The Brickell Key Award - I am nominated!

Posted by Marcus Hammarberg on April 5, 2016
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Something amazing has happened! I am one of 6 nominees to the prestigious Brickell Key Award.

Not in my wildest dream did I think that the kanban community would appreciate things I’ve been involved in enough to nominate me for this award.

You can help my nomination by supporting me in the form on that page.

But first - let me tell you a little bit about why you should do that, and what this price even is and some other questions that might go through your mind.

The award

Who is Brickell, and where is her keys?

Brickell Key is in fact an funky looking island, located outside Miami.

It was the location for the first Lean Kanban Conference in 2009.

What is the Brickell Key Award?

The Brickell Key Award is an award for extraordinary efforts and achievements within the international kanban community.

From the web page on the award:

The Brickell Key Award highlights excellence in the Kanban community, annually honoring two people who have shown outstanding achievement, leadership and contribution to our community. The award is especially oriented toward highlighting people who are lesser known and worthy of greater exposure.

Who is awarding this?

The Brickell Key Award is presented at the Lean Kanban North America Conference, that is the premier conference on all things lean and kanban within the IT industry.

Behind the award and the conferences is LeanKanban Inc. - the company founded by David J Anderson, the father of the Kanban Method, and in LeanKanban Inc the Kanban Method is governed, evolved and promoted. LeanKanban Inc also supply training and certification for trainers around the world.

The Brickell Key Award is awarded by a committee headed by LeanKanban Inc. and the previous winners of the award.

What do you get if you win this?

Eeeeh… don’t care…

Just the mere thought that I’m nominated, as a token of appreciation of my work, by my peers in the kanban community is humbling and awesome (as in “I am in awe and wonder”) to me.

There’s a statue (the Oscar of Kanban, if you like) and benefits to come to events organized by Lean Kanban Conferences, but really the main thing is the honor of being promoted within a community of awesome people.

Why you?

Why indeed…

Why are you nominated?

I am nominated (from the mind-blowing email I got a day while eating with my boys):

There was wide support to honor your contribution to the Kanban community for your community outreach, your work with Salvation Army, and your book Kanban in Action.

So there’s two parts there and the unifying thing of them is that I didn’t act alone in either :)

Kanban in Action

Firstly, I wrote Kanban in Action with my good friend and in many regards kanban-mentor Joakim Sundén. In the preface of the book we explain our relationship in writing the book:

Without Marcus this book would never have been finished. Without Joakim the book would not have been great.

Indonesian hospitals

In the second case, the work with hospitals in Indonesia, requires a little bit more elaboration. A whole lot more, in fact, which is the reason I’m writing a book about it, but here’s a short back-story.

My wife Elin and me went to Indonesia to work with the 6 hospitals and 17 clinics that the Salvation Army runs there. Once we got there the hospital most local to us, RS Bungsu, ended up in big trouble financially. On top of that a disaster struck where the roof of the second floor fell in.

At this point my office (consisting of me and Elin and 4 Indonesian people) decided to step in and try to help the hospital to get out of their trouble. We got approval and acceptance from the hospital management, headed by Dr Lillian the hospital director.

From that point started a journey where we not only got the hospital out of their financial problems but also ended up discovering a hypothesis driven business model for how to manage the hospital. Within 3 months the hospital was not loosing money, after 6 they were running with profit every day and 15 months in the transformation to a hypothesis driven business (a la Lean Startup).

I am speaking at LKNA2016 on this topic where I will relate many of the episodes and learnings we made during this amazing journey.

I was lucky enough to lead this work and I used all my skills (and then some) on lean, kanban and more to get us out of there. I led the work - but the hands on was done by so many more.

For this part of the award I am just the unfortunate face - really the glory goes to my team around me. I do take credit for writing it down and promoting what we did - but the work was a total team effort.

How do you feel now?

I am so proud for this and still cannot believe that it really happened. I did double check the time zones for the email, that was sent 31 March and not on April fools day.

Jokingly aside, being recognized by peers in an absolutely amazing community is the highest honor for me. And it humbles me greatly.

Can I help you?

Yes - you can, in fact. There’s a form on the nomination page where you can tell the committee more about me and my work.

If you have taken part of something I did, wrote or if we worked together (and if you liked it :)) - please write a few lines to the committee.

I am beyond pride in being nominated - but winning…. I’d probably need hospital care myself at that point. In that case I know where I’d go ….



Published by Marcus Hammarberg on Last updated