The AYE Conference

This week, Chris Kay and I attended the AYE Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m sure some of you have probably never heard of the conference and are wondering what the heck it is. Do you recall the lunch and learn on the Secrets of Agile teamwork that Mike Buckley and Lawrence Ludlow presented last July? Well, it is run by some of the same people and is meant to foster healthy and effective working environments. The conference attendees included representatives from Microsoft, Google, RIM, Adobe, Fidelity Investments, Wells Fargo, HBO and the Discovery Network.

As with the Agile Teamwork conference, much of the theory behind the type of communication and feedback we discussed is based on the work of Virginia Satir, a family therapist who was highly interested in communication. To quote Satir, ‘Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family’. Or in healthy, effective teams, in my opinion. As an aside, those interested in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) might be surprised to learn that Satir’s theories heavily influenced the early pioneers of this field.

Two unexpected observations from the conference:

  1. There were a lot of Canadians here
  2. We seem to have a much better mechanism for team communication than most of the ‘big’ companies attending

I’m going to follow Lawrence’s lead and post some information on the more interesting sessions under the Workshops+and+Courses section of i-proving. Watch for those to go up in the next day or two.

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