S07 E04 Amber Vanderburg on Communicating Technical Ideas to Non-Technical People

In this conversation, Amber shares insights on leading change and higher performance within teams. She emphasizes the importance of inspiring action rather than commanding action, drawing parallels between sports teams and product development teams. Amber also discusses the power of debriefing and learning from failure, as well as the need for effective communication and understanding of technical concepts for different audiences. She highlights the value of asking the right questions to assess baseline knowledge and prioritize information. Amber concludes by expressing her interest in seeing more discussions on talent development and the growth of individuals in the workplace.

  • Inspire action rather than command action to lead change and drive higher performance within teams.
  • Debriefing and learning from failure are essential for continuous improvement and success.
  • Effective communication involves understanding and translating technical concepts for different audiences.
  • Asking the right questions helps assess baseline knowledge and prioritize information.
  • Talent development is crucial for individuals to elevate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the workplace.

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00:00Introduction and Setting
03:20Leading Change and Higher Performance
06:02Inspiring Action vs. Commanding Action
09:22Managing Surroundings and Stakeholders
11:19The Power of Debrief and Learning from Failure
14:10Reflecting and Improving in Product Development Teams
19:41Asking the Right Questions to Understand Baseline Knowledge
23:03Assessing Baseline Knowledge and Prioritizing Questions
26:28The Power of the Pause and Follow-up Questions
29:28Navigating Jargon and Clarifying Meaning
31:20Addressing Stakeholder Incentives and Prioritizing Questions
33:40The Power of Silence and Reflection
37:29Looking Forward to Learning and Talent Development
42:15Defining Talent as Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
43:11Question for the Next Guest

Sander (00:00.148)
Amber, good morning. Good morning. How are you? I’m great. How are you doing? I’m so glad to be here. Likewise. We just started at the Scan Agile conference in Helsinki, Finland. You’re the first guest on these live series. Esther Derby is doing the keynote right now. How was your trip over? How was your flight? Oh, you know, I was very fortunate. It was a smooth flight over. I was able to take a couple of naps, do some reading. It was a very smooth trip. Yep. No annoying neighbors.

No annoying neighbors. Yeah. Now fingers crossed for the way back. There’s always a little bit of a gamble, isn’t it? Just waiting to see who’s going to be next to you and hoping it’s not going to be an awful one. Yeah. You know, this trip was interesting. My neighbors this time, it was a father and a son and they’re coming to Finland for the first time and they’re seeing the Northern Lights. Oh, really? And just having a wonderful father -son bonding trip. That’s amazing. Yeah. Yeah. I was talking to Anthony Tsevelis yesterday during the speaker day.

And he mentioned that he takes his son with him to some of these conferences as well. His son’s almost 10, and it’s really cool if you can have those kind of moments as well. Like, Anthony lives in Canada. And then being able to take your son to these events and see your dad on stage must be a really cool experience. You know, it’s such a bonding event. My dad is actually a public speaker as well. And I remember as a kid traveling with him, watching him speak and do facilitation.

Obviously that’s inspired me to do what I do today. So, um, it’s a wonderful bonding experience. Did you start that journey with them as well? In speaking? Yeah. You know, we have done speeches together. Uh, we have done some work together. Uh, but I’ve also done obviously my own speaking for many, many years now as well. What kind of topics do you talk about like together?

Yeah, so together we have really talked about collaboration within teams. Dad’s more focused on emotional intelligence, like at more of the communication side. And so the two really are complementary. So we look quite a bit at collaboration within teams, specifically leading change within teams and perform, leading higher performance within teams.

Sander (02:23.254)
How would you see that as higher performance? Like where do you measure the baseline? How do you, how do you start with that? Well, first you have to define where our performance is now and where we desire to go. That will depend upon the team. Right. We originally was working with sports teams, so it’s pretty easy to say we have a scoreboard at the end of a game. And so we can look and say shots on goal. We can say.

the final scoreboard. So we had some pretty clear metrics. Now, if we’re doing something like leading a large scale implementation, I’m going to look at the budget, going to look at deadlines. And we need to make sure that we’ve defined those beforehand to make sure that we clearly have a clear indicator of success. So as we’ve gotten older, or as we’ve worked more together, we’ve gone from, we’ve explored into some other industries. Yeah.

