Episode 5 – Interview with Chris Murman

Posted by

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)


In this episode, we talk to Chris Murman. Chris has spent his IT career focused on how the newest technologies are made and iterate on a better way. That comes from learning to build smarter, harder, faster, more accurately, and with greater transparency. Those are the tenets of how he works. Chris has worked on Agile teams in art direction, quality assurance, product management, project management, and coaching. Currently, he is a Senior Agile Consultant for Solutions IQ, an Accenture company.Along the way, he’s accumulated three certifications from the Scrum Alliance, spoken at over a dozen conferences, co-authored a book on building mobile applications, and regularly blogs on his work at chrismurman.com. He also serves on the board for the Agile Uprising Coalition.

Key Take-aways:

 

A passionate team needs diversity

A passionate team feels safe that they can … When those moments come out, they’re not worried about offending anybody, or if they express an opinion that differs, people are just seeing your ideas as it’s just you’re passionate about it, and they don’t take offense super easy to it. […]

[…] There’s also a lot of diversity in passionate teams, because really if you have a team where everybody looks, and acts, and talks, and sounds kind of the same, you get into a rhythm, and passion doesn’t like rhythm. […]

[…] Passion really needs to have its own drumbeat, and you get that from diverse ideas. […]
Too much passion may be dangerous

[…] Yeah, and it doesn’t have to be a constant movement, right? You would just burn yourself out if you just woke up every day and said, “No, we need to just be going at a breakneck pace,” right? “We need to put the pedal to the metal, as they say.” You would just burn yourself out after a while. I mean, really, I think, in a way, you have to make room for passion to enter when it needs it, because maybe you don’t always need it. Maybe you just need some heavy downtime. […]

A passionate team needs a fail-safe environment

[…] Not everybody’s gonna be a great public speaker, but when the team is speaking to each other, they know how to hold a room. And when I say that I mean when they speak, they had everybody’s attention. […]

[…] We’re emotional creatures. How is it to be successful that I have to suppress a part of who I really, really am?
I feel that if you are a truly authentic, passionate team, right, your emotions will shine. They will just absolutely shine through and through. People will cry. People will laugh. They will hug each other. They’ll make jokes. I think one of my favorite teams ever, I had a couple of people pull me in for discussions, and we cried together, and we hugged, and people were frustrated. Their family life was difficult at the time, and hopefully that came from a feeling of safety, right? They felt safe in that group. Going back to another trait, but if they are safe then their emotions will come through, and it will be okay for those emotions to come through. It’s so important. […]

[…] I think that leadership can help. So I mentioned earlier that one of the agile principles is to create the right environment around motivated individuals, and I feel like leadership has to be a part of that. Now, the team has to use it, right? The team has to use the environment that they’ve been given once they get it, but there are so many companies where they don’t have the ability to create their own environment. […]

[…] When you don’t have a feeling of safety in organizations, and when the leadership, and the systems and the workflows have been set up in a way to not encourage people to speak up, eventually people just start saying anything. They just say, “Look, I’m just gonna go do my job. I’m not gonna really innovate. I’m not gonna care. If something goes wrong and my boss is making a decision I don’t like, it doesn’t matter because my boss isn’t gonna appreciate my ideas anyways. So I’m just gonna shut up and I’m not gonna say anything.” And that is a toxic, toxic environment. […]

[…] You wanna talk about a company of unpassionate people? It’s when they don’t feel like they can speak up. And so many companies struggle with that. I mean, just think of the number of companies you’ve worked with, and the times you’ve been in a meeting room, and someone should have spoken up but nobody did because they felt like they couldn’t, you know what I mean? […]

A passionate team needs slack

[…] But I think the thing that you can do most is just, like you said, create some slack, because if your days are just hour after hour after hour, you’re scheduled and you don’t have times to just be in the moment and work, and huddle, and converse, that probably fosters passion better than anything else. By just giving us some slack. And saying like, “Hey, let’s all go … ” Whether it’s lunch, or bringing donuts and coffee in. As awful as donuts are for you, sometimes sugar can be really helpful in getting the motor started. […]

[…] Sometimes the best leadership that you can do is to just sit back. Create the best environment you can, sit back, let them have some slack, and just watch them go, and sometimes it may just happen regardless of whatever you do, you know what I mean? […]