847-948-5858 jayg@jabbokriver.com
The Agile Mindset Includes  Boldly Architecting the Whole Company

The Agile Mindset Includes Boldly Architecting the Whole Company

Published on June 28, 2017 In order to achieve true Agility in your organization you need to properly design the organization itself. I have the privilege of training and teaching ambitious students at Northwestern University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship in how to design and operate a truly 21st Century Agile company. While many entrepreneur courses focus on merely developing a product and its related markets, my course called “Radical Entrepreneurship” trains students how to participate in, and operate an Agile enterprise. What many entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs have learned as far back as 1985 when he was founding NeXT computers (pictured above) is that today the true competitive advantage is in how one architects the company itself. Products pivot, or they come and go entirely, today even faster than ever. Take for example that a generation ago only 20% of profits were derived from newer products–today that is over 70%! One of the profound lessons Steve Jobs learned after he was kicked out of Apple in 1985 and went on to found NeXT Computers is that the design of the company itself is even more interesting and important than the products the company designs. This is because if you have an Agile organization you can continually discover new opportunities. “I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company.” -Steve Jobs When Jobs was just forming NeXT he conducted a retreat with the dozen or so folks that followed him from Apple. Watch here where he clearly articulates that even more important than designing great products, is making a great company, one with smarts and heart,...
Remembering Agile and Scrum Values

Remembering Agile and Scrum Values

Published on May 12, 2017 Experienced Agile practitioners and thought leaders are like Jedi, and have known for some time that agility is not merely a set of practices like Scrum but true agility is grounded in an agile mindset. I had the privilege to help institute a Learning Consortium that brought together a group of advanced agile practitioners at Magna International [MGA], Ericsson [ERIC], Solutions IQ, Microsoft [MSFT], Riot Games, CH Robninson [CHRW], agile42, Brillio, and Menlo Innovations. One of the key findings was that for an Agile culture and operations to truly flourish the members must incorporate a certain mindset and exhibit a set of supporting values. Ron Jeffries, left and Steve Denning at Agile2016. Photo courtesy Steve Denning. The Scrum Alliance suggests there are five foundational values and I find this list quite helpful. However, I have not found these five easy to remember or easy to teach others to remember. So when I teach Radical Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University or Managing the Radical Shift to Agile at University of Chicago I use the following mnemonic: FROCC.  Since experienced Agile trainers and coaches are like Jedi, and Jedi wear a medieval looking robe, also known as a frock, I use this order of the five Scrum values to help remember them: Focus  Respect Openness Courage Commitment Be a Jedi Scrum Master and Agile Practitioner! Exhibit and foster these five values. And I hope this mnemonic helps you remember the core values of an agile mindset. J. Stanton Goldstein, MBA, CSM, CSPO, CSP, is the founder and managing partner of Jabbok River Group, a Chicago-based Agile training and coaching consultancy. As a practicing Agile professional, Jay has held senior leadership positions in B2B and B2C tech companies in...