What’s the biggest takeaway that you’ve had in sports teams that is kind of comparable to either product development teams or any other teams that you’ve been working with? What a great question. You know, there’s so many comparisons with sports teams and other teams.

For me, some of the biggest takeaways that I have really tie into the way that I am leading the team, meaning this. Whenever I come into a sports team and there is frustration, there’s miscommunication, there’s confusion, that’s gonna manifest itself very similarly.

than what you’d see in an office team, what you’d see in a production team. You may see some stomping of feet and frustration. You may see people coming up and saying, I don’t know what’s going on. And so the clarity in my communication, the clarity in my leadership is critical both in leading a sports team and in leading a team outside of sports.

Sander (04:32.438)
Now, how you achieve that clarity is first off within my preparation. I need to make sure that I’m clear in my own understanding of the direction that we’re going, the direction that I’m leading the team. So I need to make sure that I have my clarity as the leader. And then I do work on my messaging to make sure that I have, that the team knows what we’re doing, right? What those clear metrics of success are.

and why that is important. If I’ve missed those two, if I’ve missed the why and I’ve missed the what successes, that’s whenever I start seeing that confusion, right? That’s when we start seeing people going in different directions. And so really as the leader, clarifying the direction we’re going in the pace that we’re going is really critical. How do you come across or make a

make the message of you as a leader come across because there’s a big difference and that’s kind of the overlap as well. Or the biggest difference, maybe that’s a better word between sports teams and product development teams, especially if you look at Scrum or anything related to agile, as we’re talking about speaking in an agile conference is that we still have a lot of managers on the workflow that perceive themselves to be a leader while they’re mostly not. There’s still a vast majority that’s micromanaging rather than leading.

So how do you make that difference come across on the team that you’re working with? Oh, fantastic question. Yes. And there is a point of managing, right? I manage my team, my time maybe, right? But whenever we’re talking about leading, one of the biggest distinguishes is am I inspiring action or am I commanding action and bringing it back to sports teams? I recall there was a

professional academy that I was working with and when I first joined I noticed that the teams would come to sessions and they would stand in a line, kick a ball, wait for instruction, stand in a line, kick a ball, wait for feedback and they do this over and over and over again. And this is a very efficient way to teach a skill. How do you think this applied in a game scenario? Not too well. It doesn’t really do well at all. It doesn’t.

Sander (06:55.222)
In fact, I noticed within the course of a match that there were players that would kick the ball perfectly, exactly the way that we taught them. And then before the play was over, they would turn to the sideline to the coach for further direction and feedback. Now what? Now what do do? They did. They’d mastered these tasks, but they didn’t understand how it applied to the overall game scenario. And so we really had to transform our communication from lines and laps and lectures to one of real

confidence in our play, some clarity within our play, some creativity within our play. And that really comes down to what I talked about earlier, which is stop commanding the how and clearly communicate your what and your why. Now, in application, it looked a little something like this. Rather than stand in a line, kick a ball, wait for instruction, we provided some challenges. So,

For example, from here, I want you to stand here and kick the ball to knock down those three cones. Because in order to do that, you’re going to have to kick with power and precision. And in a game scenario, whenever you pass, whenever you kick, whenever you shoot, you’re also going to have to kick with power and precision. Now, how are you going to kick the ball? And so here, we’re clarifying. I clearly know what the goal is. I know why it is important.

And I have some latitude in how I’m going to do that. Now, we have to be prepared because from challenges like these, I saw some of the most heated debates I’d ever seen among seven year olds trying to decide if the best way to kick the ball was with the input or with the laces. Now, we know both ways are right. And so we’re able to expand our toolbox of resources simply by the way that we are

Creating this environment and so we did have to work with the team to say yes Your way is right and your way is right. And so it depends on the situation and which tool we’re going to To use so even in sports team the answer of it depends still holds up it, you know, it still depends. Yes In most episodes we have a co -host Jim Jim Sam’s he couldn’t be here unfortunately

Sander (09:21.398)
but he always tries to charge me every time I say it depends. So Jim, this is for you. It depends even in sports. Now, how do you, how do you progress then to manage the surroundings of one of those sports team, even as a kid? Because the picture that I have in my head right now are the screaming parents on the sideline. Yes. Sounds familiar? Yes. And quite scandalous, right? If you go from,

straight straight lines to scandalous circles. Oh my and you’re talking about a professional team or professional academy where people have invested a lot of time and money and energy to really invest in their talent development. You’re doing something different. There has to be some very clear communication. We would have parents that would would watch our sessions and see how different they were.

