Mama

I know it’s not fashionable to prefer the Phil Collin’s era of Genesis over Peter Gabriel, but there’s just something about the poppier approach. I like it. I like it a lot. My favourite Genesis track is this:

This is a great track by any standards.

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RIP Alan Rickman

It’s been a bloody awful start to 2016 for celebrity deaths, hasn’t it? Two giants of the British entertainment industry gone with days of each other, both 69 and both had cancer.

Alan Rickman made even some pretty iffy films watchable (see Robin Hood) by his immense presence and always-entertaining delivery. He’s done some incredible work over the last three decades and he’s going to be greatly missed.

Twitter provided me with this extremely funny sketch – a rework of the famous Monty Python Four Yorkshiremen:

He’s on stage with 3 excellent comedians and outperforms them all (although Vic Reeves is particularly hilarious too)

What motivates you?

I’ve been attending the Nottingham Agile meetups over the last year. They’ve all been excellent, with loads of good presentations aimed at making us better software developers.

Last night’s meetup was about Scrum Masters (and how to be a great one). The talk – by the always helpful and insightful Chris RF – included an amazing video. It’s an animated short that includes a talk about motivation by Dan Pink. Here it is:

This hits on a whole load of points covered in my Systems Thinking modules with the Open University. Autonomy and responsibility are far better motivators than remuneration, and the evidence supports this. You can’t fix poor results by offering bonuses – fix the system!

I don’t think that Agile is a panacea for systemic issues, but it’s a good start. It helps to encourage conversations between stakeholders and it should help organisations understand where problems are.

The second half of the meetup included a whistle-stop tour through Kanban by Leigh White; and he showed that this way of looking at problems can be used with any methodology. I’m generally unfamiliar with Kanban, but it is based on systems thinking principles and it does look useful for finding bottlenecks and helping to improve flow. No scrums required (although I’m generally a fan of scrum). It was an excellent talk too – I really need to find our more.

Let It Go

Ruby is utterly obsessed with ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. To be honest, so am I (just a little bit). I think it’s one of the finest, catchiest songs to come out in many a year.

This amazing video has been doing the rounds for a while, but it’s worth a watch. Brian Hull does an fantastic job using the various Disney/Pixar voices throughout.