Robert Finan
Agile Sparring Partner
Classical Talk

Be Curious!

We’re all playing the change game – from testers and architects to agile coaches and scrum masters – we’re just not always aware of it! In this talk, Robert will discuss his journey from being an obnoxiously right architect to being a change agent and what he learned about change along the way. When he was an architect and a project manager, Robert tried to push through changes – with disastrous results. He wasn’t curious about other people’s objections – they were just obstacles to be overcome, barriers to get around. They weren’t taken seriously as input to the change and how maybe the change itself could be changed. Robert will take a look at some of the tools that helped him understand change from others’ perspectives and why being curious and respectful of their objections can lead to a better, co-created change that will last longer and have a deeper impact. Among them he will look at the SCARF model to better understand the impact of change on others. Another great source of insight into your own behaviour and that of others is to be found in the book Crucial Conversations. Finally, having understood the implications of change for yourself and others, Fearless Change offers concrete ideas about how move change forward even in the most intractable situations. Hopefully these insights will help all of us to better understand the dynamics and impact of change, allowing all of us – not just the official change agents – to handle it in a more realistic, caring and respectful way!


Robert has been knocking around in IT for over 25 years in various roles from developer to project manager and everything in between. His initial experience with agile on a team level were very positive. For the last 10 years though, he has been knee-deep in messy real-life “agile transformations”. That’s long enough to be called an agile coach and turn your hair grey! Despite this, Robert has never written a book, never been an international keynote speaker and won’t be starting a podcast anytime soon. He is however guilty of writing the odd blog post and drawing a comic strip or two about his experiences.