Transformative Leadership

Navigating Change through Visual Systems

On New Years Day, I was feeling disconnected. We came from a social event where the typical conversations started about resolutions and weight loss. I started to question the cues happening to trigger the motivation to get fit: was it because they really wanted to or because society was feeding visual cues about why they should? We have all the potential to be healthy, well-balanced individuals, but we often stay stuck repeating the same patterns. I discovered some interesting aspects about the systems at play, leading to a discovery that can ignite leadership transformation through the use of visual systems.

Our digital lives impacting well-being

Our extensive social media use, driven by superficial visual cues, affects not only personal well-being but permeates into our professional lives. The average time someone in the US spends on social media per day is 2 hours 3 minutes; over 31 days a year. A whole month of consuming information, much of it visual. The #1 form of imagery consumed? Celebrity photos. These celebrities make a beauty standard that the average person can’t reach, yet they use to compare their lives to. Studies show that more social media time leads to more negative body image and depression for girls. More depression, more apathy and inaction. We often view these aspects in an isolated sense – social media is a personal activity so it just impacts the personal. However, it deeply impacts all impacts of our society including the professional space.

An image worth 1000 words and $1.68m… although I wish it wasn’t.

Unmasking hidden information of our psychology

Robert Kegan defined orders of consciousness, which are developmental stages of how we make meaning of our lives. The three main levels for adults are:

  • Socialized mind: Relationships and approval define self-worth.
  • Self-authoring mind: Self-directed thinkers that can question beliefs.
  • Self-transforming mind: Building on the self-authoring mind to identify and explore self-limiting beliefs, biases, and social system impacts.

Social media is a visual system that keeps us at a socialized mind level (or lower), depending on others for social cues and approval. Our self-worth is tied to the expectation of what our lives should be, and we spend our time absorbing information on what is socially acceptable or not (and what to be outraged about). All of this is hidden information with a negative effect.

The Impacts of Individual Focus

The pandemic provided an opportunity for a personal transformation. Engaging deeply in meditation, journaling, and exploring my beliefs laid the groundwork. Through a journey of intrinsic motivation, I started tracking my habits to experience the satisfaction of accomplishing small goals, and to learn from the data of my behaviors. Each week and month brought heightened self-reflection, self-awareness, and self-regulation, fostering not just a habit of exercise but a mindful transformation. This internal journey, a dance between psychology and habits, extends its relevance to group dynamics in the workplace.

Fitness Tracker progress.Yes, I prefer analog.

What all of this means professionally

Individual goals, whether intrinsically or extrinsically motivated, often overshadow collective achievements in the workplace. If I only focus on my individual health, I can become isolated as the group remains unhealthy. If one only focuses on their self career achievements, they leave a legacy of their professional gain but the group remains stagnant. 

To grow individually and collectively, I initiated workshops using visual systems to align these elements:

  • Our values and agreements
  • Our strategies and goals
  • The progress of our work (task status and whiteboard workshops)
  • Retrospectives of how we can improve

Scaled out team board

Closeup of purpose, values, and identity

Within a month, engagement transformed. Team members became proactive problem-solvers, excited about their work. By the first quarter, a newfound team bonding emerged, reflected in offline engagements. Daily focus on work progress translated to impressive accomplishments seen at monthly and quarterly reviews. Individuals, not for promotion but genuine exploration, contributed more complex quarterly reflections and plans, enhancing their growth to support group goals.

The key unseen opportunity

While individual growth is essential, the key lies in collective change to avoid feelings of isolation. Visual systems provide the solution, uniting diverse perspectives, fostering exploration, facilitating reflection, and collectively celebrating learning. In a world consumed by social media and streaming, our professional time together emerges as a significant opportunity for leaders to drive meaningful change.

There is a vast amount of time spent on social media and streaming videos, but our professional time together stands as a more significant opportunity for leaders to drive meaningful change. This unseen potential is what we must collectively make apparent, and ask each individual if they are ready to seize upon that chance for transformative impact. It starts with you; are you ready to start your leadership evolution?


