Blog Business Networking

I’ve Joined Dragos! Networking!

Well, it is time to get back into the startup realm and after leaving 14 West, I’ve now moved to a company called Dragos! I’ve joined Dragos! To say that I am excited is truly an understatement.

Dragos has a clear vision of “saving civilization” with the security they’ve built for industrial control systems & cycber security.

Dragos arms organizations with the most robust industrial cybersecurity technology, backed by the industry’s largest team of ICS practitioners who built it.

For two years, I’ve been following them because of a past coworker from Inovalon, Laura Buell! And reached out to connect with their HR right when she had joined. Then, Bill Seamen joined Dragos, another past coworker from 14 West. When he saw a role, he reached out immediately to me about the opportunity.

Why do I share this? Networking is crucial for getting your next job!!!

I use a few tools in the process of networking to help keep me in the loop with those I know. Here are a few tools that I utilize:

  • Capsule CRM – integrates with google, mailchimp, and other tools for ease of keeping systems up to date!
  • Mailchimp – used to do mass emails for example keeping recruiters up with where I am with my job search or other people I recommend hiring.
  • Google Sheets – used as my single source of truth for all contacts (integrates across my gmail accounts and business accounts).
  • ToDoIst – used to manage my tasks for connecting, networking, and keeping up with people + using Capsule CRM for last connected date.

I know many people may see this as overkill but I will also say that during these odd times we are living it, it helped me get opportunity after opportunity and choose the one that was right for me moving forward!

Back to Dragos? I am thrilled to be at a company that is ready to utilize the skills I bring to the table! You should start watching them – they are going to be going big places. And, I’ve joined Dragos!

Business Ideas

The Launch of Randomly Famous

Randomly Famous looks to curate art, interview, and talk about the business investment strategy of investing in artists! And, Randomly Famous launched! So, we want to match artists with those who love THEIR art.

As you know, we have built many versions of Randomly Famous (sold some IP in 2011; tried to sell domain in 2012 (but only received the deposit), and we are ready to go again!

The team is built up of myself and Mike Stenger! And, a lot of great guest writers who are helping us launch. We want your involvement as well so check out our social networks, website, and let us know some artists that you would recommend.

Because of these things, here are a few posts to get you started in learning about what we are doing and who we are in Randomly Famous:

Osamu Tezuka – Lion King Inspiration?

Did Disney take inspiration from the most famous Manga artist Osamu Tezuka for Lion King? Well, his art is outstanding!

The Phantom of the Opera

Ever multitask while watching The Phantom of the Opera?

Networking in Annapolis as an Artist

During this time in life, artists are ready to be found & invested in. And communities of artists are looking for connections.

So, now that we’ve shared a few posts and ideas of where we are going… Who would you recommend connecting with artistically to review? Or, invest our financial resources in?

We are always looking for recommendations for the launch of Randomly Famous and want to hear from YOU!

Business Networking Research

Creating “That” Brand

Throughout my career, I have always had a focus on “amplifying” my brand and yet had difficulty in it because of all the things I enjoy: entrepreneurship, storytelling, agile, photography, project management, executive coaching, leading teams, development, and everything in between!

But, I have learned that this source of frustration is actually one of great pride as I’ve grown older. All of these things come together in a clear tag line that I have been living for years – “creatively . executing . ideas.” And, I am pretty proud of that.

In my research to figure out better ways to “create ‘that’ brand,” I’ve come across many articles and pointers that I wanted to share. The first article is from Forbes “3 Ways To Create An Addictive Personal Brand” –

Three Steps for a Personal Brand:

  • Perception | “This is what people think of (and feel about) you based on what you share publicly. A compelling moral code, an enchanting story and a collection of captivating anecdotes are what makes for the right perception.”
  • Positioning | “If perception is how people think of you as a person, positioning is more so how people think of you as an expert. You need one to get noticed (perception) and the other to get taken seriously (positioning).”
  • Promise | “Now you have to offer them a promise. This is the final piece of your tale of intrigue. As a master persuader, it is your job to present a superpower promise to your market. A transformation. A better after. A brighter future.”

Azhar points these three great points out that I have been reflecting on with my own brand. But, how do you use these three areas to be successful in the career you desire? Well, Forbes did it again and shared “This Is How Highly Successful People Achieve Career Goals”

How to Achieve Career Goals:

  • Visualize success
  • Dream big and write it down
  • Focus on the process, not the outcome

Because of these things, I realized there was a flow? The process of going to film school – learning to program – managing early scrum teams – leading agile implementations – and building high performing teams doesn’t seem to align with my original “visualized success” but that is where point three comes in of “focus on the process, not the outcome.” Because, as it stands now, I am exactly where I want to be!

My brand, my skill, and my ability to network have aligned to be highly helpful with the jobs that I take and the consulting opportunities I have. What are you doing to help strengthen your brand? What are you researching?

