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EP:02 – A Conversation with Fin Goulding

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Fin Goulding

This episode showcases some practices & principles that support teams be agile and adopt Flow principles in a digital world. Fin Goulding is an expert in business and technical agility having worked as a CIO or CTO in some major organisations like Aviva, PaddyPowerBetfair,, HSBC and Traveloctity. Fin is the co-founder of Flow Academy with Haydn Shaughnessy and has co-authored two books, Flow and 12 steps to Flow. Flow is a book for change makers, mavericks and innovators. It demystifies the business of digital transformation. Fin is a prolific blogger, public speaker and social media enthusiast. He is also a keen marathoner.  

Show Notes

Podcast episode summary: This conversation spoke to the work Fin now does in helping teams and organisations navigate digital transformation.  Fin described the essence of his book, Flow, which is really a metaphor for work and how it should be, frictionless.  Fin shared how people can be with change through visualisation techniques, stand-ups and the like where meaningful work and outcomes are discussed rather than problems. He admitted to stumbling across Agile and how it now informs so much of his thinking regarding Leadership, Teams and the business of providing value for clients. 

  • Fin is not just an IT geek but a cultural expert in terms of business and technical agility, he is also a keen motivator and communicator 
  • His work concerns people and how they could work together and collaborate better across teams-its all about improving the way people work together to get at better outcomes for clients. 
  • Leadership can be a misnomer especially when teams are self managing, Leaders need to find their purpose and place with teams 
  • The best teams forget hierarchies and find ways to work together to get the work done 
  • Toxic members can sabotage team performance and the Leader can support the person or individual do their best work else where. 
  • Get good at working outside of your job description, think broad as well as deep
  • Respect diversity and look to hire for diversity 
  • Often getting at team performance means unlearning  and learning to be open to new ideas and ways of working 
  • A leader needs to create the conditions for psychological safety which for Fin is about being genuine, humble and about telling stories
  • He encourages team members to continually learn, to listen to things like podcasts to widen their perspectives. It is important to continuously learn
  • Don’t be a Vampire, the kind of leader who sucks the energy out of a team
  • Finally Fin shared some nuggets for listeners to consider –Employ visualisation techniques, find your purpose and work to identify your values and strengths to be best deployed on a team

Quotable Quotes: “helping people do their best work elsewhere” “As a Leader don’t be a Vampire, sucking the energy out of a team”

Resources: the following include the resources we alluded to over the course of our conversation

  1. Flow, by Fin Goulding and Hayden Shaughnessy 
  2. Designing your life; how to build a well-lived joyful life which applies design thinking to the most pernicious of life’s problems by Bill Burnet and Dave Evans 
  3. Lean Enterprise by Barry O Reilly 
  4. Teaming by Amy Edmonson 
  5. FGoulding on Linkedin and Twitter 
  6. for Fin’s blog

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© 2020 Tara Nolan. Design ITSorensen | Photography