A Jazz Approach to Creating Impact At Work

This summer I had the privilege of witnessing the legendary jazz artist Hermeto Pascoal in an intimate Portland venue during his “Jazz Esta Morto (Jazz is Dead)” tour. At 87 years old, he continues to grace international stages. For Pascoal, “Jazz” transcends genre labels, professional boundaries, and confining boxes. It’s a living, breathing entity, in a perpetual state of evolution, awaiting your embrace.

After the spellbinding performance, my husband and I strolled through the neighborhood, reluctant to let go of the experience of truly feeling life around us. What struck me was the realization that Pascoal achieved this musical connection to life by recognizing the unique strengths of each individual in his team and allowing them the freedom to create. It struck me that, like in jazz, your work isn’t confined to a job title; it’s an opportunity for a vibrant, ever-evolving expression of existence. 

“Jazz” often inspires imagery of a smoky basement club. For some it may sound calming, for others confusing, for all: evoking. Our lives at work are often the same; moving through various phases of swing and peril, of collaboration and solos. To be successful at work is about joining a band in a harmonious rhythm, while also expanding their technical and creative capacities. 

Creating Your Rhythm, Form, and Structure

Your role at work was designed to bridge resource gaps and address strategic needs, which presents an opportunity for personal growth and problem-solving. Just like jazz, the team’s work style matters. Are you entering an organization that is the swingy, improvisational type, or do sense it has more intricate complexities of bebop?

Start by identifying the organization style and how your values will work in harmony with it. When I switched jobs a year ago, I was joining a team that valued tenure and employee experience. I discovered a newfound commitment to work-life balance and creating healthy working relationships. Writing these intentions out with examples of actions and habits [that support those values] will give you a lighthouse to find your way when you become lost at sea. 

Your Instruments: Collaboration Tools

In our work today, collaboration tools are your instruments. Using them thoughtfully is akin to playing music on an instrument vs making noise. Instead of mindlessly opening up a Word doc, really ask yourself WHY?

For example, I identified priorities of collaboration and an evolving hypothesis in my work. Miro was a match for its collaboration features and infinite canvas. Identifying the outcomes first and then selecting the tool leads to that intentional sound vs noise. I created a quick table of the tools I used, their prime functions related to my objectives, and some example use cases so I knew the right tool to use for each situation.

Playing with the Band: Intentional Interaction

One of the biggest success factors in your current job comes down to how you are feeling in your role, and how others perceive you in it. If you are comfortable and feel accepted in your role, you will figure out how to navigate the ups and downs of performance. Identify your key stakeholders, set objectives, and dedicate time to learn from and grow those relationships over time.

But remember, it’s not just about taking center stage; it’s about listening to how others play their part. Invest time in understanding your peers. What do they bring to the table? What do they need and expect from your role? How do they perceive your responsibilities? Respond to how they play instead of forcing your rhythm on the group.

The Final Piece: Your Unique Expression

Just like you can recognize Miles Davis by his trumpet playing in seconds, your work has a signature. Tapping into this “signature” is self-actualization and will bring genuine joy if you share it with the world. Just remember, you don’t have to be the star player to succeed – you may find your joy through your presence in the moment of being with the band. In the words of Nina Simone, “Jazz is not just music; it’s a way of life, a way of being, a way of thinking.”

Instead of clinging to past outputs, create the music of the present. Select your genre, rely on your guiding principles, choose the right instruments, build harmony with your team, and express yourself in new, creative ways. 

This journey empowers you to respond to complex situations with wisdom and self-expression. Have fun, tap into yourself, and savor the moment with your peers. Let it swing.

Follow me on Linkedin for more content!


