Software East

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Inspiring a team mindset and environment for change with Richard Berry

Event Details

Inspiring a team mindset and environment for change with Richard Berry

Time: July 15, 2013 from 6:30pm to 8pm
Location: GE Cambridge, 1 High Street Chesterton
Event Type: talk
Organized By: Claire Hannon
Latest Activity: Jul 22, 2013

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Event Description

Please join us for the latest in our series of agile talks.

This time the focus is on inspiring others in your organisation to be an active, constructive force in solving and implementing the change initiatives necessary to keep ahead of the game in software development.

Richard Berry is an inspirational force behind change initiatives at GE Cambridge and across the GE network. This event will arm you with practical tips and tools as well as the spark to get things moving.

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Comment by Claire Hannon on July 22, 2013 at 17:07

Richard’s talk is one of a number of talks which we wanted to share with the Cambridge Agile community and different topics cater for different needs. I can tell from your feedback that you are already experienced in this area, and the content was not as advanced as you hoped.  

Richard’s skills and knowledge around facilitation and influencing are well known in our business, and I was really excited about sharing that with the rest of the group. Especially with those of us who aren’t managers and often don’t get this training until we start to try and push up a management career path. I wanted ‘thought leaders’ like those active in Software East to have some of the tools and knowledge to influence their managers and their teams.

Thanks for your constructive suggestions. Richard won’t be reading this directly but I can pass on your suggestions for a future presentation later in the year.

Comment by Mark Dalgarno on July 21, 2013 at 17:32

Thanks for the thoughful comments David, I've let Claire (the event organiser) know and hopefully Richard will respond.

Comment by David Baldwin on July 16, 2013 at 9:03


I feel really bad saying this, because anyone who is prepared to give a talk in front of a load of people (and software people at that!) should be applauded (I certainly don't have the guts to do it), but I felt a bit disappointed at the content of last night's presentation. 

I think that the overall message of leadership being about facilitation rather than command-and-control is a bit outdated. I can't believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) that anyone actually thinks that command-and-control is a sensible way to organise a software development team any more - that view died out years ago didn't it?

Surely anyone in any sort of leadership role in a software organisation knows that software development is fundamentally about people, so it is important to know the people on your team. Don’t they? Maybe not, maybe I just don’t know what it is like elsewhere.

I don't know, maybe I'm wrong but it all just seemed a bit obvious to me. Maybe I'm reacting to some of the previous commenters, so my expectations weren't right.

In an attempt to be constructive in my criticism, I would like to have heard more about how to improve things when you assume that you are already using an organic, facilitative approach. What typically goes wrong when you use such an approach? How to detect such problems in the early stages? How do you combine metrics with such an approach? How do you ensure teams are aligned with the business goals etc.

Please ignore my feedback if I am the only person who feels the same!

By the way I thought you were a good presenter, and were engaging for a fairly tough audience (software audiences always are!). 


PS. If anyone wants a book recommendation try “Becoming a Technical Leader: An Organic Problem-Solving Approach” by Gerry Weinburg. If you want something to help you move from being a (technical) doer to a (technical) leader, it is a fantastic book because it is actually written with you (the technical person) in mind.


I’m not going to mention Peopleware because I assume you have already read it.

Comment by Claire Hannon on July 12, 2013 at 9:02

This is booking up fast so should be a great atmosphere. Please spread the word amongst your colleagues and friends.

Comment by Mark Dalgarno on July 2, 2013 at 17:54

Looks good. Thanks Claire, Simon for arranging.

Comment by Simon Tutin on July 2, 2013 at 12:09

I’ve had the good fortune of attending a few courses run by Richard Berry and he has been consistently excellent on every course. I personally rate him as the best trainer and facilitator I’ve come across, so I’m expecting a great presentation when he comes to speak at our next evening event at GE Cambridge and i recommend you sign up and join us.

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