And this is very similar as the stakeholders that we have within teams, right? In fact, they were stakeholders and we have stakeholders every day. And so we wanted to make sure that we’re communicating with the parents. This is the journey that we’re going on. And I would clearly communicate with our parents, we’re gonna see a slight dip in performance so that we can catapult to a higher performance than what we were before.

Right? So there may be some confusion. We’re going to try and fail rather than give the one single way to kick a ball. We’re going to try and fail several ways to kick a ball. So you’re going to see some more failure at the beginning. Expect it. The end result is going to be a higher level of confidence of play or a higher standard of play.

And so it’s a tricky situation because I can’t give a timeline of when that better performance will come. I can’t say, hey, we’re gonna try and fail for a week and then in two weeks we’ll be great. In some teams, this could be a matter of months. I’ve seen it over and over again that we know that this environment of trying and failing and trying a better way, finding a better way.

Sander (11:47.286)
It is the recipe for higher performance within a team, a higher standard within the team. And so as time went on, I could use some case study, some experience with the parents to help build the case for what we’re doing. Hey, what you’re seeing right now, the frustration you see on the pitch, the failure you’re seeing on the pitch right now, that’s expected. And look at what we’re learning now.

The goal here or the key here to catapult that trying and failing into success is a powerful debrief, a powerful pause to identify what we have learned and how we have improved. And that sounds so simple. Too often I hear coaches, I hear leaders experience failure and say, you know, it’s okay, we didn’t lose, we learned.

that statement doesn’t stand on its own. If it’s not followed up by the important question, what did you learn? Why is it helpful? If we simply shrug our shoulders and say, oh, we didn’t lose, we learned. No, you have to ask what you learned. How are you going to improve next time? And so there’s power in that pause of asking, what did I learn today? Don’t let that learning opportunity go to waste. How are we going to improve?

for the next time. And that sounds so fundamental, but too often times I see the debrief missed in its powerful opportunity. Yeah, I totally agree with that. Something that pops in mind with me as well is that it seems in this day and age that there’s more, especially minor league teams that are getting overwhelmed or flooded with participation trophies. You did your best. Well done.

And they forget to try and because they’re being rewarded with a participation trophy for the hell of it so that they don’t feel like the loser. Now I, there’s a parallel to this with product development teams as well, where people forget to do the retrospective or something like that. Those kinds of events try to, or fail to reflect and then see how we can improve. And then we have, we tried, didn’t we? Uh huh.

Sander (14:09.174)
You did try definitely, but we didn’t really check in whether it mattered what we tried or what we learned or what we can reject now from our hypotheses. So how do you see this work together? You know, I see this temptation both with success and with failure. And so we see teams that product development teams that they tried and failed, right? They missed the deadline. The product was not a successful launch, right? So we’re seeing some of that failure.

And you see the team go, I don’t want to do a retrospective. That was embarrassing, that was uncomfortable. So we’re seeing that I don’t want to do the retrospective. I don’t want to ask the questions.

look at it from the other end, I’ve seen teams that say, hey, we were successful. Why would we need a retrospective? We were successful. If you don’t know why something is working when it’s working, you won’t know how to fix it when it’s broken. And there’s this wonderful quote from a leader at IKEA. And he said, you know, success can breed complacency. Complacency.

reads failure, can read failure. And so this is the vicious cycle that we can go into. And so I guess to answer your question, we put it systematically in our process to have a retrospective. Before we know if it’s a failure or a success, or even a mild failure or a mild success, we already have it on the calendar. We’re going to take the time to take a look in the mirror.

Experiences are only as powerful as the time spent reflected upon them. And so we’re going to plan that time at the very beginning. At the end of this project, we’re going to do a hard look in the mirror and ask what we’ve learned, whether that be from learn from the success or learn from the failure. That’s so uncomfortable, Amber. Growth is uncomfortable. It is. Now, I’ve seen so many teams in the past I have worked with that

Sander (16:22.358)
had, for instance, product owners that struggled to convey or translate the technical parts to the more business terms or the other way around, making sure that people understand the technical mechanics or, you know, stakeholders are aligned with that. So what’s your experience with that and how do you deal with that? Yeah, absolutely. So this is our chance to collaborate with different departments. And with that collaboration, we have an opportunity to meet people where they are. Right.