Team Meeting Agenda: Meeting Productivity

A survey recently concluded only 11% of meetings are productive with 65% of respondents saying meetings prevent them from doing work. Meeting Productivity is more important than ever, so here is a team meeting agenda that will help your team customize their experience to maximize productivity

Image of a meeting productivity agenda/workshop available in Miro

This new meeting health check template is a great way to start. It provides a space for your team to give feedback on their perceptions of how meetings are going and what they want out of them. If you create a plan that works for everyone, versus taking a canned approach that worked somewhere else, you will ensure the plan is something everyone on the team is committed to.

It may not be right the first time, so remember to use this template several times over the course of a year to get it fine tuned.

If you’re interested in reading more on why meeting productivity should be a priority, read my article on Linkedin and subscribe to my newsletter for new releases of virtual templates.

Don’t forget that every now and then you should have a fun meeting! Try out my free template for a virtual Halloween game with your teammates.


A Virtual Halloween Game for Work

Being remote provides unique opportunities to play virtual Halloween games for work. It bonds your team, introduces some fun, and celebrates the season!

I created a free template in Miro: “Team Trick or Treat”. Check it out!

Image of a virtual halloween game for work, on Miro

Why celebrate Halloween virtually with your coworkers?

For dispersed teams out there, engaging activities are critical. Here are a few statistics to consider:

  • Over 50% of employees have stayed at a company because they felt like part of a team.
  • Nearly 75% of employees see teamwork and collaboration as essential.
  • TeamStage reports that 46% of job seekers said culture was one of the deciding factors in the application process, 88% found it at least relatively important.

What this Trick or Treat board covers

  1. Nightmares: What is haunting your team? Make sure to address each point in this area, taking their concerns seriously and finding a path to resolution.
  2. Favorite projects: Understand what people are enjoying so you can try and replicate those things in other areas or simply prioritize that time.
  3. Creative ideas: Open up the stage to suggestions – just make sure you take the time to follow up on them.
  4. Shoutouts/gratitude: 93% of employees “who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work and 88 percent reported feeling engaged.” Take the time to express gratitude!
  5. Costume fun: Can’t have Halloween without costumes. This is a fun way for your team to virtually share past costumes or utilize the Miro tools to create a digital costume.

See the template here to get started on your virtual Halloween game for work.

Interested in some other virtual games? You might like our Righteously Retained exercise to find out what your employees need to thrive.

Retrospectives Virtual Meetings

Retention Interviews & Techniques

Retention interviews are a fantastic way to ensure you avoid an exit interview. Be proactive in understanding their needs, their perceptions, and where you could grow together. But there is an even better way to set the stage for a retention interview which will engage your entire team and create more psychological safety.

First, what do employees want anyway?!

2022 offered unique problems in employee retention: according to a 2022 Hubspot survey, an average of 29% of employees are considering leaving their current role. That jumps to 37% for Millennials. Here is what they said valued most:

  • 65% say its important to make them feel like they are making a positive impact through their work.
  • 56% says to value a diverse and inclusive culture.

This leaves A LOT of room for interpretation, which is why retention interviews are critical. Managers must engage with their team, being empathetic and actively listening. Developing a culture of psychological safety for them to be transparent in their feedback is also key.

Creating Psychological Safety with Group Exercises

High performing teams are 5x more likely to be retained, and are much more likely to generate profits for the company. Here are the characteristics of high performing teams:

  • Effective working procedures
  • Shared values
  • Shared leadership
  • Complementary abilities
  • Trust and mutual respect
  • Adaptability to changes
  • Constant learning and improving
  • Regular result evaluation
  • Open communication

In order to have any of these characteristics, it goes back to creating psychological safety. Those efforts MUST be done in both group and individual settings. Retention is no different – you must approach this topic from both a group and individual setting to reinforce the behavior in an open, transparent way along with private discussions. This communicates the employee to uphold all the values above in both private and group settings, increasing their likelihood of communicating when something is wrong.

Components of psychological safety

Group Retention Interview for Virtual Teams

Begin with sharing your intentions with the team by reiterating the goals of the organization in context of why retention matters. What does it help you accomplish? What is your vision for the team? Then, ask for their permission in participating in a group discussion and then individual interviews.