Blog Networking

A Quick Bio

A few organizations have been asking for a quick bio both for consulting and internal purposes. With that, here is what I came up with after much assistance from a few people:

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to coach and train organizations around agility & program management. My focus has a tag line I’ve had for years: “Creatively – Executing – Ideas.”

At both Inovalon and 14 West, I was fortunate to participate from the beginning of their enterprise-wide agile transformations. I had the opportunity to implement SAFe and train over 700+ people at Inovalon, implement three release trains, and define the roadmap for execution across the subsidiaries there. Much of my focus was on gaining buy-in from the C-Suite in support of the initiatives.

Following Inovalon, I joined 14 West, where I developed a team of 17+ program managers and agilests. These team members implemented agile practices for the $1.6 billion organization. In each of these roles, I’ve used the creativity and skills in execution to help shape the next iteration for these companies in their pursuit of an agile culture.

Now, from a personal note: I am an outdoors adventure-based person who loves taking my two boys (Brighton, age four and Rhett, two) wherever I can. I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible – hiking and camping on the Appalachian Trail, solo camping trips, climbing mountains, and merely being adventurous while always learning.

Download Networking

Great Resumes

After many years of working through organizations, it is always beneficial to keep leads warm! These individuals are powerful at what they do and would be crucial for those of you reading to review:

Teamwork makes the dream work right? And, because of things like this, I will always help network people with others that need them! Join me, send me your resume, and let me know what job opportunities you have!

Agile Blog Download

Scrum Health Check

On a regular basis, we’ve been asked to do analysis work of existing scrum teams. Organizations especially care about the pre & post agile implementations data points.

I created a simple two form approach that allows scoring for teams internally to judge their scrum health. One major component to make though:

No one should use this as a way to judge a team’s performance but instead utilize it as a means for an improvement backlog.

Key Point

Now, with all that said, these two litmus surveys I’ve used for 7+ years across multiple industries and believe this should be public for others to use as a starting point. Here are two example images:

Quick Agile Litmus
Detailed Agile Litmus

These questions come from all over and much research. With that, there are some tools I’ve built to allow the inclusion of 30+ development teams and see organizational health. But, to get people started I have allowed these documents to be downloaded.

Now, if you like that, you should consider reading the article about how I recommend working with ScrumMasters and companies/organizations new to Agile Implementation (notice I didn’t use Agile Transformations). Read it here: Analyze, Prioritize, and Produce!

Blog Business Ideas

Opening Agile

Over the last two weeks, I have taken up a problem that I believe many of us want to solve: centralized agile playbook & toolbox that includes:

  • Guides
  • Exercises
  • Presentations
  • Templates
  • Plays

A group of us met yesterday and another group of us will meet on Friday to keep the discussion moving forward. In short, if you want to find out more information about this please go to the two following links:

Getting Tactical

We are working through keeping as much of this as “free” as possible while we build out and aim to solve the problem. To do so, we’ve agreed on utilizing:

  • Trello – the backlog of work items the team is developing.
  • Google Drive – a repository of presentations, tools, and such.
  • Google Sites – collaboration area for keeping notes and tracking.
  • Slack – communication and collaboration area.

This is just the start of being effective while remote!

Blog Business Networking

Recruiting Daily

There are many things that I aim to do on a regular basis: interview & network… Why? Because sometimes people get laid off and I had my first experience in February where I am now on the market.

So, how do I quickly warm up my recruiting leads and network? A few simple tools that I utilize:

  • Capsule CRM
  • Google Sheets
  • Mailchimp
  • GMass Addon

These tools in combination allow me to email out a list of recruiters I have worked with over the last year or few and share “I’m looking” while also allowing me to network a bit. You see, I have always had a rule around interviewing: do it monthly!

The ration that I am at right now for conversations: 15 cold job applications, 4 interviews, and 1 offer! Not a bad funnel at this time but I believe some of the automation does help (and so does keeping your network in a networking mentality).

So why do I call this “Recruiting Daily” – well, we are recruiting assistance through networking aren’t we? We are all in this together! We are all learning from each other and we all know that the job market is a game so let’s play it well!


Networking in Baltimore

There are always fun experiences while networking and Baltimore will be one of those events! This evening, I will be heading to the “net//work” event at The Assembly Room in Baltimore and you are probably here because we met!

And, one person will win a free coffee for themselves + a guest by going to this link with their information! Here are a few quick notes:

Now for the chance to win a free coffee for yourself + a guest, please subscribe here for a random chance (1 in 50) for your free cup!

And, if you want more information on the event please head to the following location:

Blog Ideas

Time and Thoughts

I don’t often get emails from my father stating that I must check out a video but I did this May, and the video above has made a difference in my life already. I’ve had a firm focus on improving my life by simplification and self-reflection so this hit home. What do you think of it?

PS – I had been using an app called AppDetox and been aiming to simplify/use my time wisely. Here are the links:

By the way, in another video, he shares a quote by Cooley that I will leave you on for some self-awareness… Thomas Cooley “I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am.”