And I’ve seen this across several industries. There’s this idea of I’m going to build my credibility by using the $10 word that someone else doesn’t know, but that’s a way I’m showing that I’m smarter, right? I’m building my, you’ve hired me to come in so I can use these big words. And we find is that that’s where you find that loss of connection and a lack of understanding.

you build your credibility through the types of questions that you’re asking. And hold on. I’ll put this on pause for two seconds. That’s not my phone.

Sander (17:42.71)
I’m not gonna

Sander (17:46.312)
Sorry about that. No, you’re good. Where were we? I have to think. Where were we? Oh, we were talking about, yeah, using the $10 word. Gotcha. Yeah, so if someone, you know, we think someone has hired me to come in and I can build my credibility by using these larger words, that can lead to a lack of understanding.

don’t know what you’re talking about. And so we can build our credibility and set through the types of questions that we ask and the types of ideas that we can present. And so I find that those are much more effective if I first identify where my audience is. I first asked some questions to establish their baseline knowledge and tested my assumptions of their baseline knowledge. And I can use a comparison.

Use a story, use a visual to help meet them halfway in my technical explanation. Now, a couple of questions I’m going to ask whenever identifying who my audience is. I’m going to look at things like where they are in the hierarchical structure of the organization. For example, if I am communicating a technical idea to an executive,

I want to summarize that information. They’re going to need to know, hey, generally, this is the direction we’re going, this is what we’re doing, and then we’re going to move forward. If I’m communicating that same information to someone, a direct colleague or below, then I may expand more because those actions may more directly impact their job. So recognizing this is a chance where I need to summarize or an opportunity for me to expand.

going to be important depending upon my audience. I’m going to look at things like their technical knowledge maturity. So what I mean is this is what is their exposure to the technology? What is their usage of the technology? This is where I see some assumptions being made, especially generational assumptions. We look at a

Sander (20:05.43)
right, a digital native versus a digital immigrant, someone who was born into this technology versus someone who transferred over. I know you can’t tell from my wonderful skincare routine, but I actually was born before. I remember a time in my house and we didn’t have a computer and I didn’t have a phone, right? So I’ve had to immigrate over to that. Whereas you look at younger people in my family even and they

were born and they know how to work an iPhone. I had a younger family member the other day who was very impressed because I had a old floppy disk. They said, ah, it’s a 3D print of a save button. This old relic. This old relic. And so we can make some assumptions, but I’ll tell you a story. We were working with a large manufacturing company.

And there were some assumptions made of these people of a younger generation. They knew how to work the technology better. Those associates were out in the field every day. They were the ones working on the lines. It was the people who were in the office who were working on the computer system every day that had more of a technological usage. And so there were assumptions being made by the team of, oh,

based off of generation and that’s not necessarily true. We have to, in addition to look at digital natives, digital immigrants, we have to look at the usage, we have to look at the exposure, right? And so whenever we’re explaining these ideas, we have to check our assumptions that we make of a person’s technological knowledge and their technological baseline. Now that’s just an example that I gave in terms of

digital immigrants and natives, but it’s a powerful example of the types of assumptions that we can make. So, yeah, whenever I’m looking at my audience, I am, I’m gonna look at their baseline knowledge. I’m gonna look at how it impacts them and their everyday life and how this technical information actually relates to them. It could be that they just see, if they’re asking me a question, I just need to provide the simple answer.

Sander (22:32.214)
How much time do you make for that? I really like the term digital immigrant, you know, to sort of need pinpoint where we are at, where the audience is at with their knowledge, but how much time do you make to assess these kinds of things? Cause I can imagine it’s A is really hard to do that, but also there are many stakeholders that try to keep meetings as short as possible because their agenda is so full anyway these days. Yeah. You don’t have a lot of time. So we’re,

I’m actually getting ready to do one of the keynotes and one of the questions we are going to identify is what’s three to five questions you can ask. Obviously there’s a hundred questions I could ask to better identify my audience. I need to identify the few that are important here. I’m going to go back to the, it depends. It’s going to depend on the situation, the types of questions I’ll ask. So I’ll give you an example. If I am in a problem solving situation,

where someone has called me because we need to troubleshoot, then I may ask different questions about their understanding of that specific problem as a whole. Now, let’s say that I am getting ready to give a presentation, then A, I have some more time to do research on my own to analyze the audience. And then I may ask some different questions on their general familiarity with a broader topic.

