Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

Practical advice for making agile work in the real world

The Agile Mentors podcast is for agilists of all levels. Whether you’re new to agile and Scrum or have years of experience, listen in to find answers to your questions and new ways to succeed with agile.

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#93: The Rise of Human Skills and Agile Acumen with Evan Leybourn

April 10, 2024     32 minutes

Explore the skills revolution with Brian and Evan Leybourn of the Business Agility Institute as they dive into a landmark study on the skills shaping today's workforce. Learn why adaptability, human skills, and agile acumen are the keys to success.


In an enlightening episode, Brian sits down with Evan Leybourn, co-founder of the Business Agility Institute, to delve into recent research findings on the essential skills for the modern workforce.

They discuss the paramount importance of human skills over technical abilities in hiring, the emergence of 'pi-shaped' professionals who excel in multiple domains, and the critical role of agile acumen across various job roles. Additionally, they address the pressing need for educational systems to pivot from traditional role-based learning to a more versatile skill-based approach.

This episode is a treasure trove for anyone looking to navigate the workforce's future, offering deep insights into adapting and thriving in an ever-evolving professional landscape.

Listen Now to Discover:

[1:17] - Join Brian in a captivating session with Evan Leybourn, the innovative author and co-founder of the Business Agility Institute, as they explore groundbreaking insights into agility and workforce evolution.
[2:32] - Discover the unexpected findings from Evan's recent study, ‘Skills in the New World of Work,’ on the workforce's most sought-after skills and their pivotal role in modern hiring practices.
[4:50] - Brian sheds light on the rising value of soft, or human, skills in the workforce, suggesting a pivotal expansion of Scrum Master skills to embrace these vital attributes.
[8:00] - Evan reveals their unexpected discovery: organizations are increasingly seeking 'pi-shaped' skills that blend diverse areas of expertise.
[12:45] - Perfect your human skills and refresh your Agile approach with Mountain Goat Software’s Advanced Certified ScrumMaster® and Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner® courses. For further details, visit the Mountain Goat Software training schedule.
[15:05] - Unpacking the idea of 'pi-shaped' professionals, Evan details how these unique individuals bring multiple skill sets to one role, elevating their effectiveness and output, using a full-stack developer as an example.
[16:22] - Evan tackles the provocative statement that Agile is dead, offering insights and counterarguments to this bold claim.
[21:47] - Evan highlights a key finding: Agile Acumen emerges as the runner-up in the most coveted skills during the hiring process across organizations.
[24:50] - Evan stresses an important takeaway: 'The skills you have are valuable,' pointing out that the essence of Agile expertise transcends the exact wording of job descriptions.
[27:05] - Highlighting a necessary evolution in learning, Evan advocates for a move towards skill-based training and education, away from traditional role-focused models, to better prepare for the workforce of tomorrow.
[29:21] - Brian shares his gratitude for Evan and his work to help better understand the job market.
[30:02] - Brian invites listeners to join both him and Evan live and in person at the Global Scrum Gathering 2024 in New Orleans.
[30:33] - We invite you to subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast. Do you have feedback or a great idea for an episode of the show? Great! Just send us an email.
[31:03] - If you’d like to continue this discussion, join the Agile Mentors Community. You get a year of free membership into that site by taking any class with Mountain Goat Software, such as CSM or CSPO. We'd love to see you in one of Mountain Goat Software's classes, you can find the schedule here.

References and resources mentioned in the show:

Evan Leybourn
Skills in the New World of Work: Which Agile Skills are Most In-Demand in Today's Workforce?
Business Agility Institute
Directing The Agile Organization: A Lean Approach To Business Management by Evan Leybourn
#noprojects: A Culture of Continuous Value by Evan Leybourn
Global Scrum Gathering 2024
Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner®
Advanced Certified ScrumMaster®
Certified ScrumMaster® Training and Scrum Certification
Certified Scrum Product Owner® Training
Mountain Goat Software Certified Scrum and Agile Training Schedule
Subscribe to the Agile Mentors Podcast
Join the Agile Mentors Community

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This episode’s presenters are:

Brian Milner is SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He's passionate about making a difference in people's day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work.

Evan Leybourn is the co-founder of the Business Agility Institute and author of "Directing the Agile Organization" and "#noprojects; a culture of continuous value." Evan champions the advancement of agile, innovative, and dynamic companies poised to succeed in fluctuating markets through rigorous research and advocacy.