Book Crossing Is Cool

Towards the end of 2016 I was at a course and 1 of the attendees mentioned "Book Crossing" and explained it as leaving and retrieving books people have placed in all kinds of places.

Finally I got around to actually researching what I had heard around September 2017. Since then I have have placed 46 books out there and am hopeful that eventually people will begin to enter reviews, or at least little comments of some kind on my bookshelf ( does a pretty good job of explaining what this is all about really. I think one of the most fascinating things that will emerge from this social experiment running since 2001, is the way the membership ( will change, and some kinds of insight that will emerge of where and when books are released, and then where, when and how will those books travel to their next release point. Maybe even luckier some kind of "…

Agile In A Nutshell Part 4

About 1 year has passed since I posted my first attempt (Agile In A Nutshell), and very quickly after that one, the second (Agile In A Nutshell 2) and third (Agile In A Nutshell 3)!

And, along the journey this past year, reading through some more random bits of Alistair Cockburn's blog and Martin Fowler's blog (which I always find nuggets in) it occurred to me that Alistair mentioned during his Heart of Agile advanced agile training course a few things.

To the best of my recollection Alistair told the story of how on day 1 of the 2001 first meeting of the 17 folks who wrote the Agile Manifesto, Alistair was facilitating the choice of the word to describe what they were trying to describe. 8 people diverged, and then converged onto "agile". 8 people diverged and converged onto "adaptive".

I wonder now, looking back, what would have happened to the software industry if "adaptive" instead had won the final coin toss / selection process. Of course ad…

My favourite coaching tools: The Mindset Works Online Mindset Assessment

A reminder that all my favourite coaching tools - free, online, or other - need to be applied with the sensible cautionary advice from statistician George EP Box: "all models are wrong but some are useful". Remember also that this is about "the other" and the other's perception - not you and not your perceptions! 

Some time after I posted a friend of mine put me onto this fantastic Ted talk by Eduardo Briceno during 2017. Since then I have only looked forward!

I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone to watch - more than once! How To Get Better At The Things You Care About packs a number of important truths and is well researched. 

Upon researching Eduardo Briceno a little more over the months after first watching this talk, I discovered his company Mindset Works, and their online mindset assessment tool: What's My Mindset? (amongst other good things like the cou…

My favourite coaching tools: SMART Acronym Update

So I've been using SMART for quite a while ( to help everyone understand the specific Task / Action / Goal / Objective clearly, so that success can be pursued by several people committed to achieving it together!

And along the way, I've come across Tom Gilb, and his 4 foundation rules for improving Specification Quality:

Every word, phrase, sentence and paragraph is clear to intended readers (RB: and lowest common denominator MUST be considered here: the newly joined member of the team)Every word, phrase, sentence and paragraph is unambiguous (RB: so a glossary is a darn good idea, especially in abstract knowledge work, aka software delivery; note glossaries / data definitions / configuration libraries were a big thing in software since the 1960's at least)All qualities are quantified (RB: so not faster/cheaper/better/blah...instead: Unit of Measure clearly defined, the meter clearly define…

My favourite coaching tools: The Evening Review

The Evening Review is a great technique for increasing self awareness. 
It is deceptively simple – but it is very powerful. The evening review puts the spotlight on all the kinds of vague impressions about how one's life is going so that one can encounter and understand more fully what is actually happening. 
Requirements: I suggest keeping a diary/journal next to your bed.
The review method:At the end of the day, preferably about 10 minutes before going to sleep, find a quiet place free from outer distractions.Close your eyes, give attention to relaxing your body, quieting your feelings, and as much as possible stilling the activity of your thoughts - aka calm your "mind monkey". Your mind should be quiet and receptive, but remain alert.Now, review your day in your mind, playing it back like a movie, but backwards, beginning with where you are right now, then the time of late evening, then early evening, then the dinner hour, and the late afternoon and so on until morn…

My favourite coaching tools: Mindset Evaluation

For sure I was aware of, and thought I understood the meaning of the term "mindset" for a long time. It's only when I went a bit deeper, and upon a great reflective mediation, that I documented all (that I knew of in that moment) of mine. And there were quite a few...over 30.

Then, the hard, but most rewarding work really began.

Evaluating each of them on their merits and on their consequences...which is the first step towards freeing oneself from mindsets that no longer serve the intended positive outcome, but instead have become restrictive to the life that could be led.

As our facilitator told us, before proceeding with the mindset evaluation, look with kind eyes, and be gentle with your self and your mindset. It began its existence to serve a purpose - to protect you and guide you to the future. And it has done its job really well - hence you are alive today, and, if you are reading this and looking at your own mindsets, then it has somehow also guided you to this p…

Agile Principles 105

So... if I had reached nirvana state of finding "the 1 best method" to teach and learn the agile principles with my previous Agile Principles 104 post in this agile series...why is there an Agile Principles 105?

My thinking continually evolves as my experiences, perspectives, understandings and, most importantly, synthesising, across the variety of things I do and things I know continues. I never stop exploring the boundaries - and the beyond! :)

The muse for this particular approach came from the advice from Peter Senge's "The Fifth Discipline" on how to create a vision for an organisation that the people own and strive towards. Peter's description of the holographic view of an organisation by each individual employee was/is bind mending!

You'll see (I hope) how each of my previous posts, with alternative teaching styles and variety of learning outcomes, informs my next target state. Hence I try new and improved approaches whenever opportunity meets p…