Neuroscience of psychological safety

I find that many of the conversations we have about psychological safety tend to devolve into platitudes: “It’s good and we should have more of it” or “managers should create safer spaces”. This doesn’t give anyone any context into why it’s actually important or how we can go about improving it.

Book recommendations for Agile Coaches

I talk a lot about neuroscience, psychology, hypnosis, body language, and other topics as they relate to Agile methods and I’m frequently asked: “What books do you recommend as an introduction?” There is no single best book to start with so I’m giving you a bunch of categories to pick from.

The millennial whoop and our brain as a prediction engine

Our brains are highly advanced prediction engines1. They are constantly trying to predict what will happen next so that we can be prepared for what’s coming. When our brain makes a successful prediction then we get rewarded with a tiny shot of dopamine that makes us feel good.

  1. Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett explains how our brains evolved as a prediction engine in her excellent book Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain 

Google’s Project Aristotle

You may have already heard of Google’s Project Aristotle. Back in 2012, Google set out to identify what made their most effective teams so much better than others. They wanted to reproduce that magic that some teams had across the company and so they interviewed 180 teams and collected all kinds of data.

Code coverage as a perverse incentive

While code coverage can be a useful measurement for teams to improve their own results, the moment it’s tracked by people external to the team, particularly management, it becomes a perverse incentive.

Retrospective Magic

Are your retros running a bit flat? Need something to spice them up and make them more effective and also more interesting for your team? Join us as we walk through a collection of techniques from psychology and applied neuroscience to give your retros that edge you need.

Collocated vs Distributed Teams

For years, agile coaches have been touting the benefits of collocated teams and pointing out the inefficiencies of having people remote. When COVID-19 struck and everyone was required to work from home, we found that while teams certainly weren’t as effective as they’d been in the office, it wasn’t nearly as bad as had been anticipated. How do we make sense of this?

Six Thinking Hats

Six Thinking Hats is a technique to improve creativity by focusing our attention on only one perspective at a time. Useful wherever we need creativity - from retrospectives to product planning to strategic visioning.