I created a template in Miro that will lead you through the process of hosting a group morning meeting. It’s meant to be fun way to get the values and concepts for retention out in the open. It can be done in 30 minutes or a full hour. Check it out here:

Miro board of staff retention interview in a group setting

Or watch this video for instruction on how to run the meeting with your team:

Conduct the Retention Interview in a 1×1

After your group discussion, create a 30 minute interview with each team member. It is important to do this after the brainstorming activity because it will ensure they have thought sufficiently about the topic, giving them the opportunity for a sincere response. If possible, send the questions in advance. Make sure your first couple questions are positive because it will change their perspective of the call. Here are some sample questions:

  • What is the best part of your workday? Or what do you look forward to the most each week?
  • Do you have the tools/resources/training for doing your job? What do you need?
  • Do you feel recognized and valued? Is there anything I should be doing to better support you?
  • What are we currently not doing as a company you feel we should?
  • What would make your job even more satisfying?
  • What situations have made you think of leaving the company? (Make sure you ask this when you know trust has been established and they won’t feel penalty for their response)

You will note that all of these support the reasons people value a role [from the survey above]: it addresses the perception of performance and value, reinforces communication standards, and ensures an inclusive and trusting environment.

How frequently should you do all this?

I encourage it 1-2 times a year. It’s excellent to do this midway between your annual review cycles since that is often when people start considering their options for moving on. It gives you time to consider new career trajectories so the review cycle can have the highest impact possible.

Whatever you decide, congratulations and great job in being so proactive to retain your staff! The next thing to consider is how to support your employees in Personal Growth & Professional Development, which will set your organization apart for investing in their holistic development.

Retrospectives Strategy

Personal Branding Examples: Loop 4

The Infinite Loops is a personal branding experiment about continuous improvement. I focus on Agile, Marketing, and Intra/Interpersonal connections. Work is organized into a 3 week sprint, which means I have a goal in one of those 3 focus areas that I must achieve within that time period.

personal branding examples, refining brand over time

The Loops: Personal Branding Evolution

At the end of each sprint, I create a new explainer video on what the Infinite Loops is. This helps serve as a cornerstone for my improvement since there are so many things that change over time. Check out this playlist of how my first three explainer videos changed over time:

What do you notice is key for personal branding? What works and doesn’t work?

Personal Branding Examples:
Design Choices

Stage 1: I started out with imagery of the flower of life, which is currently on my homepage. This is too spiritual/esoteric for professional work in the long run, but it has a lot of meaning for me and is what inspires me.

Tried to blur it a bit and add texture so it wasn’t so obvious.

Stage 2: I found this simple design which is reminiscent of the flower of life, but simpler and modern.

Then I started experimenting with playing with different sizes and colors.

The Infinite Loops - Sprint 4 Systems Inspired Leadership

Stage 3: Too much of a good thing is… no longer a good thing. My husband suggested I move it to the lower corner to have it more as a subtle signature instead of so “in your face.” Then I started shifting to brighter, happier colors because I want more confidence and optimism in my work.

My Linkedin posts didn’t have any branding on the images up to this point, so I realized this new design would allow me to put a subtle little signature on my posts:

Aplomb definition

Adding a small reminder like this of your brand makes sure you communicate your individuality while not being overbearing. It also makes sure you have original content so if you post it on a blog later and it gets picked up by Google image search, you are still present!

You may also note that in the above posts I’m using the same font. This is a distinctive and unique font that I also use on my resume, so it brings that consistency throughout my professional portfolio.

My website has more earthy tones but very soon I need to start translating these shifts to the site design.

If you are just starting out in your personal brand journey, make sure to check out my free personal model canvas template to help you strategize on key elements to communicate for your brand. Hope this personal branding example helped your idealization!

