Newthinking’s Magazine Sprint

Several members of the Stoos Satellite Berlin took part in Newthinking’s magazine Sprint from 4th-6th April. We wrote several articles on Stoos and related subjects. Some at least will hopefully be accepted into the final magazine (it will be a real coffee-table style magazine).

The Retrospective Prime Directive

Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.

and in German:

Egal was wir heute herausfinden, wir wissen und glauben ernsthaft, dass jeder sein bestes gegeben hat entsprechend seines Wissens, seiner Fähigkeiten, der zur Verfügung stehenden Mittel, und der aktuellen Situation.

I’ve been a fan and user of Norman Kerth’s retrospective prime directive for many years. Every now and then I will start retrospectives with a reading and short discussion about the prime directive. It serves as a reminder of the state of mind that we need to achieve to get the best value out of retrospectives. The very act of reading and discussing it helps us to get to this state.

I often follow this by a short discussion on working agreements. Again Norman Kerth has some excellent advice as a starting point:

  • We will try not to interrupt.
  • We will accept everyone’s opinion without judgment.
  • We will talk from our own perspective, and not speak for anyone else.
  • If someone is holding the “talking coffee mug,” then only that person may speak.
  • There will be no jokes about other people in the room.
  • These ground rules can be amended after any break.


Next Steps for the Stoos Movement

In little more than a year the Stoos movement has grown from the initial four founders, to the twenty-one present at the Stoos meeting and now to a network of thousands worldwide. But little has changed in how most organisations are run.

Even where approaches such as Scrum or Kanban have been introduced at department or business unit level, the involved firms themselves are still focussed on keeping shareholders happy rather than delighting customers and employees remain disillusioned.

In his passionate call to action during a talk as part of the Stoos Connect meeting in January 2013, Stephen Denning described   five challenges for the movement:

  1. There is a need to recognize the extent of the challenge. Throughout the twentieth century these ideas have been presented many time but have not stuck.

  2. The movement needs to think bigger by becoming part of a movement of movements. Organisations such as the management information exchange, Scrum Alliance and Agile Alliance are all concerned with the same or similar ideas. All of the organisations together represent perhaps 500000 people.

  3. We need to be bolder. We have truth on our side, but that is not enough. We have to insist on change, to get beyond tweaking.

  4. We need to work on the constraints preventing change by taking practical action that can lead to lasting, sustainable change. For example, by engaging with the 80% of business schools that do not yet subscribe officially to these ideas and by challenging business journals (e.g. HBR) by pointing out when their articles are not supporting new management ideas.

  5. By evangelizing the change. Rational argument is not enough, the movement needs to express itself with passion.

Stephen Denning quoted Margaret Mead (anthropologist) at the end of his talk:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, nothing ever else has.”

A video of Stephen’s talk is here.

Radical Management Workshop in Berlin with Stephen Denning

Making the Entire Organization Agile

Learn the Biggest Secret in Management Today

Radical Management

I am delighted to announce a very special event in Berlin.

On July 9th-11th, Stephen Denning will be leading this workshop drawing on his award-winning book, “The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management”, his path-breaking work in leadership storytelling and long managerial background as a director at the World Bank. Simon Roberts, ScrumCenter CEO and Certified Scrum Trainer, will be co-teaching.

Just over a decade ago, a set of major management breakthroughs occurred. These breakthroughs enabled software development teams to achieve both disciplined execution and continuous innovation, something that was hitherto impossible to accomplish with traditional management methods.

Over the last decade, these management practices, under various labels such as Agile, Scrum, Kanban and Lean, have been field-tested and proven in thousands of organizations around the world. Radical Management℠ distills, builds on and extends these principles, practices and values so that the entire organization can now achieve to apply the magic combination of disciplined execution and continuous innovation.

Who Should Attend

  • Agile leaders and coaches wanting to convert the entire organization to Agile
  • Business leaders needing to understand Agile management or achieve continuous innovation
  • Entrepreneurs wanting to grow their startups without losing agility


Please register here or email Early bird and group prices (early bird until 15th June) are available.

More Information

Please visit for more information.