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Agile Leadership Summit

Agile Leadership Summit—Leading Agile Culture Change

Thursday, November 14 • 5:30pm–7:00pm and Friday, November 15 • 8:30am–3:30pm

(Additional registration is required to attend)   

Pollyanna Pixton,
Summit Chair

“We can’t do agile until the culture changes” is a lament often heard from teams that want to adopt agile methods. But the culture must move from plan- and schedule-driven—and this transition is not easy. In the Agile Leadership Summit, leaders who have achieved—or are in the process of achieving—this culture change share their challenges, successes, and struggles.

The Agile Leadership Summit is your chance to join your peers and agile industry veterans—Sue McKinney, VP Global Engineering, Pitney Bowes; Tricia Broderick, former development director at TechSmith; and Jenni Jepsen, partner at goAgile—to explore the unique challenges facing software development leaders as they transform organizations to support agile methods. Hear what’s working—and not working—for them and have the opportunity to share your experiences and successes.

During the Welcome Reception on Thursday evening, Ole Jepsen kicks off the gathering and shares his keys to lasting, enterprise-wide, agile transformations. Take the opportunity to discuss your agile leadership issues that will become the basis for the Summit’s interactive sessions.

Friday, in the Think Tank Session, work together in small groups to discuss your challenges and brainstorm solutions. Over lunch, speakers address your questions in a panel discussion. Join us for speaker-led roundtable sessions (new this year) to work on your specific challenges in small group collaboration. The conversation does not end when the Summit adjourns. Informal discussions will continue around the pool into the evening.

Share your experiences with the speakers and other delegates during the networking breaks. You’ll have ample time to form a network of resources you can rely on for years to come.


The Agile Leadership Summit is a perfect opportunity for you to:

  • Meet and network with other leaders in the industry
  • Participate in insightful and informative sessions focusing on agile adoption leadership issues
  • Join in the “think tank” discussion with leaders in the trenches
  • Develop new ideas and action plans for culture change within your organization

5:30pm–6:00pm • Summit Kick-Off Reception (Think Tank Issues Identified for Discussion on Friday)

6:00pm–7:00pm • Let the Business Drive: The Key to Large-scale Agile Transformation

  Ole Jepsen, Partner, goAgile

In a world where there’s still a divide in large organizations between business and IT, can a transformation to agile succeed if IT is leading the effort? Ole Jepsen says no. In Ole’s experience working with some of the largest companies in Scandinavia, real agile culture shifts come only when the business drives the initiative. From process to culture Ole shares his experiences—the good, the bad, and the ugly—when it comes to agile transformations in large organizations. He discusses why having a “transformation team” comprised of leaders from the business makes it work; how to help the business focus more on value—optimizing and maximizing benefits—and less on the details; and the challenges business leaders face having to carefully balance setting direction vs. telling people what to do, between interfering too much and intervening too late, and overcoming old ways of communicating to become more transparent in how they lead.




A partner at goAgile, a Denmark-based consulting firm, Ole Jepsen is a highly-esteemed agile coach for organizations experiencing change. Ole works with organizations to help leaders and teams expand their perspectives, focus on value, and increase joy of work to create ownership and get results. An involving and engaging way to lead, it results in happier teams, increased business value, and is key to a lasting enterprise-wide agile transformation. Ole is a founder of the Agile Leadership Network, the founder of the Danish Agile User Group, and organizer of Agile Coach Camp Denmark, and Stoos in Action.

7:30am–8:30am • Registration and Breakfast

8:30am–8:45am • Welcome

8:45am–9:30amKicking and Screaming: Moving to Business Agility

  Sue McKinney, VP Global Engineering, Pitney Bowes

Facing a rapidly declining hard copy mail market, Pitney Bowes moved to digital mail and in the process transitioned from a waterfall hardware culture to an agile software culture. When Pitney Bowes was a monopoly, they decided what the customers wanted. After the transition, they had to switch to listening to customer needs, while convincing customers they can provide communication services digitally. To reset this culture, Sue McKinney used tools including touch point mapping, presenting user interface prototypes to executives, and confronting their old ideas with “Is this what our customers want?” Within the agile adoption, Sue provided total transparency at all levels of the organization to calm the fears of the “Are we making progress?” segment while using the Net Promoter Score metric to gauge customer satisfaction. Sue describes the process she uses to refocus internal service teams from a strategy of just reducing costs to one of exceeding customers’ expectations.


