One of the great pleasures of being practice director is welcoming aboard new consultants. With each consultant we add to the Agile Practice I feel both the practice and I are enriched. The practice gains new expertise as well as another perspective on various methodical issues we wrestle with. Likewise, I gain access to a set of experiences, insights and values that I might not have been privy to before. Adding a consultant to the practice is actually a most gratifying form of network effect.
I feel particularly delighted to welcome Diana Larsen to Cutter through this post. Diana, of course, needs no introduction. So, instead of an introduction I will share an episode and issue a “warning.”
The episode is from a few years ago when Diana pulled a bunch of us together on an Agile Alliance program she was driving. I do not remember all the participants, but there were some fantastic consultants there like Jean Tabaka and Jens Coldewey (and the rest, even if can’t recall their specific name right now, were no slouches). The level of Agile/Lean/Kanban expertise per square foot there was off the charts.
We were going nowhere fast in spite of having so many great minds with hundreds of year of expertise in the field between us. Diana, who chaired the meeting, just set there quietly and let us go every which way. I remember wondering why she did not say anything, did not try to “navigate” the meeting in one direction or another. And then she uttered a few words and changed the dynamics in the room big time.
I don’t even remember what Diana said, and my guess would be that nor does she. However, I was impressed no end by the “economy of force.” She used no literal force, of course. But, I really really really took notice of her very subtle way of “moving the ball forward.” It was a master stroke.
Now to the “warning,” about which, of course, I did not utter a word while Diana and I were discussing her coming aboard to Cutter. Now that she signed the consultant agreement I feel safe to issue it:
Diana, you are strong in various area in which I am personally weak. Expect me to draw a lot upon you!
Good to have you one of us, Diana!