So I’m going to ask some different questions based on the situation. And then, of course, if I’m collaborating and partnering with other departments, I’m going to ask some different questions there. The main thing that I’m going to look at is, A, how is this relevant to them? How is this relevant to them? What’s their general baseline knowledge of the topic? And then I’m going to ask, are they open to new information?

Do you ask or ask these questions as is? Cause I can imagine that if you ask someone like what’s your baseline knowledge that it can come across as a little bit of a, what’s the word? Not necessarily demeaning, more condescending. Yes. Yes. I’m not going to ask. Yeah. Depending on the situation is very, very rare that I would ask what your baseline knowledge on this. So I’m, I might ask this on two levels, right? So first I’m going to look at comfort.

Sander (25:01.366)
and at competence. So let’s use a basic thing. How comfortable are you with an Excel spreadsheet? Yeah, I’m pretty comfortable. I’ve been using these all my life. And then I start asking a specific question, can you do X, right? And so that’s going to be a question of competence, right? So I’m comfortable, but I really only know the basic functions of Excel.

Now, if you’re asking me deeper questions about how to put together certain aspects of a spreadsheet, then I may not be as confident. So I’m going to ask two questions. First, I’m going to ask how comfortable are you? How familiar are you with this? All so those types of questions. How comfortable? How familiar? How confident are you with this? And then I’m going to ask a secondary question, which may be,

show me how you do this, tell me how you’ve done this in the past, do you know how to do this? So that’s gonna be more on the competence level. So just in those two questions, I can have some basic idea. Now I may have someone who’s extremely competent in an area, but they’re not as comfortable with it. So I need to ask both so that I can get an idea of what I’m working with. Is there…

Looking back at your career, because this is a, I can imagine this is a learning journey for you as well. What kind of questions do you ask? If you look back and you could tell your younger self, like, this is the most horrible question that I ever asked anyone. What would it be? Oh, what a great question. Not that one. That’s a good question. Um,

Sander (26:59.446)
I don’t, I’m not thinking of a specific, this is a bad question. I’m gonna turn that around. Looking back at my younger self,

I think of all the missed opportunities to ask follow -up clarifying questions. So it’s very tempting to ask, you know, do you know this or are you familiar with this? And then stop and not taking the time to listen to the hesitation in a person’s voice or…

notice that there’s something, you kind of that feeling that there’s something else that needs to be said and not asking the follow -up. I was taught pretty early on that the difference between a good coach and a great coach is someone who knows the progressions, right? So if you only know the foundation, the baseline, yeah, you can be a good coach. It’s the ones that know how to go two, three, four layers deeper.

That’s when you really get to the heart of progress, the heart of what’s going on. And so I think back to my younger self and the initial questions. Okay. Right. I think of how much better they could have been with a powerful follow up. Yeah. I can. It resonates with me what you’re saying, because when I just started this podcast, like the first maybe seven episodes.

I prepare these conversations with people in my head before I would write down a ton of questions that I want to have answered. But what I noticed is that I’m not really in the conversation anymore. I’m just thinking ahead while the other person is talking, how can I connect your words to the next question I want to ask instead of really being present in the conversation? Well, you’re now experiencing that I did not do any preparation at all for this conversation.

Sander (29:00.662)
Um, so this, it is finding that way that really works for you. And then reflecting on, uh, what can I do better? And then this in your case, it’s looking at body language or listening to things that are not being said as well. Um, on the other side of the spectrum, there are so many people that use very popular jargon that holds no value, right? These very big words that don’t really say a lot. How do you poke through those bubbles?

A simple question, hey, tell me what you mean by that. What’s your definition of that word? Give me some context of what you mean. So there’s some very basic questions like that that sound so fundamental. Talk about agile. Hey, so whenever you talk about agile, what does that mean to you? And so just a very basic question like that can actually go very deep. So.

If I’m looking at some popular jargon, I often find that popular jargon does have several meanings. It has several connotative and denotative meanings. And so making sure that jargon, jargon in itself is not a bad, it’s not a bad communication skill. In fact, it’s a shortcut in our communication so that we can more quickly and efficiently communicate an idea.

