I sometimes think that I’m the only agile coach who supports “management” and “leaders” in agile contexts. And I’ve written quite a few pieces with that perspective. For example –  


So, I was surprised and delighted when I read this piece from Jason LittleWhy Executives Don’t Go to Agile Conferences.

Based on the title, I thought Jason would join a long list of agile thought leaders who take a few swipes at executives. But when I got into it, I realized that he showed incredible understanding and empathy. Here are two quotes from the article…

It astonishes me to see so much information about bad leadership, and how executives don’t care because they can’t spare a day at an Agile conference to explore how to run more effective retrospectives. I don’t think many pundits have a clue how much stress these people have on them, and that executives are people too. Sure, some may behave in a more forward way, which is usually perceived as command-and-control, but from my experience, it’s not the case. They’re just busy.


Don’t assume just because executives aren’t coming to Agile conferences they don’t care. Just because Agile is the most important thing for you as an Agile Coach, doesn’t mean others don’t have equally important things to them. Remember Nokia? Anti-Scrum pundits say Scrum ruined Nokia. Wow, if you really believe that…well, you can imagine what I want to say that I won’t. Ziyad Jawaya, and his management team literally cried at their press conference that announced their sale to Microsoft. Tell me they didn’t care.

Wrapping Up

I want to applaud Jason for his thoughtfulness and empathy. 

All of us can learn something from this article to help increase our empathy towards and understanding of executives (leaders) in agile contexts. Indeed, most are well-intentioned and trying their best to navigate through corporate demands.

Stay agile my friends,


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