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Can I trust what I can’t see?

(Building Successful Distributed Teams)
Mark Kilby
Feb 2017

LeanAgileUS 2017
Sold to Big Co.
early success
culture clash - 

7 layoffs
buy back
Sold to Mega Corp
Crushed It!

(with agile)
19991995 2001 20072003
Why did this work?
Satisfy the
Customer
Welcome
Change
Deliver
Frequently
Collaborate
Daily
Support & Trust
Motivated
Teams
Promote
Face-to-Face
Conversations
Measured by
Working
Software
Promote
Sustainable
Pace
Promote
Technical
Excellence
Maximize
Through
Simplicity
Have
Self-Organized
Teams
Reflect &
Adjust
Regularly
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
✓
Something missing?
more info at
http://remotelyagile.info / @mkilby
Satellite


one or a few remote
from team
Nebula whole team dispersed
Clusters
team in a
few locations
Back Channel - always have all
hailing frequencies open (chat);
someone should always monitor
Buddy System - each remote
person has a “buddy” in the
room to make sure they are
connected to the team
(paired communication)
Co-Pilot – someone at another
location that can help you
coordinate the whole team
(paired facilitation)
Developed different “safety procedures”
more info at http://remotelyagile.info / @mkilby
modernagile.org
Trust
Trust
among team

members
as an 

environment

built by leaders
To try: Who do you trust?
list who you trust at work
Bob
Judy
Fran
Harry
Laurie
Trenton
Matthew
Frank
Jody
Joseph
Tom
Terry
Adam
Alicia
Arthur
Anu
Manoj
Mark
Mary
Nancy
Mike
Xena
Thor
Pilar
Lisette
Mandy
Bill
David
keep space between columns
Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
rank those on your list 

who you trust the most
Bob
Judy
Fran
Harry
Laurie
Trenton
Matthew
Frank
Jody
Joseph
Tom
Terry
Adam
Alicia
Arthur
Anu
Manoj
Mark
Mary
Nancy
Mike
Xena
Thor
Pilar
Lisette
Mandy
Bill
David
1
5
3
4
2
10
6
7
8
11
9
23
12
13
14
17
15
25
26
27
22
24
21
17
16
19
20
18
Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
Flip the card over and draw concentric circles
Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
Place Numbers in the circles as follows …
Trust with
personal info
Trust with
sensitive info
Trust with a task
1
2
limited trust
3 4
5
87
9 10
11 12
13
14
15
16
17
18 19
21
20
22 23 24
25
26
27
Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
How can you bring people in to deeper trust?
1
2
3 4
5
87
9 10
11 12
13
14
15
16
17
18 19
21
20
22 23 24
25
26
27
Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
Trust
among team

members
as an 

environment

built by leaders
Trust among 

team members
Trust or
Trustworthiness?
C

O

M

P

E

T

E

N

C

E
H

O

N

E

S

T

Y
R

E

L

I

A

B

I

L

I

T

Y
Competence
Do I have what I need to
complete the work?
- Skills?
- Information?
- Time?
- Access to right people?
Honesty
Will I speak up when…
- I can get the work done?
- I cannot get it done in
time?
- I discover it’s more work
than I thought?
- I need help?
Reliable
- Will I …
- get the work done when I say I will?
- communicate timely updates on my progress?
- say "no" when I have too much work in progress?
- provide help when others ask?
Do/Will I?
Trust
among team

members
as an 

environment

built by leaders
Oxytocin
- reduces fear of trusting a stranger
- stress is an inhibitor
- revealed to have consistent relationship with trust
across industries and cultures
- could also be identified by certain organizational
characteristics
Does your org … ?
encourage Ovation?
eXpect achievable challenge?
Yield to employees to choose
how they work?
Transfer management of work
to employees?
encourage and model
Openness
support Caring
and encourage
relationships?
How many people are in your core circle?
1
2
3 4
5
87
9 10
11 12
13
14
15
16
17
18 19
21
20
22 23 24
25
26
27
Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
Invest in whole person 

