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Katherine Kirk, Sallyann Freudenberg & Chris Corriere on Inclusive Collaboration

| Podcast with Katherine Kirk Follow 2 Followers , Sallyann Freudenberg Follow 1 Followers , Chris Corriere Follow 0 Followers by Shane Hastie Follow 18 Followers on Mar 26, 2018 |

In this podcast recorded at Agile 2017, Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Katherine Kirk, Sallyann Freudenberg & Chris Corriere on Inclusive Collaboration, Neurodiversity and Creating Safe Spaces.

Key Takeaways

  • Neurodiversity is the idea that things like autism, bi-polar disorder, dyslexia and ADHD are not “disabilities”, rather they are normal variations in the human genome
  • The tech industry is an industry of thinkers and we know that diverse teams are more effective, so embracing neurodiversity is a sensible approach
  • Create environments that include collaborative space as well as spaces suited for quiet, isolated individual contemplation or work
  • A robust system is absolutely vital in continuous environments – it enables continuous innovation and continuous delivery and supports a mindset of continuous learning
  • Many of our agile practices are suited for extroverted, fast thinkers and this disadvantages the contemplators who need time to reflect before contributing their ideas
  • Insight is the new market differentiator – insight comes from people and they need a creative environment in order to generate insights

Show Notes

  • 0:25 Introductions
  • 1:25 Introducing the Inclusive Collaboration movement
  • 2:15 The wide neurodiversity present in the tech industry
  • 2:30 Most tech environments are monocultures and not geared for the wide range of thinking styles present in the industry
  • 3:05 Neurodiversity is the idea that things like autism, bi-polar disorder, dyslexia and ADHD are not “disabilities”, rather they are normal variations in the human genome
  • 3:55 There is a societal stigma attached to these variations
  • 4:20 These differences are potentially a competitive advantage when companies are able to bring out the benefits from the different ways of thinking
  • 4:40 The tech industry is an industry of thinkers and we know that diverse teams are more effective, so embracing neurodiversity is a sensible approach
  • 5:20 Creating environments that support neurodiversity means that we will also be able to support neurotypical people when they experience depression and related issues
  • 6:25 The incubation component of creativity requires the ability to change the type of space you’re in – from noisy to quite; from quiet to loud, from work to home etc
  • 7:20 Creating environments which are good for neurodivergent people has the benefit of creating environments that are good for neurotypical people too
  • 7:30 Create environments that include collaborative space as well as spaces suited for quiet, isolated individual contemplation or work
  • 8:13 Influencing conferences to provide quiet contemplation spaces
  • 8:47 The requisite variety of multiple ways of being collaborative and multiple ways to get some quiet time results in a more resilient system
  • 9:15 Using the idea of a fish garden to show how requisite variety results in a more stable system
  • 10:25 Monocultures require a lot more care and are fragile systems
  • 11:38 By designing our organisation systems to be diverse you have a more sustainable, resilient environment for everyone
  • 12:22 Zooming into the implications of these ideas into the codebase – diversity of thought in producing a code base results in more resilient software
  • 12:55 A robust system is absolutely vital in continuous environments – it enables continuous innovation and continuous delivery and supports a mindset of continuous learning
  • 13:48 Creating these diverse environments allows for greater adaptation and more robust organisations
  • 14:15 There is no rulebook for making awesome environments, it’s about experimenting, learning and adapting
  • 15:25 It’s not just talking to people to get input – consider different approaches to listening to the people in the organisation that adapt to their communication needs
  • 16:00 Describing the silence experiment workshop presented at Agile 2017 – people silently working together to build prosthetic hands for landmine victims
  • 16:45 Using the silence experiment to expose how talking both helps and hinders communication & collaboration
  • 17:20 Exploring the debrief from the silence experiment workshop
  • 18:55 Using silence to encourage active listening and the deep connections and understanding that come from it
  • 19:25 The difference between a dialogue and two interleaved monologues  
  • 20:21 Once you start paying attention to these things you notice people stifling each other all the time in the workplace
  • 20:44 Katherine’s own experiences with silence during Buddhist retreats
  • 21:14 The difference between reaction and response
  • 21:44 The risk in the Agile community of creating a different type of monoculture of loud, fast collaboration rather than embracing diversity
  • 23:15 The wide neurodiversity that is present in the lean/agile community
  • 24:14 Sal’s stories about how neurodiversity has been an advantage and opened up creativity
  • 25:26 Explaining what the Inclusive Collaboration movement is – a call out to the community to experiment and learn together, retain and share the benefits of neurodiversity
  • 10:25 Looking at neurodiverse abilities as super-powers that bring wonderful innovations out
  • 28:28 Katherine & Sal are not presenting answers – they are asking for their audience to explore and experiment for themselves
  • 28:48 We are at risk of normalizing thinking, which creates the monoculture we want to avoid
  • 29:32 Many of our agile practices are suited for extroverted, fast thinkers and this disadvantages the contemplators who need time to reflect before contributing their ideas
  • 30:02 The way contemplative thinkers see different connections, can identify risks, opportunities and patterns that others may not see
  • 30:54 Describing the Wallas Model of Creativity – preparation, incubation, intimation, illumination & insight
  • 31:58 Enabling creativity is a mindset shift – allowing flexibility for the creative process to happen
  • 32:20 We need to embrace the idea that coding is a creative endeavour and the environment needs to support creativity
  • 32:28 Seeing this a Value-Added Waste in Six-Sigma terms – building slack into the system
  • 33:20 Insight is the new market differentiator – insight comes from people and they need a creative environment in order to generate insights
  • 34:10 In order to generate the best insights we need to collaborate with lots of different types of people, even if we don’t like or understand them, and this is going to be hard
  • 35:08 There is no quick-fix solution – this is a marathon, we’re all in it together, let’s create gardens that are diverse and complimentary and let’s empower our people in order to sustain innovation for longer periods of time

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