Things I say often: I run on feedback

This thing I say often “thing” is quite new and a bit personal. It’s very important for me personally and I hope that you like it.

I’ve had the great, but scary, opportunity to play a couple of times under the late James Watson. For any non-brass-players he’s one of the truly great trumpet players of the world, brought up as a wonder boy in the brass band movement. Later in his career he returned and made the world famous Black Dyke Band into a new being - possibly changing what people thought a brass band could be for ever.

Also - he’s know for being very … direct … even mean sometimes during rehearsals. But I fondly remember a lot of things from the hours I got to spend under his direction.

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Things I say often: I'm into leadership - not management

This is just a short one. I don’t know where I picked the thought up, probably from David Marquet or Simon Sinek.

But really I’m so tired about talking about management for organisation and teams. Manage. That’s what I do with computer resources, stuff and sheeps.

I have higher thoughts for just about every person I ever met. If something these people need a leader. Someone that points, with clarity, towards the better future we are trying to reach, creates an environment where I can feel safe and give room and be challenged to be the best I can be.

I much rather talk about leadership and leading than management and managing. Leadership is what you use on people, management is for your pens or harddisks.

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Make it smaller - some practical experiences

One of the “clients” I work with right now is a hospital. We have tried to turn their performance around and they are improving immensely. In fact - I think they will be just fine. I did not think that just 4 months ago.

One of the things that we have talked with the management team about is trying to do smaller things often and act on the feedback we get from that. Nothing new … in software development or other lean practicationers, but in this setting. I hear eyelids popping open everyday.

How does that look? What have we done? Most of the work we have done has not directly with health care to do but rather change management and business in general. Very practical stuff mostly. In this post wanted to share two of our current projects (or Focus areas as we call them) where our approach made...

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Things I say often: NO! This is how you tear off a post-it

I’ve said this so often that we even wrote about it in Kanban In Action. It’s not a book about tearing off post-its, but it’s the printed kanban literature with the most geeky sidebar.

Post-its are such an integral part of agile that I’ve often joked the founding members probably own stocks in 3M.

I know embarrassing amounts of information about post-its; how they were accidentally invented, why the color is pale yellow, why the glue is where it is, how to open a pack with one hand, or a knee, etc.

But this simple little trick is something most people I tell it to have not reflected on.

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Things I say often: Improving means changing

I’ve already written about this before, but Hey - this was a series about things I said often.

Basically, but please read the other post instead, many times I’ve been at companies that want to improve but don’t want to change. This is impossible. Improving means changing. Changing doesn’t necessary means improving though.

To me this is one of the biggest misconceptions about agile; that it would be something that the IT-guys can start working with and we’ll all be better. It’s not. If you change something locally the impact will also just be local.

In the great book This is Lean the authors defines Lean as a business strategy. I like that and the same goes for agile:

  • it’s a strategy - there are many ways to reach your goal, this is just one
  • it’s about business. It’s not about the robots...
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Things I say often: Why?

Really … this is probably the word I use most often. And I’m proud of it!


It’s not only because I’m ignorant and forget things a lot, but to me this is where knowledge is started to be created. I’m guessing I could write an entire book on just this single word, so this post will just be a few thoughts off the top of my head.

All changes start with questioning the current status, or at least by longing for a better context (“Why can’t we be like XXX?”).

Once you think about it, Why might be the most powerful word there is. Every overthrown dictatorship in the world has started with someone asking: Why? “Why can he alone decide in this country?”, “Why should we pay taxes to Prince John?” or “Why should women have to wear clothes that cover them and not be treated...

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Things I say often: This is your board - change it

I have probably introduce around 80-100 teams to the use of some sort of board to visualize their work. One of the things that I often … ah, always say and also have to repeat is this:

Nobody has told us to create a board. We do this for us. This is great because that it means that we can change it how WE see fit
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New series: 'Things I say often'

New year - new blog series. I was thinking about writing down some of the things that I find myself repeating often.

These post will be short, and possible link to places where I’ve already said this already.

I will collect these post under the label Things I say often

I don’t have a list made up already, so I’ll write things when they pop into my head. Here’s first things I that sprung to mind.

I hope you will enjoy this series. I know I will benefit from writing some of these down.

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Best advice for me this year

When a year has passed I often try to think back and find the one most important thing I learned. This year that was a bit tricky since I’ve learned so amazingly much. So good - and some bad.

The single piece of advice I got that stood out was about presenting. And it came from one of my oldest friends, one that I call my brother: Kalle.

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Our Christmas Scare

This will not be an ordinary post. Just a write up of something horrible that happened to us during Christmas. It ends well, but was a horrible time in our lives.

During the Christmas, our family experienced the worst scare and troubled time yet. In Indonesia but also in our lives. It all looks like it will play out alright but many people have asked me to share the story, so I will do that here. If I find the strange I’ll write a follow-up post with some lean-learnings that this could teach us, but not now.

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