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BONUS: Beyond Profit, How Happy Office Is Redefining Success in the Workplace, with Maartje Jansen and Fennande van der Meulen

Maartje and Fennande’s journey into the realm of happiness at work began with a blend of personal insight and professional evolution.

A conversation with a neighbor about the  innovative step of hiring the Netherlands’ first Chief Happiness Officer, led them to the realization that prioritizing worker happiness is not just beneficial but essential for business success.

This revelation was the cornerstone for founding Happy Office, the consultancy they work for.

Both had always valued engagement and purpose in their work, but now they were seeing the business world through a new lens: one that focuses on harnessing the full potential of employees, beyond just profit generation.

Their early skepticism from academic circles about influencing work culture was overturned by practical experiences.

The Four Pillars of Workplace Happiness

They define happiness at work simply by saying: “it’s when you find yourself whistling on the way to and from work!”

They use four ideas to help describe how to achieve that outcome, the four Ps of Purpose, People, Progress, and Positivity.

These pillars serve as the foundation for creating a work environment where employees feel energized rather than drained.

At the core of their definition lies the basic human needs for meaningful relationships and contributions, suggesting that true happiness at work is about finding the right balance that fulfills these needs.

The Critical Role of Happiness in Today’s Workplace

Continue reading BONUS: Beyond Profit, How Happy Office Is Redefining Success in the Workplace, with Maartje Jansen and Fennande van der Meulen

Zach Stone: Evolving Our Perspective On Scrum Master Success With Experience

In this episode, Zach discusses his evolving perspective on success as a Scrum Master. Initially valuing predictability, he now prioritizes the impact of Scrum events over strict adherence. He acknowledges the risk of losing sight of purpose when fixating on predictability and velocity. Shifting from an adherence mindset to a goal-oriented, customer-centric approach, Zach emphasizes the importance of clear product goals in boosting team motivation. Success, for him, is now defined by the meaningful impact achieved through Scrum events, aligning teams with overarching objectives and driving tangible results.

Featured Retrospective Format for the Week: The Rosebud and Thorn Retrospective Format

In this episode, Zach shares his preferred retrospective format, the “Rosebud and Thorn.” He appreciates its simplicity and authenticity, as it prompts participants to share both positive and challenging aspects. The retrospective serves as a communication gauge for the team, revealing their dynamics and communication quality. Zach emphasizes the format’s value in assessing team functioning throughout the sprint. Additionally, he advises adapting facilitation strategies for remote sessions, especially those lacking camera visibility, ensuring effective retrospectives regardless of the setting. The “Rosebud and Thorn” emerges as a powerful tool for insightful and meaningful reflections.

How can I, as a Scrum Master, supercharge my facilitation?

Retrospectives, planning sessions, vision workshops, we are continuously helping teams learn about how to collaborate in practice! In this Actionable Agile Tools book, Jeff Campbell shares some of the tools he’s learned over a decade of coaching Agile Teams. The pragmatic coaching book you need, right now! Buy Actionable Agile Tools on Amazon, or directly from the author, and supercharge your facilitation toolbox!

About Zach Stone

Zach has worked as a process facilitator for over 17 years, as a specialist in behavioral science. He co-founded a firm that uses techniques to rebuild war zones  for organizational dynamics. He has been an agilist for the past 7 years and was recently a speaker at the Global Scrum Conference. He lives in Santa Fe with his Wife and spends his time exploring canyons and trails.

You can link with Zach Stone on LinkedIn.

Zach Stone: Overcoming Vision Challenges in Agile Teams, And The Key Role Of The Product Owner

In this episode, Zach recounts a team’s struggles with a platform and component-based structure. Despite having capable members, the team faced challenges surrounding unclear priorities and vision. Frequent changes in priorities left the team uncertain about their work’s purpose after a significant launch. Communication issues arose as developers weren’t grasping the vision. The absence of direction led to disengagement, arguments during refinement, and an overwhelming workload. Introducing a Product Owner with a clear mission restored commitment. A critical incident, the Ukrainian war, catalyzed a much-needed laser focus. This episode underscores the importance of a well-defined mission and external factors in shaping team dynamics.

Featured Book of the Week: “The Help Increase the Peace Program Manual” by the American Friends Service Committee

In this episode, Zach discusses some of his favorite Agile-related books. “The Help Increase the Peace Program Manual” by the American Friends Service Committee is praised for its insights into conflict facilitation and fostering healthy communities. This book transformed Zach’s perspective on communities and equipped him to navigate groups with conflicts. Another book that Zach highlights is “Thinking in Systems” by Meadows explores various aspects of sociology, economy, and more, encouraging readers to view the world holistically. Zach values its ability to prompt a deeper understanding of “why” and uncover systemic factors. He emphasizes how external/systemic issues can impact team-level problems, shedding light on the interconnected nature of challenges.

