Neuroception: A Subconscious System for Detecting Threats and Safety

The author describes recent findings on the neurobiological mechanisms involved in perceptions of risk and safety. The term “Neuroception” describes how neural circuits distinguish whether situations or people are safe, dangerous, or life threatening. Neuroception explains why a baby coos at a caregiver but cries at a stranger, or why a toddler enjoys a parent’s embrace but views a hug from a stranger as an assault. The author explains the Polyvagal Theory, which posits that mammals–especially primates–have evolved brain structures that regulate both social and defensive behaviors. The Polyvagal Theory describes three developmental stages of a mammal’s autonomic nervous system: immobilization, mobilization, and social communication or social engagement. A neuroception of safety is necessary before social engagement behaviors can occur. Infants, young children, and adults need appropriate social engagement strategies in order to form positive attachments and social bonds. Faulty neuroception might lie at the root of several psychiatric disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, depression, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Experiences and lessons learned from the Scrum Lego Game

I love agile games! They help explain the concepts behind Scrum in a much more direct, fun and powerful way than any theory session will do. When executed well, they allow participants to experience first-hand why Scrum really works. Over the past few years, a number of simulation games have popped up to do just this. The one that always captured my imagination was the Scrum Lego game invented by Alexey Krivitsky because it looked like great fun to play with legos and learn about Scrum. Because I would love to be able to add this game to my own workshops, training and coaching sessions, I decided to invite some friends and colleagues to try the game and see if it really worked. Simply put, we had a blast! In this post, I would like to share my experiences and recommendations for playing this game.

Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World

Holacracy is a revolutionary management system that redefines management and turns everyone into a leader.

Holacracy distributes authority and decision-making throughout an organization, and defines people not by hierarchy and titles, but by roles. Holacracy creates organizations that are fast, agile, and that succeed by pursuing their purpose, not following a dated and artificial plan.

This isn’t anarchy it’s quite the opposite. When you start to follow Holacracy, you learn to create new structures and ways of making decisions that empower the people who know the most about the work you do: your frontline colleagues.

Some of the many champions of Holacracy include Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com (author of the #1 “New York Times” bestseller “Delivering Happiness”), Evan Williams (co-founder of Blogger, Twitter, and Medium), and David Allen.

Scrum and XP from the Trenches – 2nd Edition

This second edition is an annotated version, a “director’s cut” where Henrik reflects upon the content and shares new insights gained since the first version of the book.

The tricky part to agile software development is that there is no manual telling you exactly how to do it. You have to experiment and continuously adapt the process until it suits your specific situation.

This book aims to give you a head start by providing a detailed down-to-earth account of how one Swedish company implemented Scrum and XP with a team of approximately 40 people and how they continuously improved their process over a year’s time.

Under the leadership of Henrik Kniberg they experimented with different team sizes, different sprint lengths, different ways of defining “done”, different formats for product backlogs and sprint backlogs, different testing strategies, different ways of doing demos, different ways of synchronizing multiple Scrum teams, etc. They also experimented with XP practices – different ways of doing continuous build, pair programming, test driven development, etc, and how to combine this with Scrum.

 

This book includes:

  • Practical tips and tricks for most Scrum and XP practices
  • Typical pitfalls and how they were addressed
  • Diagrams and photos illustrating day-to-day work
  • Testing and test-driven development
  • Scaling and coordinating multiple teams
  • Dealing with resistance from inside and outside the team
  • Planning and time estimation techniques