AgileByExample 2019

Bob Marshall

My name is Bob Marshall and these days I most often describe myself as an Organisational Psychotherapist. Which is to say, I bring psychotherapy techniques out of the therapy room and into the organisation as a whole. When trying to change the culture and thinking of a whole organisation, what better way than Organisational Psychotherapy?

In decades of experience within technical businesses, I’ve come to understand that technical skills pale into insignificance beside our ability to nurture productive collaborative relationships. If you’re in an organisation that wants to improve things for the better, you may find my services to you of profound benefit.

Throughout my career I’ve inspired people to realise more of their potential. I spent three years as founder and CEO of Familiar, Europe’s UK’s first 100% Agile software house and digital consultancy, serving major Digital Business clients in Telecoms, Finance, Banking, Travel, Media, and eBusiness.

I have since 2000 headed Falling Blossoms — the UK’s first Organisational Psychotherapy provider — serving organisations looking to become more humane, people-oriented and, thereby, productive.

Previous to Familiar, I held the role of Senior Architect with Sun Microsystems’ UK Java Center, and before that fulfilled many technology-related roles, including Digital Product Manager, Digital Business Manager and consultant, and Digital Solutions Architect. I’ve also held general management, consultancy, systems administration and development roles, as well as roles in operations, marketing and sales.

With a keen focus on business value, able to de-risk client project delivery and provide guaranteed outcomes, most of my assignments now revolve around working as a friend, counsel and therapist to ambitious, progressive technology and Digital Business organisations.

I’m the author of “Hearts over Diamonds” — the foundational and definitive book on Organisational Psychotherapy, the originator of Rightshifting and the creator of the Marshall Model (Dreyfus for the organisation), as well as Prod•gnosis, Emotioneering FlowChain — the enterprise-wide approach to developing software-intensive products and services, and more recently the Antimatter Principle and Flow•gnosis.

Keynote— Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Despite something like 50 years of trying, the world of software and software-based product development is still pretty much as ineffective as it was back when the term "software crisis" was coined by some attendees at the first NATO Software Engineering Conference in 1968 at Garmisch, Germany in 1968.

I believe we as practitioners in the Software Industry have, like the drunk who loses his keys on a dark street, being looking under the “process, practices and tools” streetlamp “because the light is better there”. How about we reexamine our fundamental assumptions about the causes of development productivity, and find the levers which really move the needle?

Workshop— The Shrink is IN

An experiential workshop in which the participants discover for themselves what Organisational Psychotherapy feels like from both the client organisation’s perspective and the organisational psychotherapist’s perspective. This will involve briefly researching the subject of Organisational Psychotherapy, then role-playing a typical Organisational Psychotherapy intervention. Participants will come away from this workshop with an understanding of what Organisational Psychotherapy feels like, what it has to offer the modern organisation, how folks might acquire the necessary skills to become a therapist, and how, as clients, their organisation may make progress when engaging with a therapist.