Kathy G. will be presenting the following session
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  • 45 Mins

    What is Mindful Agile Leadership?

    It’s the perfect balance of 3 essential elements:

    • The agile mindset : the heart of agile - our attitude and approach to work that is collaborative, adaptable, open to change, value focused with continuous learning and growth.
    • Mindfulness : the quality of awareness - non-judgmental, objective, deliberate observation and openness to whatever unfolds in the present.
    • Servant leadership : being of service to others - focused on the growth and development of others, empowering teams to be high performing.

    These 3 pillars of mindful agile leadership are equally important. Just like the legs of a stool, they provide a stable base encompassing the beneficial qualities of all 3 elements. This enables leaders to build a truly agile culture and positive team environment, and be a more effective and authentic agile leader. Mindfulness isn't just an optional extra; it is a necessary component without which the whole structure collapses. If you lose touch with what's happening in the moment, your emotions and habitual patterns of mind take over, and your ability to be open and authentic is diminished.

    In this session, you will hear why mindfulness is the secret ingredient to develop effective agile leadership. Beyond simple awareness, you will learn how mindfulness help leaders to show up as the very best versions of themselves. Mindfulness helps you improve your focus, think more clearly and make better decisions that lead to more successful outcomes. Mindfulness gives you the ability to stay present and connected despite the stresses and challenges that leadership brings. You will learn techniques to apply mindfulness in everyday activities that enable you to become a more inspirational agile leader.

1. What got you started/interested in Agile?

In 2005, I was working as a BA on a website redevelopment project.  I.T. wanted a full specification develped and signed off, but the business was frustrated at the lack of progress.  We had heard about Scrum, so the development manager thought we'd give it a go. It wasn't easy, but we started development sprints and working closely with the sales and marketing team. Soon, we were demonstrating web pages and getting feedback. The site was launched after a number of sprints, and the business was delighted.  That's when I knew agile was for me.

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by the Agile community today?

Perhaps the proliferation of certifications and some people / consultants who push one or another as the 'right' one. This then leads to organisations thinking that implementing the particular agile framework is the only way, which of course, it is not.

3. Tell us about the session(s) you will be presenting at the conference and why did you choose those topics?

I'm talking about mindful agile leadership.  As a long time mindfulness practitioner, I noticed that agile leaders not only need to understand the agile mindset,  and servant leadership practices,  but needed more awareness; self awareness, team awareness and environmental awareness.  I did some research and developed the idea behind mindful agile leadership by matching the principles behind each of these important aspects and how mindfulness enhances our ability to be a more effective agile leader.