And so the idea of jargon is not bad. Just need to make sure that jargon is used as a shared and understood language by all parties involved. And if there is not a unified shared and understood language by all involved, that’s where we had that confusion. And so whenever I’m asking those clarifying questions of when you say this, what do you mean? What is it going to mean for the?

purpose of our conversation, the purpose of our collaboration, I’m simply trying to make sure that there is clarity and uniformity in that meaning for our conversation. And so I’ll ask very simple questions like what does that mean in this context? Do you notice that people are looking for like some sort of incentive for them to make free their time, their schedule to answer your questions?

Sander (31:19.766)
Like what is in it for me? Like I’m now spending my time answering your questions for you to figure out what we’re talking about here. What is in it for me? Oh yeah, absolutely. And so I’ll start, I’ll start a question like that or a conversation like that by clarifying my intention. Hey, the better I understand this situation, the better I understand you, the more effectively we’re going to be able to work together. Now, like I alluded to earlier, you’re likely only going to get,

few questions before it starts to impact the flow of the conversation. You’re not going to get the hundred questions that you’d like to ask. More than likely, you need to choose three to five that are most important in this situation. So I’m going to clarify my intention, come in with my three to five questions, and I do ask myself in my internal thoughts,

Is this something that I can observe at a later date? Is this important or is this priority? There’s a thousand important things I need to know. This is priority right now. So whenever I do come into a conversation, I do first clarify my intention. The more I know, the more efficiently we’re going to be able to work together.

And then I’m going to ask myself, what are the priority questions I need to ask right now that can help us move forward? And then I will have in the back of my mind, these are other important things that I need to figure out, whether that be through questions in the future, through observations I can make. Maybe there’s somebody else I can talk to, some research I can do. So there’s some other information I may need to know.

doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to ask that in our conversation right now. Something that I took away from a conversation we had with Teresa Torres a couple of months ago is that she mentioned if you do an interview or a real stakeholder or user interview, just ask them questions and don’t make a conversation out of it. How do you work with that? How does this resonate with you? I agree. So.

Sander (33:39.734)
So I own a learning and development company and whenever I work with our facilitators, one thing they hear me say over and over again is there’s power in the pause. Ask the question and pause. And there’s so much power in that. And as a speaker, as a facilitator, really as a person, sometimes we get uncomfortable with that silence.

even within our own self, we can be uncomfortable in that silence. There’s power in that pause. That’s where the reflection happens. And that’s where you may get that deeper answer. And so there’s a communication tool and it’s the communication tool is called the pregnant pause. So I’m going to ask the question, you’re going to ask me a question I’m going to answer. And then you just sit, you sit and wait.

And in that pause, that may spark me to add something else. And so sometimes it’s not even the follow -up question. It’s the follow -up pause that gets the real heart of what we’re talking about. Yeah, because I like what you’re saying about people being uncomfortable with that silence. And I think that’s true for many people. Like there’s a silence. What should I do? And I’m going to fill it in myself to.

almost reflect on the other person what I think the answer should be. And therefore I’m guiding the conversation to where I as an interviewer would like the conversation to go rather than giving the other person the time to really reflect on their own thoughts to the process that’s going on within their head. So you’re taking away an opportunity if you fill out those conversations and fill in the blanks yourself. There’s a real opportunity with

if you’re looking at something like facilitation, if I’m asking a question and don’t get an answer immediately, and as the facilitator, I answer or move on or, you know, don’t be comfortable in that silence, then that sets a tone with the group of people that I’m working with of, oh, if we don’t answer, we’re going to move on anyways. Right. So it says, no, I’m giving you time to…

Sander (36:02.006)
You have to think about what goes on with the brain here. That’s time to hear a question, to digest the question, to think about an answer. Let’s be honest, we’re going to filter that answer. Is this something I want to say out loud? Is there a way I can shorten this? Do I want to include that detail, right? We’re asking all those questions very quickly and then give the response. That’s a lot for the brain to go through, especially if we’re asking a deeper question. We do that very quickly. If it’s…

what’s your favorite color? We can do that quickly. But if it’s a deeper question, there’s time to think about that. And so I want to make sure I’m giving the audience the ample amount of time. And I see that even within the team that I lead, the silence that I feel comfortable with, the amount of silence that I feel comfortable with, I find that the best answers come about five seconds after that. So.