Transform Your Agile Teams with Hard-Earned Lessons from Super-Experienced Scrum Masters

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!

About Zach Stone

Zach has worked as a process facilitator for over 17 years, as a specialist in behavioral science. He co-founded a firm that uses techniques to rebuild war zones  for organizational dynamics. He has been an agilist for the past 7 years and was recently a speaker at the Global Scrum Conference. He lives in Santa Fe with his Wife and spends his time exploring canyons and trails.

You can link with Zach Stone on LinkedIn.

Mirela Mus: The Product Owner’s view on Leadership Impact, Priorities, and Stakeholder Management for Scrum Teams

In this episode, Mirela discussed the challenges of change management and shared valuable tips. She emphasized that change can fail for various reasons and highlighted the importance of impactful leadership to drive successful change. Mirela recommended having a supportive group of people ready to assist in the change process and showcasing examples of successful changes to the team. Collaboration with Product Owners (POs) was emphasized, as they can greatly influence team performance. The ability of a PO to say “no” to higher-ups was discussed. Anti-patterns such as a lack of priorities or structure in prioritization were identified as potential problems at the team level. Mirela provided tips on mapping stakeholders, managing relationships, and helping the PO learn to influence people. In this episode, we refer to the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Managing oneself, leveraging asynchronous work, monitoring the PM’s meeting time, and deprioritizing as a cost-cutting measure were additional tips shared in the episode.

Want to Improve Your Change Management Results? Discover the Lean Change Management Approach Today!

As Scrum Master we work with change continuously! Do you have your own change framework that provides the guidance, and queues you need when working with change? The Lean Change Management framework is a fully defined, lean-startup inspired change framework that can be used as the backbone of any change process! You can buy Lean Change Management the book at Amazon. Also available in French, Spanish, German and Portuguese.

About Mirela Mus

Mirela is the founder of Product People, a Product Management Consultancy on a mission to help companies discover and deliver great products faster. They have 41 full-time Product Managers who help companies focus on product-led growth and/or profitability.

You can link with Mirela Mus on LinkedIn and connect with Mirela Mus on Twitter.

Caterina Palmiotto: Address conflicts in your Agile Team, or else…

In this segment, Caterina Palmiotto discusses the story of a software development team that was self-destructing due to conflicts and a blame culture. When Caterina joined the team, she heard blame, resentment, and conflicts among the developers. The team struggled to resolve bugs, and one developer was causing the majority of the conflicts. Caterina tried to address the conflicts and had some success, but it took a difficult decision to remove the person causing the conflicts for the team to work better. Caterina emphasizes the importance of addressing conflicts and the impact of culture on the success of a team.

Featured Book of the Week: Legacy, by James Kerr

In this segment, Caterina Palmiotto discusses the book Legacy by James Kerr, which is a collection of leadership stories about the All Blacks rugby team from New Zealand. As a scrum master, Caterina noticed similarities in leadership between sports and software development. The book connected all the dots in her mind and emphasized the importance of a strong team culture. According to Caterina, if you focus on the team, the results will follow. The book highlights the idea that strong leadership is essential to building a strong team culture.

Do you wish you had decades of experience? Learn from the Best Scrum Masters In The World, Today! The Tips from the Trenches – Scrum Master edition audiobook includes hours of audio interviews with SM’s that have decades of experience: from Mike Cohn to Linda Rising, Christopher Avery, and many more. Super-experienced Scrum Masters share their hard-earned lessons with you. Learn those today, make your teams awesome!

About Caterina Palmiotto

Caterina started as a software developer but soon realized that she was passionate about team dynamics and communication, and embraced agility from the moment she saw it.

Caterina believes a team can be more than the sum of its parts and that growing the right culture is essential. When people are surrounded by good examples they will be motivated to do their best.  So the first step is doing your best to be a good example of the culture you want to nurture.

You can link with Caterina Palmiotto on LinkedIn.

Get These Valuable Lessons Today!
Down-to-earth, hard-earned Scrum Masters lessons and the Tips from the Trenches e-book table of contents, delivered by email
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a clickable PO Cheat Sheet
This handy Coach Your PO cheat-sheet includes questions to help you define the problem, and links to handy, easy techniques to help you coach your Product Owner
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Enter e-mail to download a checklist to help your PO manage their time
This simple checklist and calendar handout, with a coaching article will help you define the minimum enagement your PO must have with the team
Internal Conference
Checklist
Internal Conference
Checklist
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Motivate your team with the right metrics, and the right way to visualize and track them. Marcus presents a detailed How-To document based on his experience at The Bungsu Hospital
Download a detailed How-To to help measure success for your team
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
A moving story of how work at the Bungsu Hospital was transformed by a simple tool that you can use to help your team.
Read about Visualization and TRANSFORM The way your team works
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