CAS 2015 – Keynote by Eugenio Molini

This is the first of a series of posts about the CAS 2015 (Conference Agile Spain) in Madrid, a really incredible meeting point to share learning and synergy between people who see product development in a different way, being this my second time attending. Since the amount of conferences I attended is big, and so is the amount of information I collected, I will summarize them progressively in the following days.

Eugenio Molini

Eugenio Molini is a consultant in systemic transformation and organizational resilience. He also designs and facilitates multi-partners, multi-stakeholder and participatory processes.

His keynote was incredibly wise and full of inspiration regarding cultural change within organisations, the importance of understanding the nature of change and, especially, the toxic elements that need to be addressed. He spoke about the concept of the constant change (in his own words: change is the only constant) and the effect of changing life, changing people, and the struggle not to lose your inner self in the way.

From a personal perspective, Eugenio ran such a crazy working life for nearly two decades travelling all over the world, that he ended up deciding he needed to have an early retirement living in a sanctuary for nearly 3 years to detox himself. And after all his years of working experience, that retirement made him see the working environment with very different eyes.

We should always ask ourselves why things are done the way they are, and never give up easily on this. And we can apply this to both our work and our personal life.

Change is the only constant but this is adaptive. Change has to should be natural and not forced whenever possible. Changing can be willingly or forced; but most people don’t really want to make any kind of change to their lives. Change can do a lot of things but not define a real strategy.

According to Eugenio, people attending a meeting in autopilot mode are being forced and they don’t really want to. But in the end everyone gets aligned. Same way, leaving a meeting where everyone agrees completely isn’t right. These are known as Hallelujah meetings, The ones that won´t change anything. We have to remove what’s redundant so people can be themselves. Sometimes YOU are the redundant element.

An important remark is that people change WHEN they want IF they want.

Change means continuity. Lots of work don’t mean do something. If we want to promote change, we also need to remove friction. But sometimes it is necessary to get somewhere, not staying idle waiting for change to happen before we can provide deliverables at work. Productivity is key, but it needs to be in harmony with personal development.

Being connected with yourself and being compassionate with those around you helps your focus and your mission. Remember: Profession doesn’t mean vocation. Vocation is, in plain words, what turns you on. Technology is not a vocation.

Ask yourself: Does your work turn you on?

We start our lives with great and optimistic values but we tend to lose them as we move forward along the way, since we hold on to our fears. The way to overcome this by projecting our passions. If we need it, most people need it too. We look for the meaning of our lives. We empower people. We create richness, don’t accumulate it. Eventually, you have to be humble and kind. Share what you have, don’t keep it to yourselft.

Vocation means vulnerability because your focus isn’t maybe what the world wants. You’re exposed. You need to be brave.

You can watch the whole keynote here. However, it is entirely in Spanish.

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