growth?
Naturally vulnerable leaders?
Trustworthy organizations
- encourages Ovation
- has eXpectation of achievable
challenge
- Yield to employees for process
- Transfer management to
employees
- encourage Openness
- support Caring
- Invest in whole person
- Naturally vulnerable leaders
Trustworthy organizations
- encourages Ovation
- has eXpectation of achievable
challenge
- Yield to employees for process
- Transfer management to
employees
- encourage Openness
- support Caring
- Invest in whole person
- Naturally vulnerable leaders
- appreciations
- continuous improvement
- self-organization
- self-management
- transparency
- make safety a prerequisite
- make people awesome
- set vision & collaborate
Trusting I’ll wrap
this up on time…
Circles & Soup
from Diana Larsen http://www.futureworksconsulting.com/blog/2010/07/26/circles-and-soup/
If your team is facing multiple challenges, which
can they …
Challenge
Challenge
Challenge
Challenge
Challenge
Challenge
Challenge
Control
Influence
Respond

(the soup)
Challenge
Challenge
Challenge
From Exercise #1, copy numbers of people who
might be able to help
Challenge

(#9)
Challenge

(#1)
Challenge

(???)
Challenge

(#20,#22)
Challenge

(#3)
Challenge
(#18)
Challenge
(#5)
Control
Influence
Respond

(the soup)
Challenge
(???)
Challenge
(???) Challenge
(???)
VirtualTeamTalk.com
Thanks!
Questions?
more info at 

http://remotelyagile.info
http://markkilby.com 

mark@markkilby.com

@mkilby
References 

(in order of appearance)
- http://agilemanifestor.org
- http://remotelyagile.info
- http://modernagile.org
- John Sextro’s Circles of Trust exercise
- Audio recording - http://www.thisagilelife.com/119
- Slides - http://www.slideshare.net/JohnSextro/truth-transparency-and-trust
- Onora O’Neill - What we don’t understand about trust - June 2013 - TEDxHouseOfParliment - https://www.ted.com/talks/
onora_o_neill_what_we_don_t_understand_about_trust
- Mark Kilby - How to Demonstrate Trustworthiness: A Key Success Factor for Distributed Agile Teams - April 28, 2016 -
https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/328433/How-to-Demonstrate-Trustworthiness--A-Key-Success-Factor-for-
Distributed-Agile-Teams
- Paul J. Zak - Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies – January 17, 2017 - https://
www.amazon.com/Trust-Factor-Creating-High-Performance-Companies/dp/0814437664
- Paul J. Zak - The Neuroscience of Trust - Jan-Feb 2017; Harvard Business Review - https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-
neuroscience-of-trust
- Circles and Soup exercise by Diana Larsen - http://www.futureworksconsulting.com/blog/2010/07/26/circles-and-soup/
Photo credits (in order of appearance)
- dark boy. CCO. https://pixabay.com/en/black-and-white-black-
dark-boy-1476784/
- woman’s portrait. CCO. https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-
and-white-dark-portrait-79564/
- Red Jello mold. Public domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/
