The Stoos Gathering Participants

These are the people who have committed to attend the Stoos Gathering, on January 6+7, in Switzerland.

It started (for me) during the Scrum Gathering in London, when I enjoyed dinner with Steve Denning and Peter Stevens. We discussed the problem that management around the world is changing too slowly, and we wanted to do something about that. We just didn’t know what.

And so we thought, why not invite a number of people that we know, and discuss this? Maybe together we can figure out how to accelerate change in management. And the idea for a gathering of management thinkers and practitioners was born. We pulled in Franz Röösli as a 4th member of the core team, we picked a date (6+7 January), we picked a location (Stoos, Switzerland), and we started discussing which people to invite.

That was the difficult part.


Constraint #1… We want an event at the start of the new year. Many invitees loved the idea, but they had already committed to families or other events in January. And thus we received many replies of the type sad-I-can’t-be-there-but-please-keep-me-posted!

Constraint #2… We want to keep the size of the group small, because groups larger than 20 people find it very hard to reach consensus (see: NewScientist). It turns out we have a little over 20 people now, but I hope some will be skiing when the rest are making world-changing decisions.

Constraint #3… We want a diverse group of people. This meant we couldn’t do an open invitation, because we would surely end up with 3 authors and 17 Agile consultants. We intentionally dug in the darkest corners of our social networks, and came up with some very fine names.


And so we suggested contacts, voted on favorites, and started sending invites. The result is what you see below. It contains a healthy mix of book authors, bloggers, top managers, coaches, consultants, thought leaders, and idea farmers. And we have both men and women. Which proved quite a challenge!

  1. Catherine Louis
    Agile transitions in the scope of complex product development
  2. Deborah Hartmann Preuss
    Co-Active Coach, Agile Coach, co-creator of
  3. Esther Derby
    Co-author of Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management
  4. Franz Röösli
    Author, Director of the Beyond Budgeting Round Table
  5. Heitor Roriz
    Organizing Radical Management Gathering in San Paolo
  6. Jay Cross
    Business consultant, author, expert on informal learning.
  7. John Styffe
    Co-Author of Was Jetzt? ("What now")
  8. Jonas Vonlanthen
    Responsible for Liip Suisse Romande, an agile web dev. company
  9. Julian Birkinshaw
    Prof. London Business School, Co-Founder MLab, book author
  10. Jurgen Appelo
    Author of Management 3.0, initiator of Agile Lean Europe network
  11. Kati Vilkki
    Manager at Nokia Siemens Network 
  12. Klaus Leopold
    Kanban coach and trainer
  13. Melina McKim
    Diverse background in innovation
  14. Michael Spayd
    Org. change & systems coach, co-founder Agile Coaching Institute
  15. Peter Hundermark
    Scrum Trainer & Coach, Community Leader, South Africa
  16. Peter Stevens
    Scrum Trainer & Coach, Community Leader, Switzerland
  17. Philippe Hertig
    Managing Director EZI (Switzerland)
  18. Rod Collins
    Former CEO, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Author Leadership in a Wiki World
  19. Roy Osherove blogger, writing 'Notes to a software team leader' book
  20. Sanjiv Augustine
    Author of Managing Agile Projects
  21. Simon Roberts
    Scrum Trainer & Coach
  22. Steve Denning
    Author of Leaders Guide to Radical Management
  23. Uli Loth
    Member of Management Team W.L. Gore Europe

These are the people who have committed (with a significant personal investment) to attend the Stoos Gathering. Feel free to pester them with great ideas and useful suggestions, to increase the chance we come down from the mountain with something useful

p.s. We received dozens of requests from people who would love to attend this gathering. My answer is always a polite “No”. Self-invitations would defy constraints #2 and #3. Sorry! You may harass me later.

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  • Peter Stevens

    Diversity was a high priority in choosing who to invite. There are people from every continent except Asia. There are people in management roles from very different kinds of company. Some are authors, some are practitioners and some are coaches. There are people focused on Business, on Leadership, on Agile or Lean, on Coaching and on Personal Development. The youngest is in his 30’s, the oldest safely over 60.
    I would also point out that Rod Collins is the former CEO of Blue Cross/Blue Shield. BS/BC provides health insurance to some 99 million Americans. Not exactly a small organization.