This upcoming sprint is focused on Agile though, not the design. I’m going to be prioritizing Agile Interval Trainings, which is similar to Lean Coffee but in my own style. My goal is to get at least 5 people using Agile who have never experimented with it before, and to develop a solid template for an Agile brainstorming call to develop ideas. That way in a future sprint I can have a brainstorming idea specifically on the branding design! Make sure to follow me on Linkedin to see the latest.


Branding Market Research

I recently had a 3 week project focusing on market needs. My main objectives were to better understand my audience and their needs, and to define products that would resonate with my target. All of this can also inform how to fine tune my brand so my messaging (visual and language) really resonates with my target segments. Here is how to go about your own branding market research:

Branding market research is broken into quantification, qualitative, and value propositions

Quantification: Market Sizing

Determining your market size will end up helping you fine tune the characteristics of your segment. This should be a typical TAM / SAM/ SOM exploration (here is a great article on how to do this). My project is for personal branding so some of the typical items I would utilize in market sizing are not going to work. However, I still went through the process because it’s a great activity to consider all the things that will scale down your addressable market due to things like competition or the channels you have selected.

Qualitative: Interviews, surveys

Time to get out of the data and start getting real world data for your branding market research. This should not be about having people tell you what they need. Just remember this quote by Steve Jobs:

“Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!'” People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”

-Steve Jobs

Market research is important and Steve isn’t saying don’t do it. He says he never RELIES on market research for product innovation. Leverage your research to understand their wants, needs, desires, habits. Let it be a foundation for your own creativity. Don’t ask them what they want, ask them what they love and hate. What’s on their mind?

Also, keep it short. If you send a survey, try just 1-2 questions of what you want to know the most. It’s better to get 20 people answering a 1 question survey than 3 people asking a 10 question survey.

Value Propositions

After you define your target and learn more about their needs, it’s time for creating the promises of what you will deliver. This is key to the branding and your overall marketing strategy. Ultimately the value propositions are created out of a foundation in market research, but it’s still a guess. The best thing you can do is consider your value propositions a hypothesis that needs testing. Before you go all in to creating a multitude of resources behind the value prop you create, test it out! Testing can be as simple as interviews or even an MVP to gauge interest.

The book “Testing Business Ideas” by David Bland and Alex Osterwalder is fantastic for working through this process. It lists tons of ways you can run experiments to learn in an iterative style about what really resonates with your audience.

Find a balance between data and creativity

For my project, I was very data and scientific focused. At the end of my sprint I realized I was too formulaic about it and had not allowed more room for creativity. This was a determent to the value proposition because ultimately it’s a value prop for why you should stand out from the rest. I needed to add more of my voice. To hear more about my personal process, check out my blog post on personal and professional development.

In your own project, consider if you have created enough market research AND enough of your own creative vision to let your brand really sing.

If you would like assistance in your brand development or market research, contact me about consulting.


Personal Growth and Professional Development

When we seek getting promoted in our careers, it requires an evolution of the self. Your technical skills, your soft skills, or even just your negotiation/communication skills will all come under review to determine if you are a good fit for a promotion. This is why personal growth and professional development come hand in hand. I’ll review 3 key areas and ask some prompting questions for a self-assessment.

Personal Growth & Professional Development Infographic. Takes self-care, inner journeys, and outer journeys.

Starting Your Journey of Self-Discovery

Your next steps have 3 major areas:

  1. Taking care of yourself – Physical and mental/emotional self care
  2. Inner journeys – Spiritual self care and healing work
  3. Outer journeys – People support and lifestyle items

Take a moment with these simple descriptions to note if you think you are in a bad, okay, or great state for each of these areas. Which one is the best and which do you think you want to put more effort into? Here is some more contextual information to go deeper in your thinking and to consider what you want to set goals towards:

Taking Care of Yourself

To feel balanced and ready to take on higher levels of stress/responsibility, you have to keep these items in check:

  • Nutrition & water intake
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Breath work
  • Supplements/Medication
  • Psychotherapy
  • Identifying your emotions

You can still get promoted if you don’t sleep well and don’t exercise, but in the long run your anxiety might stay at a higher level or you have an underlying feeling of dissatisfaction. If you prioritize work over your personal health, you are thinking short term. Even something as simple as breathing is an item we take for granted.

