Bob Marshall on Empathy, NVC, and other approaches to help develop organizations

In this very special episode we talk with Bob Marshall, aka Flowchainsensei on twitter. We discuss some of his outstanding work:
The Marshall model, where Bob Marshall explores the different types of mindsets and their influence on the effectiveness of organizations.

Simply put, the Model explains how the effectiveness of any knowledge-work organisation is a direct function of the kind of mindset shared collectively by all the folks working in the organisation – managers, executives and employees, all. – Bob Marshall

The Anti-matter principle, where Bob explores a single, overarching principle that could guide the actions of those that take Agile seriously.

“Attend to folks’ needs.” — Anti-matter principle

Empathy as a key skill for Scrum Masters

We also discuss one of the key skills for Scrum Masters: Empathy. How to develop it, and what resources are available for those that want to grow their ability to experience empathy.
We mention resources such as videos by Marshall Rosenberg and Carl Rogers.

The Story of the Anti-matter principle

If you are familiar with the anti-matter principle, you have probably wondered where the idea came from. Bob explains the organizational setting that led him to develop what he later called the anti-matter principle. In this section we also discuss the Theory X and Theory Y contrasting theories of management, developed by Douglas McGregor in his famous book: The Human Side of the Enterprise.

A special attention is given in our conversation to the impact of Extrinsic Motivators on the degrading of organizational performance over time. A must listen, if you ask me 🙂

Enjoy this first special episode of the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast.

About Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall has been at the forefront of Digital Business for more than twenty years.
Throughout, he has consistently inspired people to improve their effectiveness – along with the effectiveness of their teams and organisations. He spent three years as founder and CEO of Familiar, Europe’s UK’s first one hundred percent Agile software house and digital consultancy start-up, serving major Digital Business clients in Telecoms, Finance, Travel, Media, and eBusiness.
He has for the past fifteen years headed Falling Blossoms – a Digital Business Consultancy advising organisations how best to go about applying Digital to achieving their business objectives.

He is also the co-founder of the Rightshifting movement, and the creator of the Marshall Model (Dreyfus for the organisation), as well as Prod•gnosis, Emotioneering and FlowChain; the enterprise-wide approach to developing software-intensive products and services.

He has also pioneered the application of psychology and psychotherapy techniques to Digital Business and Digital Business Transformation.

You can find Bob Marshall on Twitter, and link with Bob Marshall on Linkedin.
You can read his regular postings on the Flowchainsensei blog.

Daniel Nielsen explains how to track Job Satisfaction for your team

There are many measures that a Scrum Master can track, but Job Satisfaction is Daniel’s choice. In this episode Daniel explains how to track Job Satisfaction as well as other metrics that you can track as a Scrum Master to measure your success.
In this Episode we also mention a very important book in the HR circles, that helps Scrum Masters understand what some of the best managers do to enable their best performers: First, Break all the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

Special call to all Dubai agilists: Daniel is relocating to Dubai and is looking to connect to local agilists. If you fit the bill, then reach out to him on twitter: Daniel Nielsen on Twitter.

About Daniel Nielsen

Daniel is a developer turned Scrum Master turned Agile Coach, with an increasing focus on the coach part. Over the last 10+ years, his interest in how teams work and how we interact as individuals has only grown. He has worked in both small and large companies and tried to cope with the complexities in both worlds.
You can reach out to Daniel Nielsen on Twitter, and link with Daniel Nielsen on LinkedIn.
You can also read his blog in Danish at QED.dk

Daniel Nielsen on the HR anti-pattern that cause a failure in recruiting

Recruiting is a tough job, but recruiting a good Scrum Master is even harder than other recruiting tasks. And the reason is simple, it is impossible to be a good Scrum Master unless you live and breathe that role. This is what happened in the story that Daniel tells us today when he explains the HR anti-pattern that led to that failure in recruiting. Daniel also explains how he solved this recruiting challenge with the help of the team.

Special call to all Dubai agilists: Daniel is relocating to Dubai and is looking to connect to local agilists. If you fit the bill, then reach out to him on twitter: Daniel Nielsen on Twitter.

About Daniel Nielsen

Daniel is a developer turned Scrum Master turned Agile Coach, with an increasing focus on the coach part. Over the last 10+ years, his interest in how teams work and how we interact as individuals has only grown. He has worked in both small and large companies and tried to cope with the complexities in both worlds.
You can reach out to Daniel Nielsen on Twitter, and link with Daniel Nielsen on LinkedIn.
You can also read his blog in Danish at QED.dk

Sebastian Schürmann defines success by understanding the definition of a successful organization

There are many KPI’s to measure your work and success as a Scrum Master, but what is a successful organization. Sebastian shares the definition of a successful organization, and how that can help you define success for your work as a scrum master.
In this episode we also have KPI’s galore, and why numbers are not always the best way to measure your success as a Scrum Master.

About Sebastian Schürmann

Sebastian has an extremely strong work ethic, a great passion to his work, unwavering desire for excellence, and unabated willingness to share his rich knowledge.
Driven by his strong work ethic, he takes several key roles: as scrum master, agile coach, mentor, as protector of the young development teams, after all, a humble leader who takes risks and responsibilities at extremely critical moments, creates a vision which the other follow by heart – with excellent outcome.
You can find Sebastian Schürmann on twitter, and link with Sebastian Schürmann on LinkedIn.
You can find Sebastian Schürmann’s website, and his blog.