I ask the question, I wait until I’m comfortable and then I have to tell myself, wait five more seconds. And that’s where I’ll get some great answers from the team. I’m going to try this today as well. Okay. I’m looking forward to it. What are you looking forward to most of it in this conference? Oh, you know, there’s some great sessions coming up. I’m wow. There’s, there’s several sessions coming up that I’m excited about to learn. There’s several on.

better collaboration within teams. I’m seeing some on different personalities within teams and how to work with those goes into collaboration. And you know what I’m most looking forward to here is the relationships. It’s been several years since I’ve been at Scan Agile. So this is a grand reunion for me. Last night we were able to go out to dinner and reconnect with some people I haven’t seen since the pandemic.

Since 2019 so it’s to me. It’s just a wonderful time to reunite with people and Some really insightful people and share hear their ideas that they’re sharing. Did you see skin agile grow over the years? Yes You know, it’s grown in numbers. It’s also grown in quality and grown in creativity So I’m seeing some of the things that they’re doing today of just to create a more

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immersive experience. They brought out some trees and some, I feel like we’re in the forest today. And so they’ve made it, you know, those are little things, but they do create a more immersive experience. So yes, I’ve seen it grow in numbers of people. It’s also grown in the quality and in the experience of a conference as well. I can definitely agree with that. I was here last year and just from year over year, I’ve seen, uh,

that too, but also the way that it’s being organized is something that I as a speaker really appreciate. Also the way that it’s being communicated is it’s clear. It’s nice. We’re taking care of really well as speakers. So I appreciate that. And also that we have to the opportunity to do these podcasts over here as well. It’s something that I really enjoy doing. Yeah. They’re really top notch. So shout out to the organizers. Shout out to the volunteers.

You know, some people say, you know, it takes a village. I think for things like this, it takes a small metropolis to make an event like this run smoothly. What’s a topic on a conference that you would see more, would like to see more, uh, been talked about that we discussed too little now in like the, the wide market right now.

You know, I think, what a great question. So topics that I am enthusiastic to see more of. I’m enthusiastic to see more conversations of how large seal companies are adjusting and adapting to the global marketplace. We’re seeing the world is changing quickly.

And so we’re seeing that from a business side organizations changing. I’d like to see some more case studies, some more stories of how businesses are doing that well. I’d also love to see, and what I am seeing more of is how to develop our talent for the future. We’re seeing more tools, more skills, more knowledge needed within our roles.

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now, evolving now at a faster pace than ever before. We think about the days where you learned one trade, one craft, and that was the way you did it for 30, 40 years. Those days were evolving. And so it’s such a wonderful opportunity as we’re creating new tools, we’re creating new approaches. I always say I reserve the right to be smarter tomorrow.

than I am today. And we’re reserving that right to be smarter and better than we were before. And so one topic that I’d love to see is how I see more of is how we are effectively developing our talent for this future workforce. How would you define talent? Because talent is something that I see is emerging as a term, but I’m a little bit afraid that talent is going to be like just

blindly being put out everywhere and everyone’s going to be called a talent as if it’s one of those participation trophies. So how would you define talent? Oh, great question. So talent, I would define. I mean, I think that everyone does have a talent that they’re applying. So whenever I talk about talent development, I’m talking about developing, call your KSAs, your knowledge, your skills and your abilities to most effectively do what you do in your role.

All right, so to be the best version of who you are. So whenever I talk about talent development, I’m talking about, we’re talking about upskilling or re -skilling. I’m gonna take the skills that I have and elevate them. I’m going to take the abilities that I have and be a better version than what they are now. And so whenever I’m talking about talent development, I’m talking about what are the knowledge, the skills and the abilities,

needed to do my job and how do I develop those to be better at my job? I love that. I love that. Maybe as a last question, not knowing who the next guest is going to be, what kind of question would you like me to ask them? Oh, not knowing who the next guest is going to be. I want you to ask them.

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I want you to ask them over the last year, how have you grown? Over the last year, what has been your biggest learning lesson? All right. All right. I’m going to write that down as soon as possible and I’m going to bring that to our next guest. Amber, thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure to be here.

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All right. Good.