Herding Cats: The Human Factor @ GOTO Berlin 2016

December 18, 2016

Time to face the facts: Humans are here to stay. We’ve got to learn to deal with them. No matter how much introverts and power-interested execs may sulk, working in Tech is now all about: People Interacting with People to Help People Interact. Harvard Business Review, Fortune and Forbes magazines abound with articles about collaboration and decision fatigue and the phenomena of the ‘new way’ – laden with advice. Let’s be honest, even after our Agile or Lean implementation or radical Continuous Delivery initiative is running, there’s STILL the people problem. Every day can still feels like herding cats. No matter what preparation or organisation you do – people run off and act independently. As our context gets faster and more complex, the old way of hierarchical decision making – from strategy to technical and everything in between – is definitely on the out – collaboration with humans is the unavoidable future to come. But what is relevant to YOU?

The Herding Cats: The Human Factor track at GOTO Berlin 2016 brought together some of the hottest most popular, cutting edge tech speakers of the moment to share their brand new ideas and techniques on how techs can deal with the Human Factor. This is new, innovative stuff – from people working on the ground, in the real world.

Watch the videos from the Herding Cats: The Human Factor track at GOTO Berlin below.


How to Win Hearts and Minds – The Lessons Learned from Electoral Politics

with Kate Gray, Independent Consultant and Chris Young, CTO at Honeycomb TV

Every office, every project, every team has its ‘political’ moments where sides are drawn and a solution seems impossible to agree.

In this talk we share the methods used in political campaigns and show how they can be applied to the workplace to help you achieve your goals.

We talk about three tools taken from Electoral Politics: Segmentation, Vision and Polling. These three tools are about how communication can be used to ‘win hearts and minds’ by breaking down barriers and generating momentum through the creation of common ground.

These tools share the fundamental idea; that “Everything Communicates”. We explore this and look at how to apply this principle to focus your efforts for success.

We address the problems that are created by “perception versus reality” so you can minimise the opportunities for misinformation and confusion among the people involved.

Finally, we tie all of the campaign tools we have shared together with the concept of ‘define – deliver – claim’. This will enable you to build a calendar of activities that strengthen belief in the benefits of what you are seeking to achieve. Your commitment to a regular cadence of delivering on your promise that proves what you say is what you do will build momentum for your victory.

Our presentation is designed to give you tools that you can put into practice immediately – all designed to show you how much influence you have if you remain focused and principled in everything you do.

Download the Slides

[bctt tweet=”Winning Hearts+Minds – @worldofchris + @grisgraygrau share lessons from #electoralpolitics at @GOTOber”]


The Impostor Syndrome

with Gitte Klitgaard, Agile Addict & Believer in Altruistic Reciprocity

Did you ever feel like a fraud at work?

Have the feeling that at some point, someone is going to find out that you really don’t belong where you are? That you are not as smart as other people think?

You are not alone with this; many high-achieving people suffer from the imposter syndrome. But what is it? And why do we suffer from it?

Even when we know we suffer from it, and we have proof of that, we are still impaired by having it. It stops us from following our dreams.

In this talk, I try to explore it and look at some ways of using it to our advantage.

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[bctt tweet=”Feel like a fraud at work? Watch @nativewired present #ImpostorSyndrome + using it to your advantage”]


Leadership at Every Level

with Liz Keogh, Lean and Agile Coach and Developer

Leadership is easy when you’re a manager, or an expert in a field, or a conference speaker! In a Kanban organisation, though, we “encourage acts of leadership at every level”. In this talk we look at what it means to be a leader in the uncertain, changing and high-learning environment of software development. We learn about the importance of safety in encouraging others to lead and follow, and how to get that safety using both technical and human practices; the necessity of a clear, compelling vision and provision of information on how we’re achieving it; and the need to be able to ask awkward and difficult questions… especially the ones without easy answers.

Download the Slides

[bctt tweet=”Download @lunivore’s @GOTOber slides on how we can encourage acts of #leadership at every level”]


Avoiding the ‘Dark Side’ of Collaboration: Coaching Techs & Execs

with Katherine Kirk, Consultant – Insight Facilitation & Transformation in Tech

As our context gets faster and more complex, hierarchical decision making – from strategy to technical and everything in between – is on the out. No matter how much introverts and power-interested execs may sulk, noone has the time anymore to wait for the perfect answer, from the perfect person, in the perfect format, in the perfect steps with everything perfectly considered. We gotta know yesterday, and decide with whoever is doing the work, and do it right away … that’s empowerment, right? That’s ‘continuous improvement’, right?

And so, in this environment, over the last decade Techs and Execs have been dragged out of their warm, dark corners and made to collaborate in the cold light of day for the sake of business advantage. We call that being ‘agile’ or ‘lean’.

Well… there’s few ways this can go spectacularly wrong – and one of those ways can be the way a coach or facilitator can unintentionally approach this process of herding cats.

In this talk, Katherine draws on her experience as an ‘alternative Agile/Lean Coach’ and utilise Eastern and Tribal philosophical models to point out 3 very simple ways she keeps the ‘dark side’ of collaboration in check, and consistently aspires to achieve collaboration nirvana – ‘Insight Facilitation’ – unashamedly pointing out how she learned it all the hard way.

Download the Slides

[bctt tweet=”View @kkirk’s @GOTOber slides on avoiding ‘Dark Side’ by coaching techs & execs to reach collab nirvana”]