Sebastian Schürmann on the many failures that he faced in his journey as a Scrum Master

There are many failures in the career of all successful Scrum Masters, and Sebastian shares with us 4 major failures that helped him develop his craft as a Scrum Master.
Being a Scrum Master is a discipline in itself, and we must learn that discipline by focusing on the contribution of that discipline to the team and the organization.

About Sebastian Schürmann

Sebastian has an extremely strong work ethic, a great passion to his work, unwavering desire for excellence, and unabated willingness to share his rich knowledge.
Driven by his strong work ethic, he takes several key roles: as scrum master, agile coach, mentor, as protector of the young development teams, after all, a humble leader who takes risks and responsibilities at extremely critical moments, creates a vision which the other follow by heart – with excellent outcome.
You can find Sebastian Schürmann on twitter, and link with Sebastian Schürmann on LinkedIn.
You can find Sebastian Schürmann’s website, and his blog.

Karol Sójko asks: do you hire bosses or leaders

Bosses or leaders? Which type of people do you hire. All people we hire must at some point make a decision, to work for the team or work despite the team. This is the difference between bosses and leaders, and you should consider this when recruiting Scrum Masters.

About Karol Sójko


Developer, software architect and a team leader. Karol is a big fan of Behavior Driven Development and open source software. In his everyday work he tries to share his experience and actively participate in development and spreading a good word about open source projects like Symfony, Behat or PhpSpec. He is also fascinated by the process of making teams work better and tweak their productivity. After hours he is one of PHPers meetups organizers in Poland.
Karol is the author of To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters
You can connect with Karol Sójko on twitter, and subscribe to his helpful tips on how to get your team to the next level.

Karol Sójko on the life of a startup and what Scrum Masters should know about it

The life of a startup is very different from working on a large corporate environment. This influences your work as a Scrum Master. In this episode Karol shares what he learned from that experience, and a technique he learned then that he now applies everywhere.

About Karol Sójko


Developer, software architect and a team leader. Karol is a big fan of Behavior Driven Development and open source software. In his everyday work he tries to share his experience and actively participate in development and spreading a good word about open source projects like Symfony, Behat or PhpSpec. He is also fascinated by the process of making teams work better and tweak their productivity. After hours he is one of PHPers meetups organizers in Poland.
Karol is the author of To-Do: Team!: Simple productivity techniques for improving your team & making software that matters
You can connect with Karol Sójko on twitter, and subscribe to his helpful tips on how to get your team to the next level.

Ben Linders asks you to look for mindset and beliefs when recruiting Scrum Masters

Mindset and beliefs when recruiting Scrum Masters are good indicators of the suitability of the candidates to the job at hand. Ben Linders explains why, and how to build that into the recruiting interview.
In this episode we mention Ben’s blog post on how sometimes it is better to do nothing.

About About Ben Linders

Ben Linders is an Independent Consultant in Agile, Lean, Quality and Continuous Improvement, based in The Netherlands. Author of Getting Value out of Agile Retrospectives, Waardevolle Agile Retrospectives & What Drives Quality.
You can follow Ben Linders on Twitter, and connect with Ben Linders on LinkedIn.

You can find Ben’s Agile self-assessment in his web-site, and find more about his work and upcoming workshops.

Tim Bourguignon follows the pain to understand how the system works

Follow the pain to understand the system. Look for unexplained trends, then look outside the team for possible explanations. Find out who is actually communicating with whom. Measure everything you can to detect changes, or impacts from others outside the system. Then sit back and see the big picture.

About Tim Bourguignon

Tim likes to describe himself as a full time geek, agile developer and BS hunter. He was born in France, raised as a European child and currently lives in Germany where he juggles with software development and Scrum Mastering. When he’s not in front of a computer, you’ll find him behind a camera, in his running shoes or with his wife & son… of course never in that order!
You can connect with Tim Bourguignon on twitter or visit Tim Bourguignon’s website to see what he is up to.

Tim Bourguignon measures all the things

How do you measure success? You measure all the things! Wait, don’t switch off yet, because Tim has a very good idea on how you can do this.

  1. Always take notes. In meetings, after conversations, all the time.
  2. Measure everything you can. Tasks completed, cycle time, features, interactions, etc.
  3. Get numbers on everything you do as a Scrum Master. How many times did you talk to each team member this week? How many times did you feel lost, or did not know how to go forward?
  4. Look at trends. Only numbers can help you see trends. So measure and stand back to see the big picture.

About Tim Bourguignon

Tim likes to describe himself as a full time geek, agile developer and BS hunter. He was born in France, raised as a European child and currently lives in Germany where he juggles with software development and Scrum Mastering. When he’s not in front of a computer, you’ll find him behind a camera, in his running shoes or with his wife & son… of course never in that order!
You can connect with Tim Bourguignon on twitter or visit Tim Bourguignon’s website to see what he is up to.