A fighter pilot perspective on business agility

schedule Mar 6th 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM place Ball Room 1

An F16 fighter pilot perspective on how we can achieve business agility at scale using fighter pilots ideas about decentralization, planning, mutual trust and organizational structure. Air combat and product development have more in common then you might think. F16 pilots are planning and executing under extreme uncertainty and in complex environments, just like we are in business and product development. Fighter pilots have thought long and hard about how to solve some of the same issues we are struggling within the agile world. Fast feedback, OODA loop, self-organization, mutual trust, decentralizing without sub optimising ...This talk will inspire you to see your familiar problems in a new perspective, so you can hopefully find new and better solutions.

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Outline/structure of the Session

- Do we experience task fixation? (are we solving the right problem or just the problem right in front of us)

- The organizational hierarchy (Challenges with fast decisions and suboptimisation)

- The lean organization (a different paradigm, small changes with huge impact)

- Mutual trust, (why it's essential and how to foster it)

- System thinking (how fighter pilots think about mistakes and change)

- Wrap up (fighter pilots tricks for winning in conflict, business, and life)

Learning Outcome

Inspire to go an extra mile and rethink how we collaborate.

F16 pilots are even more harsh on Planning than the agile world. "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything". But there is also value in planning. Planning enables decentralized initiative during execution and supports effective communication. But we need to think about planning in another way to get these benefits.

You can build an environment which effectively fosters mutual trust very fast.

Target Audience

Coaches, Managers, Teamleads, Scrum masters, Agile Team members


Some knowledge about Agile basics is preferred, but not a prerequisite.

I will tell exciting stories from my time as fighter pilots that everyone can relate to. Then relate them to product development and our organizational bugs. Everyone who has not spend their entire career in the "perfect" agile organization will be able to relate to those struggles.

schedule Submitted 3 months ago

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