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  • Agile Leadership Strategies: Winning the War on Complexity

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Agile Leadership Strategies: Winning the War on Complexity

Speaker: Derek W Wade

Duration:60 min

Track: People and Leadership



The modern organization is at war with complexity. The code for a typical webpage is the size of a typical video game from the 1990s. "Standards are great, there's so many to choose from." Projects have multiple stakeholders and ever-changing, conflicting Priority One features. Despite gains from Agile methods, the multi-person development arena is typified by volatility, uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity — what the U.S. military calls "the fog of war."

Derek W. Wade’s background in Cognitive Science has shown him that humans have innate skills at managing this complexity. But too often, he sees leaders waste precious human capital because they don’t understand how these skills work. Over the last 6 years, Derek has explored Team Science — which evolved from studying aviation, clinical, and military teams — for practical insights into how people work best together.

If you want to help your teams cut through the “fog” and have fun doing it, Derek will use mini-games and stories to introduce you to these insights and how to apply them. Leave armed with knowledge of mental models, cognitive load, situational awareness, and boundary objects so your teams can use complexity to their advantage, solve the right problems, support each other, and finally use those whiteboards, stickies, and online tools properly.


Derek W. Wade

Derek W. Wade founded Kumido Adaptive Strategies to help teams innovate together.  As a “team-brain coach,” his cognitive approach to Lean/Agile models has improved many creative efforts from healthcare to publishing to video games. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Agile Leadership Network (ALN) and is a founding member of the ALN-Chicago. Derek is also a licensed Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor; these last have more relevance to organizational agility than he ever expected.