Monday, October 13, 2014

Agile Holland Podcast | The GetKanban Game

agileholland_podcast The Agile Holland Podcast is a monthly podcast with highlights from Agile Holland's meetups and conferences.

In this 1st episode, we share some impressions of our September 30th meetup/conference where we had a blast playing the GetKanban game at VX Company.

The captain of the winning team of the Getkanban game, Bianca Griffioen, is the first person to be interviewed for the Agile Holland Podcast. She's a Getkanban game vet, and likes the game for introducing Kanban to teams under the supervision of an experienced player.

Harry Nieboer uses Kanban in his work. According to Harry, the key to getting the most value out of both Kanban and the Getkanban game is smart planning. That said, luck also plays a part, as does a great team.

Jan van Beek enjoyed playing the game because of the teamwork and team decision making that are central to it. He's not sure if the game really teaches one the essentials of Kanban.

Huib Schoots likes games a lot, all kinds of games. He's not sure if the Getkanban game is really realistic. But he liked it and would recommend teams to play it to see if Kanban is something for them.

Rick IJspeerd thought the Getkanban game was really nice and educational. His key insight from the game is that limiting WIP maximizes profit. Potentially.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dazzle Your Audience By Doodling

When we were kids, we loved to doodle. Most of us did anyway. I doodled all the time, everywhere, and, to the dismay of my mother, on everything. I still love to doodle. In fact, I believe doodling is essential.

The tragedy of the doodle lies in its definition: "A doodle is an unfocused or unconscious drawing while a person's attention is otherwise occupied." That's why most of us have been taught not to doodle. Seems logical, right? Teacher sees you doodling, that is not paying attention in class, thus not learning as much as you should, so he puts a stop to it. Trouble is though, it's wrong. And it's not just a little bit wrong, it's totally and utterly wrong. Exactly how wrong was shown in a case study by Jackie Andrade. She discovered that doodlers have 29% better recall. So, if you don't doodle, you're doing yourself a disservice.

And you're not just doing yourself a disservice, you're also doing your audience a disservice. Neurologists have discovered a phenomenon dubbed "mirror neurons." When you see something, the same neurons fire as if you were doing it. So, if someone shows you a picture, let's say a slide in a presentation, it is as if you're showing that picture to yourself.

Wait, what? That doesn't sound special at all, now does it? That's why presentations using only slides can be so unintentionally relaxing.

Now, if you see someone write or draw something on a flip chart, dry erase board or any other surface in plain sight, it is as if you're writing or drawing it yourself. And that ensures 29% better recall. Better yet, you'll remember what the presenter wants you to rememeber. Especially if he can trigger an emotional response.

Now, why is that? At EUVIZ in Berlin last month, I attended a presentation by Barbara Siegel from Look2Listen that changed my life. Barbara talked about the latest insights from neuroscience that prove that everyone feels first and thinks later. So, if you want your audience to tune in to your talk, show some emotion! Want people to remember specific points of your talk? Trigger and capture emotion by writing and drawing in real-time. Emotion runs deep and draws firm neurological paths in the brain that help you recreate the memory. Memories are recreated, not stored and retrieved.

Another thing that helps you draw firm neurological paths is exercise. If you get your audience to stand up and move, you increase their brain activity by 7%, hightening alertness and motivation. By getting your audience to sit down again after physical exercise, you trigger a rebalancing of neurotransmitters and other neurochemicals, so they can use the newly spawned neurons in their brain to combine into memories of your talk. Now that got me running every other day! Well, jogging is more like it, but hey: I'm hitting my target heart-rate regularly!

How does this help you become a better public speaker? Remember these two key points:

  1. At the start of your speech, get your audience to stand up and move to ensure 7% more brain activity and prime them for maximum recall.
  2. Make sure to use visuals and metaphors and create most, if not all, of them in real-time to leverage the mirror neuron effect and increase recall by 29%.