Inner Journeys

You may identify you suffer from anxiety, but the path to healing is a longer and deeper journey than exercising it away. Inner journeys can be about digging into your past traumas that created negative behaviors you would like to explore healing. It is highly recommended you work with a psychotherapist or establish some form of support, either via a coach or support group.

It can also be about presence and connection. Spirituality doesn’t mean you have to believe in god. It’s taking the time to connect with your purpose and meaning. If you think there is no purpose and meaning, it’s taking the time to meditate in the present and allow the meaning of “nothing” to really sit with you. Appreciate it, feel it fully. Be in awe of the complexity of life.

Inner journeys can also be a simple self-exploration for defining what you want in life. Maybe you feel aimless, unhappy, unsure of what you should be doing. It’s about committing to go on a journey of discovery for what you want and need. Doing this will ensure that you are picking a career and future that is a right fit for you and brings about a more fulfilling life.

Outer Journeys

One version is packing up a bag and venturing out into the unknown – traveling, exploring. It’s really just the moment you step outside of yourself into new territory with an external party. It could be engaging with a new group of people, trying a new activity, spending time in nature. If you consider how things grow and new organisms are formed, it is with the combination of other elements.

It usually isn’t as easy as “let’s add this new job or opportunity.” You want to create momentum, forward movement. Create lots of new things by engaging outside of yourself. You will be amazed what will follow.

Finding Your Voice

For many of us in the pandemic we spent a lot more time inside our homes, and naturally we focused on self-care and inner journeys. Nothing like a pandemic to make you really reflect on your health and habits. For others, it was too much external stimuli to process and self-care/inner-journeys were neglected in addition to the outer journeys, causing depression.

We are now at a moment where things are changing and there is a higher level of motivation to focus on those outer journeys, either to create balance or to get away from those inner journeys that were avoided. We see more people leaving their jobs, either to go on those outer journeys or because they identify the organization they work with does not hold the same values around personal care.

Identify where you are at with each of these areas. What do you want? What do you need? Who are you? What does it mean to really sing your own voice? When you’re ready, start creating goals. You can use personal scrum to create sprints and iterate your planning as you learn & grow.

My personal growth & professional development

For me, I focused heavily on self-care and inner journeys for the past 2 years. I knew that an outer journey was the next step in my path, and part of it was to start creating more. In addition to writing blogs and filming/editing videos, I have been working more on art (painting, crafting). I’ve been networking and engaging with more people to work on my elevator pitch – every time I try I consider something I want to fine tune. It’s discovering my own voice. In this last sprint I had a strong discovery: I fell into singing other people’s songs. Hear more about this perspective in my sprint 4 retrospective:

To follow along my path of personal growth and professional development, follow me on Linkedin or subscribe to my YouTube channel.

May your journey be fulfilling and positive. Thanks for tuning in.


Personal Model Canvas

Why creating a personal version of the Business Model Canvas could transform the way you achieve goals

We all face this problem: too much to do, too little time, too many ideas. We search for ways we can become healthier, smarter, stronger. The answer might not rest in a specialist’s book, but rather through your own critical thinking with a Personal Model Canvas.

The Business Model Canvas is an ontology that is essentially a template of getting the business logic into a documented source so that different members of the organization can get on the same page with the objectives and strategies.

The Business Model Canvas ontology by Alex Osterwalder
The Business Model Canvas ontology by Alex Osterwalder

By applying this methodology to our personal lives, we ensure we are looking at our objectives holistically. It captures our motivations and desires, but also how the community we connect with is getting something they need too. It might seem strange that if we are attempting something such as weight loss for ourselves we consider our family, but collective efforts can be much stronger than solo-ventures.

