Happy 71st Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to everyone!

This one is special for us. On the occasion of 71st Independence Day of India, our team visited a blessed home for underprivileged children – Elizabeth Trust, Bengaluru.

Always quiet and smiling Thimiya

Elizabeth Trust is located at Banaswadi, Bengaluru and currently operational in urban, rural & few selected areas of Bengaluru & Chikkaballapur districts.  It is working for the upliftment of the underprivileged and downtrodden children from 2009 with a mission to empower basic ‘Right to Education’. This trust is run by a small family headed by smiling and full of energy Mrs. Elizabeth, without any helpers. Her son and daughter-in-law have joined her in this noble journey and take care of 30 children like a family.

Some of these children have no family, they have lost them in natural calamities or the family left them to survive on their own. 15 children go to Government School and 15 children go to a Private School for education. Thanks to the Elizabeth Trust for giving them shelter, food, education and family.

 

Children Praying to God before Eating

We interacted with children during our visit and got inspired with the smiles, hopes, and aspirations of children. Most of them are outspoken to share aspirations to become Police Officer, join Indian Army, become Lawyer and Pilot. They danced, they sang and played with us.

Our company did a social campaign at office and neighborhood to arrange some support by collecting story books, clothes, toys, school bags and stationeries for the children. Also we had arranged chocolates, biscuits and fruits. For our surprise, most of the children kept that  for tomorrow’s school snacks. We got amazed to see the discipline maintained by little ones and the prayer they did before eating anything, and how they collected garbage at one place, and post all this how they started writing their home-work.

 

Our Team with Elizabeth Trust Children

It turned to be a real celebration and learning day for us. We experienced the humanity serviced by Elizabeth Trust and learned about our social and moral values for the society. The Path of Progress can only be walked with being responsible for the society. After meeting the children and Elizabeth Trust’s family, we realized that one should appreciate little things in life and value what we have. Celebrating Independence Day with these beautiful children was a life-changing experience filled with emotions and sentiments. We returned with a lot memories and valuable life lessons.

You may Contact us to extend your support by little donation and by providing books, clothes, toys, school bags, stationaries to the Elizabeth Trust. Please donate online here for supporting a noble cause.

 

Interview with Linda Rising

Being fearless is similar to being Agile, says Linda Rising – an author, speaker and an independent consultant. Our conversation began with discussing her experience in varied field, primary challenges to make change happen and how can change be fearless in the world of uncertainties.

In the second part of interview, she explained effectiveness of Agile meetings, solutions to make decisions in less time and her secret of being successful.

Let us take you through our discussion;

Q1. How does your experience in different fields of university teaching and software development help each other?

Linda: I believe a variety of educational and work experiences informs what anyone does. As humans, we have a tendency to narrow our focus. Anything that can help us lift our heads and look around and see other points of view will help us do a better job of solving problems and making better decisions.

Q2. What are three biggest challenges to make change happen? How can they be addressed without hitting on people’s motivation?

Linda: The three biggest challenges we face are our own beliefs.

(1) We believe that people are rational decision makers, when all the evidence from behavioral economics shows that we are not. If we fail to consider how people feel about change and only rely on facts to convince, we will fail.

(2) We believe that our ideas are “good” and that “goodness will win in the end.” We have only to look at the failure throughout history of many great and “good” ideas to know that this is not true. Goodness is a relative term. People in our organizations can see even the best idea as threatening. Again, failure to consider other points of view and the fears others have, even of good ideas, will get in our way.

(3) Regarding resistors as stupid or bad and thus ignoring them will hinder our change efforts. The work of E. M. Rogers shows that a predictable population of adoption curve will describe the initial results of a innovation in any domain. Everything from agricultural ideas to technological break-throughs will cause some to be happy and others to resist. The belief that we in any environment will all react in the same way is asking for trouble. Some people will always love new ideas — let them experiment. Others will always be afraid — let them hang on to the benefits of the status quo to ensure they are not forgotten. Get the best from all your people. That’s the way progress is made.

Q3. People resist change. One of your books is titled ‘Fearless Change’. How can change be fearless with so many uncertainties attached to it?

Linda: Life is full of uncertainties. It has always been a struggle to move forward. The Innovators and Early Adopters have always led the way and the Late Majority and Laggards have resisted. This population of adoption has enabled our survival as a species. Imagine our stone age ancestors uncovering some new variety of fruit. Should everyone eat it immediately? We were typically hungry all the time. The answer is “No.” Let the adventuresome try it. The others will follow along as they are comfortable. Some will never eat it. This is all good. This means survival. This is still with us today. We should embrace it and use it.

Q4. Meetings are hated by many. What is your take on Agile Meetings and its frequency? Please provide 3 quick tips on how to avoid it turning into a time sink for organizations.

Linda: More meetings should be stand-up. Evidence shows that this will not only shorten the meetings, it changes the dynamic. The powerful loud guy who sits at the end will no longer dominate. When people stand and move around, the process becomes more democratic and more inclusive and more fun. More organizations should try it — not just for the daily stand-up.

Q5. How can a Product Champion and a Product Owner be differentiated? According to you, what characteristics a Product Champion should posses?

Linda: This depends on the organization and the product. There are small organizations with small products who only need one role. There are large organizations with complex products who need many people to play many roles related to product ownership. The question to ask is, “Who will answer the various questions from development?” That answer will determine the number and kind of roles.

Q6. Decision making on time is of paramount importance for any business to grow. Is there any solution to take decisions in less time.

Linda: Involve as many others as possible who take diverse points of view and hear from them independently.

Q7. Where do you see Agile Community heading today?

Linda: We are on the road. Agile today is not what agile was 10 years ago. That is a good thing.

Q8. If you have reveal one secret of being successful to our readers, what it would be?

Linda: Keep learning. Stay open. Listen, listen, listen. These are really all one thing.

 

 

Linda Rising is an independent consultant who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She has authored four books and numerous articles and is an internationally known presenter on topics related to patterns, retrospectives, influence strategies, Agile development, and the change process.

With a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in the field of object-based design metrics, Linda’s background includes university teaching and software development in a number of different domains.