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The Global SCRUM GATHERING ® Austin 2019 was kicked off on a warm Monday morning in May by Daniel Pink. Because his research focused on time and timing, Daniel compiled and published his results and findings in his newest book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Additionally, his presentation averaged a five-star rating from the 224 of us who checked-in live.

Daniel stressed the importance of two findings, particularly relevant to facilitators:

  • Regardless of how much time is allotted, real work does not begin until the meeting or project reaches its midpoint. Consequently, in a four-hour meeting, at the two-hour mark, someone will remark that “half our time has expired” and suddenly participants get serious. Similarly, at the project level, once the project reaches its midway point, contributors develop a sense of urgency and step up their contributions. Half-way warnings. Additionally, it doesn’t matter if you allow one hour, one week, or one month—be on the lookout for the halfway point.

(Keeping this in mind, with a powerful Introduction, using our 6-Step Method, you will NEVER wait half-way to help a team become productive.)

  • “Endings” are more important than beginnings, when it comes to memory and recall. While smooth starts remain critical, participants will likely judge you and the value of the meeting by the last five minutes.

(ie. What did we actually accomplish? (Review) What has changed in my world? (Next Steps) Who is going to manage xxxxxx? (Assignments) Our professional Review and Wrap recommends a fourth step for a solid close, get some feedback on how you did. Click the links for a good refresher on solid Introduction and Review and Wrap activities that no meeting, even 50 minutes in duration, should be without.)

The Global SCRUM GATHERING week progressed with topics covered by this author including . . .

“Any foreign innovation in a corporation will stimulate the corporate immune system to create antibodies that destroy it.”

Global Scrum Gathering


The Global SCRUM GATHERING may be summarized by Peter Drucker’s quotations above and below referenced during the session:

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s knowledge.”

  • How to be Agile enough to reinvent yourself (Stacey Ackerman was wonderful).
  • Roger Brown provided compelling evidence and financials to hire an Agile coach (or, we would argue, a meeting and facilitation coach).
  • Using Customer Journeys to help prioritize Product Backlogs.
  • Shu-Ha-Ri or mastering Scrum—“first learn, then detach, and finally transcend.”
  • The difference between Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. (All M.L. is A.I. but not all A.I. is M.L.) Be sure to use a data scientist or A.I. engineer to help build methodology for your A.I. or M.L. workshops.
  • Chris Messina, creator of using hashtags (initially on Twitter and now everywhere) closed with refreshing material and the importance of wealth—defined as the quantity and quality of connections with others.


Control the Room 2019

Control the Room

Control the Room 2019

Terrence concluded a week in Austin TX as a speaker at Douglas Ferguson’s Voltage Control-sponsored “Control the Room 2019”—Austin’s 1st Annual Facilitator Summit. Douglas, an alumni and a very smart and compassionate guy (and professional Design Sprint facilitator), used the conference to break down the silos of facilitation. In his words:

“to move past the guilds and methodology-centric gatherings and convene facilitators of all kinds to build rapport, learn, and grow together.”

Priya Parker (“The Art of Gathering”) opened the day with remarkable personality and humaneness. As reported in the following article:

“Her 90-minute talk was a pure delight and received a standing ovation. She is a stratospherically talented facilitator.”

You may access summaries of all “Control the Room” presentations HERE. The “Control the Room 2019” artwork captures our own segment. It has been borrowed from Douglas’ report, so additional kudos to Patricia Selmo for the graphic recording. “Control the Room” generated high energy, warm camaraderie, and will return to Austin on February 6, 2020. Therefore, anybody who facilitates meetings would benefit greatly from attending.

After recently working with Julia Reich, graphic recorder of Stone Soup Creative, we have developed a strong affinity for graphic recording. Julia should be applauded (and hired) because her Meeting Pathway to Success provides a simple-to-follow guide for complex events called meetings (or workshops). You can download your own copy HERE, or visit our Facilitation Store to order a poster-size copy. Meanwhile, below is her delightful infographic based on the MG RUSH Professional Curriculum when she attended in Columbus OH.

Control the Room

MG RUSH’s Professional Facilitation Meeting Pathway


Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

Want a free 10-minute break timer? Signup for our once-monthly newsletter HERE and receive a timer along with four other of our favorite facilitation tools, free.


Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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