Conversational Transformation Newsletter - No 7 of 2020

Hello Readers! Our activity following the launch of Agile Conversations continues. We’ve got an upcoming conference, a guest podcast appearance, and more. See all the updates below—and of course don’t forget to get your own copy of the book!

MIT Sloan Management Review and Avoiding the ‘Walled Garden’

By now it is accepted dogma that silos are bad. And yet the “walled garden” is an anti-pattern we’ve encountered with such frequency that there must be something about that makes it a likely outcome. And we do think there’s a simple explanation: the human tendency to avoid difficult conversations! Check out our article in MIT Sloan Management Review Frontiers Solving the Problem of Siloed IT in Organizations to learn about the walled garden and how to fix it.

What the Dev? and Virtual VSM DevCon

Our July is starting and ending with SD Times. To start the month Squirrel and Jeffrey were on the July 2nd What the Dev? podcast where we spoke about the Five Conversations to reach peak performance. Near the end of the month, July 22nd, we’ll be speaking at Virtual VSM DevCon where we will talk about the connection between difficult conversations and Value Stream Management.

Live practice options!

If you’re interested in interactive practice and advice you have a couple of options. On Tuesday July 28th Jeffrey will be hosting a practice session at the London Organizational Learning Meetup while Squirrel will continue experimenting with weekly live “office hours” to show how to analyze conversations and make dramatic improvements in your culture (here’s an example). Reply to this email if you’re interested in joining Squirrel for free advice!

You’re also invited to join us on the Agile Conversations Slack. We’ve had more activity there lately including people discussing their local discussion groups and sharing the results of their on conversational analysis. Join us!

Podcast companion to Agile Conversations

We’ve the Troubleshooting Agile podcast companion to Agile Conversations. These podcasts follow the book chapter by chapter, adding historical detail and additional techniques and stories. Links to the transcripts and audio below:

Looking back at June talks

The end of June saw us speaking at not one but two conferences. We spoke at IT Pro Live on Monday June 22nd and at IT Revolution’s DevOps Enterprise Summit on Tuesday June 23rd.

DevOps Enterprise Summit was a very unconventional online conference. The talks were all pre-recorded, and then there was a simultaneous chat session in Slack. We found this format super engaging! You can hear our lessons learned (or read the transcript) in this podcast episode Lessons for Remote Work from DevOps Enterprise Summit London Virtual. The talks for DOES London Virtual are not yet online, however you can get a flavor of the discussions by reading the Slack channel archive.

IT Pro Live was a five day event and we spoke on the track “The Virtual Enterprise”. Our topic was Trust Through Conversations In the “Suddenly Virtual” Enterprise where we emphasized the normal modes of collaboration rely on affordances that go away in our new default of distributed communication. To get the same level of trust and collaboration is going to require people to develop their communication skills. We show you how.

Are there other conferences and events we should consider? We’d love suggestions from you about other opportunities to meet and talk with readers.

In case you missed it

On May 13th we appeared on the Mind the Product podcast where we had a great time talking with hosts Lily Smith and Randy Silver: Mind the Product podcast

On June 3rd we spoke about Mining for Conflict at The Future of Work in Scotland, and the recording is available on YouTube.

From June 1st to June 10th we took part in the lively IT Revolution Book Club for Agile Conversations. As part of the book club there were two Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, and the video of those are now available online: AMA Session 1 and AMA Session 2.

On June 17th Jeffrey appeared on DZone DevOps Chat with Justin Albano, James Head, Alireza Chegini, and Xavier Portilla Edo where we talked through some of the experiences described in the June 1st article. Watch the video.

And then there are the past articles, you can also find on the Conversational Transformation resources page.

Do get in touch anytime to discuss the book, your conversations, your transformation, or anything else.

Until next time, keep talking!

Jeffrey and Squirrel