wiki/File:Food-Jelly.svg
- Upward Trend. CCO Public Domain. https://pixabay.com/
p-1015601/?no_redirect
- bucks. CCO Public Domain https://pixabay.com/p-1300389/?
no_redirect
- we’re getting the band back together http://memecrunch.com/
meme/P2V1/we-re-getting-the-band-back-together/image.jpg
- World map. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
International https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
File:A_large_blank_world_map_with_oceans_marked_in_blue-
edited.png
- agilemanifesto.org
- Satellite. Public Domain. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
File:Navstar-2F.jpg
- Crab Nebula. Public Domain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula#/media/
File:Crab_Nebula.jpg
- The Pleiades, an open star cluster. Public Domain. https://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_astronomical_objects#/media/
File:Pleiades_large.jpg
- Trust fall. no license stated. http://www.trustseals.com/tag/the-trust-fall/
- Onora O’Neill: What we don’t understand about trust CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0
https://www.ted.com/talks/
onora_o_neill_what_we_don_t_understand_about_trust
- National Capitol Columns. CC BY-SA 3.0. https://commons.wikimedia.org/
wiki/File:Three_in_a_row_-_National_Capitol_Columns.jpg
- My 2 sons in a Huey. Copyright 2017 Mark Kilby.
- Presidential Candidate Abe Lincoln. Copyright Adam Cuerden. Used with
permission. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thomas_Hicks_-
_Leopold_Grozelier_-_Presidential_Candidate_Abraham_Lincoln_1860_-
_cropped_to_lithographic_plate.jpg
- LNRR Old Reliable boxcar. CC BY-SA 3.0. https://commons.wikimedia.org/
wiki/File:LNRR_boxcar_Old_Reliable.jpg
Photo credits (in order of appearance)
- Interrogations in Jail. Public Domain. https://
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alessandro_Magnasco_-
_Interrogations_in_Jail_-_WGA13849.jpg
- Oxytocin. Public Domain. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
File:Oxytocin.svg
- Thanks for Playing the Game Show Show. Kevin Standlee.
CC BY-SA 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/
8638651@N07/7333199274
- Standing Ovation. U.S. Army CC BY 2.0. https://
www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/5677830325
- Range Rover in Iceland mountains. Tim Trad. CC0. https://
unsplash.com/photos/2gk6BDXSxlQ
- Sticker Mule Space Cat. CC0. https://unsplash.com/?
photo=FqkBXo2Nkq0
- Keep Exploring. Justin Lubke. CC0. https://unsplash.com/
photos/Gcl6jcB1r9g
- 91 Open Pictures, Corey Hodgson. CC0. https://
unsplash.com/search/open?photo=6WvIJF_gzi4
- Louisiana Tech coaching staff 1966 Creative Commons CC0
1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. https://
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
File:Louisiana_Tech_football_coaching_team_of_1966_IMG_
2015063_0001.jpg
- Old Harry Rocks (UK). CC0. Will van Wingerden. https://
unsplash.com/@willvanw?photo=cZVthlrnlnQ

