services area. I have to say that this was the best one for me personally among the sessions. The mindset of the people who already work close to customers and have value visible all the time is exactly what we are also trying to achieve with our transformation. Great to meet colleagues who are very agile without even knowing it! We need to meet more often and learn from different parts.
I think that the best way to learn and get new inspiration is to meet people. Listen to what they are saying and reflecting that into your own situation. This does not require that much as we are all surrounded by people (you just need to open your mouth…). It comes even more interesting when there are people with different background, nationality, age and personality. A real food for your own thought. And hopefully to others as well.