Peter Drucker Forum 2013: “How Should Leaders Embrace Complexity?” panel contribution by Harvey Wheaton


During the last session of the 5th Global Peter Drucker Forum, Harvey Wheaton, chairman at the board of Scrum Alliance, the largest, most established, influential professional membership organization in the Agile world.  As a nonprofit, membership organization with a growing community of more than 250,000 members worldwide, Scrum allows teams to deliver products in short cycles, enabling fast feedback, continual improvement, and rapid adaptation to change in particular in the area of software development.

Harvey Wheaton brought in some practical observations from a company of 100 people. He states that the work that they do is complex and challenging, however, the leader’s job is simple. As a leader you are dealing with people and people simply want to be treated like people.

“Not everybody flocks to work in a morning so it is the job of a leader to create an environment which gives them purpose.”


Check all post conference material here.

As a leader you should start by talking about the culture that you want. Even if you do not define your culture, you will get it anyway, however, it is better to define it. It is impossible for a leader to control what everyone does each day. At Scrum Alliance they have embraced agile values around loyal employees and have given the employees the room to get on with what they do. This is a difficult task, as many managers have problems letting go. However they discovered that using these values meant that people in the company started moving to where they we needed in the company. This flexibility may scare managers, yet can create a great deal of innovation.


Access all GlobalEd conference articles here.


wheatonharvey_170pxHarvey Wheaton (US)

Chairman of the Board, Scrum Alliance

Harvey Wheaton has a passion for Project Management and has spent his career seeing first hand the highs and lows of software development – both as a software engineer and manager.  He has worked in a diverse range of industries with a wide variety of both waterfall and Agile methodologies and he credits the experiences as giving him a strong perspective on the challenges faced by project teams and managers.

Harvey is currently the Studio Director for Supermassive Games, a games development Studio working primarily on innovative, PlayStation-exclusive titles.  He had previously served as Director of Product Development for Criterion Games, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts as well as various development management positions within EA over 6 years.  Prior to working in games, Harvey’s career has encompassed manufacturing, public sector, consulting and finance businesses.

Based near London, Harvey is a strong advocate for Agile and Scrum within his organization.  He has been at the forefront of applying and promoting Scrum within a complex, highly creative environment for several years.  Harvey’s passion for Scrum is driven by his determination to continually improve how projects are run to deliver predictability and quality whilst ensuring every member on the team actively participates and enjoys the experience.

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