  • VFQDev

    Disappointing to see that really the group is not as diverse as you would expect. It mainly has authors and consultants.
    There is one group sadly missing, which is any form of management representation from large corporations with the exception of one member of the WL Gore Europe management team.

  • VFQDev

    Just had a detailed talk on Twitter regarding lack of large corp management rep. It’s a shame, but I wish to group all the best.

  • Jurgen Appelo

    The list of people who declined was several times larger than those who accepted. With plenty of top managers among those. It might have been different if we had scheduled 6 months ahead instead of 2 months.
    We see this as a first exploration of the issue. We can decide on next steps to take at the gathering. Which will include the question how better to involve representatives of groups that collectively declined.

  • Niels Pflaeging

    Loos like a good group to me. Btw: Why would you try to have “large company managers” at the meeting, which is something like a kick-off? You have 2 firms representing “non-managed firms”. That makes sense… but until you find the “answer”, why invite “traditionally managed” companies, and what would be the substantial benefit for “non-managed” companies?
    My point is: This being a kick-off, to me it makes complete sense to mainly have “thought leaders” attending, not “practitioners”.

  • VFQDev

    My interest is only in seeing the change succeed. My suggestion was not “traditionally managed” companies, my suggestion was large corporations. Let’s not assume the two are always the same thing. The reason for my interest is that I spent 10 years in a very large company (John Lewis) that is run differently. Where there are structures in place that allow the Chairman to be sacked by the staff, amongst other things. There are many other large organisations which each don’t follow the ‘traditional’ rules.

  • VFQDev

    To suggest another alternative, one of my favourite companies Vanguard (not the Seddon group), are client owned. Previously run by the very forward thinking John Bogle.

  • Peter Stevens

    I forgot to mention W.L. Gore. Gore, the maker of Goretex, and a non-trivial entity, has a CEO who was selected by its staff and otherwise a very non-traditional approach to management and organization. We are really luck to have Uli Loth on board.

  • AGILEMinds

    Although many among us are free thinkers, somehow we got stuck in these religious wars. The true message got lost along the way. Mass adoption, a battle we’ll never win.
    A paradigm shift like this and the work of MIX is needed to declare the beginning of a new world. New rules, free thinking.
    Having organized conferences for several years, I myself am also guilty at selling the wrong message, at slowing down adoption, at screwing up mass market awareness. But I learned from my mistakes.
    Earlier this year time had come to rethink the message we wanted to sell to mass market. Management Innovation 2012 Conference was born, rethinking management will be there to stay.
    I was excited when I heard of the Stoos Gathering for the first time, a perfect match.
    I’m looking forward to mid November / Antwerp – Belgium when we can take the output of the Stoos Gathering and present this to a large audience, broadcast it around the world, make that paradigm shift.
    it’s a small step, yes, perhaps some would expect to have more or more divers name up their. But that’s not the point, we’re finally doing it, and this is just the start.
    It feels good to be free, doesn’t it!

  • AGILEMinds

    ow … I forgot to add that this is the only freaking way we can ever stop it being a ‘software world thing’. The world has moved on, there is no software thing anymore, we live in a Digital Economy, we should solve those problems.

  • Rod collins

    I need to pass along a point of clarification. The Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) system, which covers 99 million people, is a confederation of 39 independent companies, each with its own CEO. I was formerly the chief executive of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program, which was a business alliance of the 39 BCBS companies, covering 4.5 million federal employees and family members.

  • Watson

    It’s goal is to discuss how to accelerate the transformation of management around the world.

  • pablo

    Hi, There is no french people. It’s a pity. You may invite someone like André Comte-Sponville (a philosopher, with lots of ideas about management, and you have no philosopher, it’s important to discuss management). It’s never too late. who knows ? Anyway it’s a very promising event. thank you.

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