The vice president, Worldwide Engineering, for Pitney Bowes, Sue McKinney is responsible for the world-class engineering team that is focused on design and development of mailing products and software solutions. Sue joined Pitney Bowes in April 2010 as vice president, Worldwide Mailing Solutions Management and Document Messaging Technology Engineering. In March 2011 she assumed additional oversight for Pitney Bowes Business Insights Engineering. Before joining Pitney Bowes, Sue was vice president of development transformation where she led an effort to effect significant transformation across the IBM Software Group development teams, influencing more than 25,000 engineers and 43,000 employees in 120 global locations.

9:30am–10:15am • My Favorite Mistakes

  Tricia Broderick, Agile Learning Facilitator, Santeon

Many believe that a person can and should learn from failure. Despite embracing the value of failing and learning for her own growth, Tricia Broderick struggled early in her career to incorporate learning for an individual and/or team as part of her leadership responsibilities. Focusing on preventing mistakes within a team brings with it the unfortunate side effect of not allowing the team to naturally learn, grow, and thrive through experience. Today, Tricia shares her professional stories that emphasize why preventing mistakes not only negatively impacts teams but also disrupts core components of leadership. With each reflective story, Tricia shares honest admissions, incorrect assumptions, and actions that she now takes to help ensure the culture of learning is a reality. Join Tricia as she highlights her favorite mistakes through accountability mixed heavily with laughter and maybe even a few tears.


Passionately focused on the facilitation of high-performance software development environments, Tricia Broderick brings sixteen years of experience including the last six years of focus with an agile mindset as development director at TechSmith. Tricia leverages and openly shares work experience stories and examples to inspire people, especially managers and leaders, to reach new heights through continuous reflection, both as individuals and as members of innovative teams. A highly experienced leader, coach, mentor, presenter, trainer, and speaker, Tricia recently joined the Santeon Group’s Learning team. Contact her at [email protected] or @t_broderick.

10:15am–10:45am • Networking Break

10:45am–11:45am • Think Tank Discussion: Solutions to Top Issues in Roundtables

11:45am–12:15pm • Networking Lunch Buffet (Grab & Go)

12:15pm–1:15pm • PanelAdvice for Leaders: Leading Culture Change

1:15pm–2:00pm • Agile with the Brain in Mind: Motivating People To Create Lasting Change

  Jenni Jepsen, Partner, goAgile

Agile works not only to deliver the right product faster but also to increase people's motivation. Enhancing communication and collaboration are critical to the process. But often there’s pushback from management about not having the resources to spend on these “nice-to-have, soft skills.” What if we could prove these skills are the reason we can reap the benefits of agile and create lasting change? Jenni Jepsen found the proof—hard scientific proof—about why we feel more intrinsically rewarded when we have the overview and ownership. Jenni shares the neuroscientific evidence—a far more accurate view of human nature based on breakthroughs in how our brains work, how we are motivated, and how to create lasting change. Learn how you can apply this knowledge about the brain to help people adapt better to change and shift mindsets to become more agile.


A partner at goAgile, Jenni Jepsen focuses on helping individuals, teams, and organizations increase motivation, effectiveness, and transparency by engaging with business goals, creating meaning for stakeholders, and building trust through the process. With extensive experience in change leadership and communications, Jenni integrates neuroleadership concepts into her coaching, training, and sparring with leaders at every level to help people create lasting change. Neuroleadership is an emerging field of study focused on bringing neuroscientific knowledge into the areas of leadership development, management training, change management, training, consulting, and coaching.

2:00pm–2:30pm • Networking Break

2:30pm–3:15pm • Speaker Round Tables

3:15pm–3:30pm • Wrap Up and Ongoing Informal Discussion with Speakers and Attendees