Open Agile Cluj 2012 – The Crazy Erik Talboom and Jurgen De Smet

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Open Agile Cluj 2012

The Cluj edition of Open Agile was special for more reasons: it was the first Open Agile in Cluj, for the first time we engaged volunteers who were fabulous, the first touch with Open Space for most of the attendees at the conference.

At this edition we had invited Andrea Provaglio to have the opening keynote, but because his flight was cancelled in the last minute he could not arrive. In return, he made a short ten minute overview about his presentation on Skype.

And because of this happening we had to convince Jurgen De Smet to give another talk, since he was already present at the venue after the Management 3.0 course he had taught. He was crazy enough to create a new talk in less than an hour. After we told him about our idea of him replacing Andrea, in a couple of minutes post-its started to fill-up the coffee table in the lounge of the venue. His idea was a bit alien to the Agile world, this giving it even more value: Financial Improvement. You can find his video here and his slides here.

We then stole the idea from this year’s ALE Conference: all the speakers of the day will have a Talk Show where they will say briefly what they will talk about in their presentations. Since everyone found it really useful during ALE, we thought, why not use it for Open Agile too. So thank you ALE 2012 organizers for inventing this concept!

One of the highlights of the talk show was Erik Talboom dragging Jurgen De Smet on the stage and slapping him hard, just because Jurgen was sloppy with his Agile Transformation. You can see this outrageous event here.

Then we had the most unusual talk of Erik Talboom and Jurgen De Smet called Perfect Problem Breakthrough. Why unusual? Because during most of the talk they acted some real-life scenarios where they wanted to highlight the stages of Christopher Avery’s Personal Responsibility Process: Denial, Blame, Justify, Obligation, Quit, Responsibility. After each small sketch they asked the audience how they could characterize in one word what they just saw. For each sketch there was a flipchart. After they went through all the stages they started asking the audience if they saw a problem during the conference and how could we solve it. The problem the audience chose was the lack of the space in the lounge because the food was there. Then everyone started to say it was somebody else’s fault that there was a lack of space: the building, the architecture of the building, the organizers, etc, but nobody took action to solve the problem. Basically everyone was waiting for someone else to solve it. This was an awesome example of how we do not solve problems and how we could take responsibility and solve them now. You can check out the video here.

During the Open Space Erik facilitated a session on Personal Kanban and on Start-ups. The sessions were highly received by the audience, as we figured out from the feedback door, which was on a wall, of the conference.

It was very nice having them over at the conference with their crazy ideas!

To find out more about Open Agile Cluj 2012 follow this link:


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