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Do i trust what i can't see? Successful distributed teams - LeanAgileUS 2017

  • 1. Can I trust what I can’t see?
 (Building Successful Distributed Teams) Mark Kilby Feb 2017
 LeanAgileUS 2017
  • 2.
  • 3. Sold to Big Co. early success culture clash - 
 7 layoffs buy back Sold to Mega Corp Crushed It!
 (with agile) 19991995 2001 20072003
  • 4.
  • 5. Why did this work?
  • 6. Satisfy the Customer Welcome Change Deliver Frequently Collaborate Daily Support & Trust Motivated Teams Promote Face-to-Face Conversations Measured by Working Software Promote Sustainable Pace Promote Technical Excellence Maximize Through Simplicity Have Self-Organized Teams Reflect & Adjust Regularly ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Something missing?
  • 7. more info at http://remotelyagile.info / @mkilby Satellite 
 one or a few remote from team Nebula whole team dispersed Clusters team in a few locations
  • 8. Back Channel - always have all hailing frequencies open (chat); someone should always monitor Buddy System - each remote person has a “buddy” in the room to make sure they are connected to the team (paired communication) Co-Pilot – someone at another location that can help you coordinate the whole team (paired facilitation) Developed different “safety procedures” more info at http://remotelyagile.info / @mkilby
  • 10. Trust
  • 11. Trust among team
 members as an 
 environment
 built by leaders
  • 12. To try: Who do you trust?
  • 13. list who you trust at work Bob Judy Fran Harry Laurie Trenton Matthew Frank Jody Joseph Tom Terry Adam Alicia Arthur Anu Manoj Mark Mary Nancy Mike Xena Thor Pilar Lisette Mandy Bill David keep space between columns Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
  • 14. rank those on your list 
 who you trust the most Bob Judy Fran Harry Laurie Trenton Matthew Frank Jody Joseph Tom Terry Adam Alicia Arthur Anu Manoj Mark Mary Nancy Mike Xena Thor Pilar Lisette Mandy Bill David 1 5 3 4 2 10 6 7 8 11 9 23 12 13 14 17 15 25 26 27 22 24 21 17 16 19 20 18 Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
  • 15. Flip the card over and draw concentric circles Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
  • 16. Place Numbers in the circles as follows … Trust with personal info Trust with sensitive info Trust with a task 1 2 limited trust 3 4 5 87 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 20 22 23 24 25 26 27 Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
  • 17. How can you bring people in to deeper trust? 1 2 3 4 5 87 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 20 22 23 24 25 26 27 Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
  • 18. Trust among team
 members as an 
 environment
 built by leaders
  • 22. Competence Do I have what I need to complete the work? - Skills? - Information? - Time? - Access to right people?
  • 23. Honesty Will I speak up when… - I can get the work done? - I cannot get it done in time? - I discover it’s more work than I thought? - I need help?
  • 24. Reliable - Will I … - get the work done when I say I will? - communicate timely updates on my progress? - say "no" when I have too much work in progress? - provide help when others ask?
  • 26.
  • 27. Trust among team
 members as an 
 environment
 built by leaders
  • 28.
  • 29.
  • 30. Oxytocin - reduces fear of trusting a stranger - stress is an inhibitor - revealed to have consistent relationship with trust across industries and cultures - could also be identified by certain organizational characteristics
  • 31. Does your org … ?
  • 34. Yield to employees to choose how they work?
  • 35. Transfer management of work to employees?
  • 38. How many people are in your core circle? 1 2 3 4 5 87 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 20 22 23 24 25 26 27 Exercise courtesy of John Sextro of ThisAgileLife.com
  • 39. Invest in whole person 
 growth?
  • 41. Trustworthy organizations - encourages Ovation - has eXpectation of achievable challenge - Yield to employees for process - Transfer management to employees - encourage Openness - support Caring - Invest in whole person - Naturally vulnerable leaders
  • 42. Trustworthy organizations - encourages Ovation - has eXpectation of achievable challenge - Yield to employees for process - Transfer management to employees - encourage Openness - support Caring - Invest in whole person - Naturally vulnerable leaders - appreciations - continuous improvement - self-organization - self-management - transparency - make safety a prerequisite - make people awesome - set vision & collaborate
  • 43. Trusting I’ll wrap this up on time…
  • 44. Circles & Soup from Diana Larsen http://www.futureworksconsulting.com/blog/2010/07/26/circles-and-soup/
  • 45. If your team is facing multiple challenges, which can they … Challenge Challenge Challenge Challenge Challenge Challenge Challenge Control Influence Respond