How does a Personal Model Canvas differ from the Business Model Canvas?

The core template is the same, but the questions are adjusted for personal objectives. Items such as defining the mission switch from an organizational context to what values and long term purpose you find as an individual. “Start with Why” – these principles are famous in business. We know from books such as “Drive” that we are not motivated by money but my purpose. It stands to reason that if you want to accomplish any goal, you will be more likely to achieve it if you connect it to a bigger purpose.

Preview of the Personal Model Canvas template - alignment section
An example of the Personal Model Canvas, focused on the WHY sections

Free Template for Personal Model Canvas

I have created a free template for anyone wanting to try this model out. It has three core objectives:

  1. Ensure your goals are considered holistically, from purpose to the results you are trying to reach.
  2. Uncovering assumptions that are underlying your ideas.
  3. Prioritizing experiments that will give you more information on your ideas before you make large investments of building your idea/goal out.

The template addresses the first two points directly. For the third item, the template shows what items should be prioritized but it does not list some of the top experiments you can use for testing the ideas (read more below).

Preview of the personal business canvas template in Google Sheets.
A preview of the Google template for Personal Model Canvas, linked below.

Here is the Google template – please give me feedback on Linkedin!

How to Run Personal Experiments

Once you identify your top hypothesis to test out, you must plan your experiments. Experiments can include:

  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Observations
  • Prototypes

There are plenty of resources online for how to run these, but they can be low in cost and short. The point is, challenge your assumptions. ESPECIALLY the ones that are critical to your business and you have gut feelings on, not actual data.

If this is a part of a larger project, check out my blog post on setting up personal sprints. If you are interested in having someone facilitate a Business Model Canvas workshop, contact me about consulting.

Happy testing!

Sprint Planning

Personal Sprint Planning

If you are looking for a job, starting a new business, or even just pursuing some personal goals, you are likely dealing with complexity. We as individuals are complex – we have emotions that can distract us, tons of variables in our life that can impact our plans. Agile project management acknowledges these complexities are present, and scrum is a great framework to navigate through complexities. Let’s take a look at some of my personal sprint planning.

In one of my first videos, I explained my general setup for scrum with personal branding. I am running 3 week sprints with a one week break in between for planning.

What are the components to sprint planning?

Why? What? How? That’s it. Well, everything is more complex than that but the general framework is pretty simple. You need to explain what outcomes you want. That’s more important than detailing every step to get there. 

The “why?” of sprint planning

Beyond this sprint, what outcomes are you trying to achieve? What is your higher level purpose? This needs to be dialed in well before the sprint but you should come back to it each time. Then break it down into something shorter term, but still connected to that grand vision.

The Infinite Loops: Sprint 4 Market Needs
WhyMy focus is on understanding the needs of managers when it comes to team coaching and project management.I believe it can show me what content I need to create, and possibly sell, that will provide value to my network and refine my pitch.This will be confirmed when I increase my engagement rate on the content and get more referrals for work.

The “what?” of sprint planning

This defines what needs to be included, but do not switch to tasks. Instead, keep it focused on outcomes. The “why” is more about value and purpose where this “what” is more like a traditional SMART goal that is action oriented.

The Infinite Loops: Sprint 4 Market Needs
WhatConduct market research of 3 types: surveys, poll, and interviews around what needs decision makers have around my skill sets.Create a piece of downloadable content that is connected to my SIL workshop and the services I offer.Complete market research around the skills I am focused on, giving me a sense of what is in demand, what holds the most value, and who the most influential players are in this space.

The “how?” of sprint planning

Breaking the work down into smaller chunks that can fit into a general time block of value. These points of value really depend on your working style. For personal branding items, I try to break it down into a max of 4-8 hours of work.

This is getting into my secret sauce so no examples here. 😉

Thanks for dropping by! Head over to my Linkedin to join the conversation and tell me what you want to hear more or less of.