Global Scrum Gathering 2019: Austin

Our first OpenSpace session: May 21, 2019

I’m sitting here in my hotel room with a brain that’s full to the brim, and a heart to match. The Global Scrum Gathering 2019 in Austin just closed, and I am finding myself needing to write some stuff down before I can lay my head down to sleep.

First, I am so grateful for all of the organizers and volunteers for putting on an event that is so full of meaning. There is a lot that goes into this, and that is not lost on me. I had a chance to volunteer this year by reviewing presentation submissions, as well, and got a cool surprise of a behind the scenes tour of Austin City Limits, home of the PBS live music show (I’m going to go back and find some old video from that show).

I came here with two objectives: to learn from others to get better as a Scrum professional, and to share our work on the Best Self Principles and grow that network. But what I got was so much more.

Agile Best Self Principle #10: Simplicity – focusing on what energizes your best self — is paramount.

The first thing I noticed right away on Monday was that I was recalling how I felt one year ago, when I was at the low point of my transformation journey from traditional management to Agile leader. Or, maybe another way to think about that feeling was the beginning of the growth trajectory. It became immediately obvious how much my mindset had shifted and how different I felt. That was an awesome feeling, I must say. I felt like I was “in the game” and worthy of having a voice in this community.

I got a chance to see some awesome presenters showing their thought leadership on Scrum mechanics and Agile leadership. The Daniel Pink keynote was incredible also, talking about the Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Some great insights about knowing your cycles and considering where you are to help you lead your team better. I especially resonated with Braz Brandt’s talk about self-care for Scrum Masters, building on the idea of being on an airplane and putting your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. It was great to meet and chat with Braz and hopefully we will see him pop up in our Best Self Linked In community soon.

Monday wrapped up with the volunteer reception at Austin City Limits, as I mentioned, and a great party with a live band, not to mention some great food. The Scrum Gathering attendees know how to have a good time.

Our OpenSpace entry

Tuesday was OpenSpace day. Michaele and I decided facilitating an OpenSpace session would be a great way to get some feedback on the 12 Agile Best Self Principles, and continue to “turn up the good” by growing the community. So we went for it! My first ever OpenSpace.

It was an amazing experience with 8 engaged attendees listening and sharing their own stories, including someone who was on a self-care journey resulting in a 100+ pound weight loss. Inspirational! I feel even stronger that we’re on to something here. I also attended a few other sessions, and I’ll probably share some thoughts in separate posts. The OpenSpace wrapped up with a walking tour of all the artifacts from the sessions and we could take pictures. I got a chance to meet a lot of additional people who were curious, and got a chance to share our story

Adam Weisbart

Most of the final day was spent in a focused training session on Build Your Own Scrum, a tool created by Adam Weisbart. Adam is a Scrum Trainer (among other things) but is widely know for this video. This class will help me deliver a training experience that will get rid of PowerPoint material and will be much more interactive and interesting.

The closing keynote was from Chris Messina, the dude who invented the hashtag. Interesting story about how it came into being, and what he learned. It was a great way to close this event out, as his key point (see picture below) describes what I feel like as I leave this event, and take the Best Self principles forward to bring more good in the world. I am feeling as though I am far more wealthy than when I came. See you all next year in NYC!

Agile Best Self Principle #11: The best inspirations and insights emerge from like-hearted communities. 

Copyright © 2020 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

Published by Brian Hackerson

My personal philosophy is to be a light.

One thought on “Global Scrum Gathering 2019: Austin

  1. I think Brian does a great job of capturing much of the awesomeness of the Global Scrum Gathering in Austin. There is just so much to say, and so much to be grateful for – it could fill a book, not just a blog post. Each time we give an Agile Best Self workshop or talk to people about our content, I come away from the interaction feeling like I’m part of a great community. There are so many humbling and energizing experiences that go with being part of this group of people who want to take it to the next step. Let’s go beyond burnout, and turn up the good!

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