 (the soup) Challenge Challenge Challenge
  • 46. From Exercise #1, copy numbers of people who might be able to help Challenge
 (#9) Challenge
 (#1) Challenge
 (???) Challenge
 (#20,#22) Challenge
 (#3) Challenge (#18) Challenge (#5) Control Influence Respond
 (the soup) Challenge (???) Challenge (???) Challenge (???)
  • 47.
  • 48.
  • 50. Thanks! Questions? more info at 
 http://remotelyagile.info http://markkilby.com 
 mark@markkilby.com
 @mkilby
  • 51. References 
 (in order of appearance) - http://agilemanifestor.org - http://remotelyagile.info - http://modernagile.org - John Sextro’s Circles of Trust exercise - Audio recording - http://www.thisagilelife.com/119 - Slides - http://www.slideshare.net/JohnSextro/truth-transparency-and-trust - Onora O’Neill - What we don’t understand about trust - June 2013 - TEDxHouseOfParliment - https://www.ted.com/talks/ onora_o_neill_what_we_don_t_understand_about_trust - Mark Kilby - How to Demonstrate Trustworthiness: A Key Success Factor for Distributed Agile Teams - April 28, 2016 - https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/328433/How-to-Demonstrate-Trustworthiness--A-Key-Success-Factor-for- Distributed-Agile-Teams - Paul J. Zak - Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies – January 17, 2017 - https:// www.amazon.com/Trust-Factor-Creating-High-Performance-Companies/dp/0814437664 - Paul J. Zak - The Neuroscience of Trust - Jan-Feb 2017; Harvard Business Review - https://hbr.org/2017/01/the- neuroscience-of-trust - Circles and Soup exercise by Diana Larsen - http://www.futureworksconsulting.com/blog/2010/07/26/circles-and-soup/
  • 52. Photo credits (in order of appearance) - dark boy. CCO. https://pixabay.com/en/black-and-white-black- dark-boy-1476784/ - woman’s portrait. CCO. https://www.pexels.com/photo/black- and-white-dark-portrait-79564/ - Red Jello mold. Public domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/File:Food-Jelly.svg - Upward Trend. CCO Public Domain. https://pixabay.com/ p-1015601/?no_redirect - bucks. CCO Public Domain https://pixabay.com/p-1300389/? no_redirect - we’re getting the band back together http://memecrunch.com/ meme/P2V1/we-re-getting-the-band-back-together/image.jpg - World map. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:A_large_blank_world_map_with_oceans_marked_in_blue- edited.png - agilemanifesto.org - Satellite. Public Domain. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Navstar-2F.jpg - Crab Nebula. Public Domain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula#/media/ File:Crab_Nebula.jpg - The Pleiades, an open star cluster. Public Domain. https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_astronomical_objects#/media/ File:Pleiades_large.jpg - Trust fall. no license stated. http://www.trustseals.com/tag/the-trust-fall/ - Onora O’Neill: What we don’t understand about trust CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 https://www.ted.com/talks/ onora_o_neill_what_we_don_t_understand_about_trust - National Capitol Columns. CC BY-SA 3.0. https://commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/File:Three_in_a_row_-_National_Capitol_Columns.jpg - My 2 sons in a Huey. Copyright 2017 Mark Kilby. - Presidential Candidate Abe Lincoln. Copyright Adam Cuerden. Used with permission. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thomas_Hicks_- _Leopold_Grozelier_-_Presidential_Candidate_Abraham_Lincoln_1860_- _cropped_to_lithographic_plate.jpg - LNRR Old Reliable boxcar. CC BY-SA 3.0. https://commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/File:LNRR_boxcar_Old_Reliable.jpg
  • 53. Photo credits (in order of appearance) - Interrogations in Jail. Public Domain. https:// commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alessandro_Magnasco_- _Interrogations_in_Jail_-_WGA13849.jpg - Oxytocin. Public Domain. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Oxytocin.svg - Thanks for Playing the Game Show Show. Kevin Standlee. CC BY-SA 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/ 8638651@N07/7333199274 - Standing Ovation. U.S. Army CC BY 2.0. https:// www.flickr.com/photos/familymwr/5677830325 - Range Rover in Iceland mountains. Tim Trad. CC0. https:// unsplash.com/photos/2gk6BDXSxlQ - Sticker Mule Space Cat. CC0. https://unsplash.com/? photo=FqkBXo2Nkq0 - Keep Exploring. Justin Lubke. CC0. https://unsplash.com/ photos/Gcl6jcB1r9g - 91 Open Pictures, Corey Hodgson. CC0. https:// unsplash.com/search/open?photo=6WvIJF_gzi4 - Louisiana Tech coaching staff 1966 Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. https:// commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Louisiana_Tech_football_coaching_team_of_1966_IMG_ 2015063_0001.jpg - Old Harry Rocks (UK). CC0. Will van Wingerden. https:// unsplash.com/@willvanw?photo=cZVthlrnlnQ