Learning by Losing Control: How to Benefit from Being Uncomfortable—Laura Dietze

In every change process there’s a moment where you lose control before things start to improve. But what if being out of control is actually our objective? We made the change from a traditional product organisation defined by business cases—and driven by our stakeholders’ whims—to focusing on the user and using lean techniques. Which means moving from executing orders to embracing learning from failure.

I remember the first time it happened like it was yesterday. Stepping into an estimation meeting after months of trying to get the team to care about the “why” and “for whom”, and they challenge every word I say. In seconds I went from pride to panic. I didn’t have answers they were willing to accept. The customer value I’d carefully crafted to fit our designated business goals came apart in seconds under their simple questions. My brain is trying to come up with answers while at the same time doubting my work, rearranging the agenda for the next sprint, and trying to decide when to stop the discussion without discouraging them from ever asking again.

In my presentation, you’ll learn how to:

  • Move from panic and self doubt to enjoying the moments when you lose control.
  • Be respected by a room full of tech-savvy men—even if you’re a woman with a social science degree.
  • Achieve the right balance between being the one who knows what to do and encouraging feedback and new ideas.

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Jonathan Kahn

Jonathan Kahn

organiser
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David Caines

David Caines

branding and illustration
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Rhiannan Walton

Rhiannan Walton

co-organiser
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Daniel Howells

Daniel Howells

digital design
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Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Sara Wachter-Boettcher

content strategy
@sara_ann_marie