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