Showing posts from September, 2010

30 presentations in 90 minutes: A visit to BNI Gamla Ullevi

I visited a BNI team, BNI Gamla Ullevi on Wednesday the 29th. I was invited by Per Johansson of the  Skooter  advertising agency. Gamla Ullevi (Old Ullevi - there is also a New Ullevi) is a sports arena in central Gothenburg. BNI Gamla Ullevi has 27 members. The team meets for lunch every Wednesday. If you visit on a day when all members are there, you'll hear 27 one minute presentations and two six minute presentations from team members. In addition, guests, like me, get 30 seconds to present themselves and their company. I did not count the exact number, but I think I heard about 30 business presentations at the meeting. This may sound like a lot, but BNI teams are very well organized. (Self-organized, I might add, in case you are interested in Agile software development or management.) Meetings take 90 minutes. It is a tight schedule, but I have never seen a BNI meeting that feels hurried. The trick is to keep everything flowing smoothly. If you observe carefully, practi

Passionate about presentations

From a presentation teaser I held this morning. Note the absence of presentation software. I showed an example of long term effects of cause-and-effect chains: A train crash in 1848 has had repercussions that made companies unnecessarily vulnerable to the financial crisis and recession in 2008. I show the complete cause and effect chain in the full talk. I am going into the presentation business. (Just so you know: I am not leaving the management consultant business, just adding a related and much needed service.) I hold at least one presentation every week, and I hear at least 16-18 presentations per week, sometimes twice that. Some of the presentations I see are very good, but many are not. The ability to make a good business presentation is important. I have seen companies with superior sales offers getting blown out of the competition because of poor presentations. I have seen strategy presentations which could not be understood by anyone, including the presenter. In one sur

Visiting the Gothenburg Book Fair with Erik Lundh

Erik Lundh at the Gothenburg Book Fair 2010.  I visited the 2010 Gothenburg Book Fair last Sunday. It was partly because of the books. I really, really, like books. Mostly, it was to meet Erik Lundh . Erik is a well known agile coach. When Erik told me he, his family, and a friend of his were coming to the fair, it tipped the scale in favor of a visit. While Erik and I were talking, which we did a lot of, I mentioned a problem I had with finding a good hook for a presentation I am working on. Erik offered to help. I accepted, and he dug into my brains to see if there was usable story in there somewhere. There was, though we had to do a lot of hands on sifting to find it. Afterwards I scooped up the wrangled remains of my brains from the table, put it back where it belongs and screwed the lid back on. The funny thing is that once my writer's block, well, presenter's block, had been removed, several other ideas that had been fluttering about in my head, searching for a

Stephen Kovacs on understanding the nature of Agile

I got a very thoughtful email from Stephen Kovacs on how to develop a deep understanding of Agile and Lean. I asked him if he would allow me to publish it. He did, so here it is: This may just be throwing a half baked idea out. That said.... I was looking around on the net for some discussion of "lean", since people seemed to be talking about it as an alternative to Agile, and my sense of Lean was not an alternative. Perhaps a less structured version of Agile? (it seems to me Agile has become an umbrella under which Lean and others congregate). I looked at a link to Wiki about Lean development, and from there to several links down into underlying theories (psychology, etc etc).. I keep coming up with the same thing: that Agile is an effort to pull together more humanistic theories of motivation and, perhaps, communication, into a working model. And I keep coming to the same conclusion. The more effort put into creating the model (the rules?) , the more explicit the working