Autonomous teams require great managers

Room 4
17:40 - 18:40

Talk (60 min)

Autonomous teams are like unicorns; everyone talks about them, some know a bit about them, and some believe they have wings. Others are so sure they will issue unicorn certificates.

What is an autonomous team? Self-driven teams, autonomous teams, self-organised teams; the phenomenon has had many names since we began talking about it in the 1980s. Do we all mean the same thing, when this type of team is mentioned?

And what are the conditions for these teams to work? They need the right environment, the right framing, and the right leadership. Actually good leaders are not enough, you also need great managers.

In this talk Jakob and Gitte will share experiences of autonomous teams enabled by great managers, and share stories of where autonomy was damaging, and management did not live up to their task. They will talk about what to expect of a manager, and when to leave a team, when the manager does not live up to expectations.

Jakob Wolman

Jakob is a seasoned engineering leader with over 20 years of experience in building digital products. Drawing on experiences as a software developer, agile coach and engineering manager Jakob has created a big toolbox that he applies with a pragmatic mindset. He strongly believes in creating value for customers over implementing frameworks. Jakob is nerdy about leadership, and you will find him sharing ideas through conference talks and articles.

Gitte Klitgaard

Gitte is authentic, she will cut to the chase, and help people become themselves thereby reaching success. Her community contributions include organizing coach camps, and speaking at conferences, where she highlights and makes topics like mental health and psychological safety accessible. She creates safe and respectful environments at work and outside. She listens to and engages the more silent voices and minority groups.

As a woman with her own company working in tech, Gitte has had her fair share of people underestimating her; there is a reason she has a tattoo symbolizing the goddess Freja – a strong woman in a man’s world. As a friend said “you do not take any shit”. She has been called an activist in her fight for equity for all. In her spare time, Gitte collects LEGO and Yodas and keeps in touch with friends from all over the globe including some, she considers her second family. Gitte is owner of Native Wired and has lead change at companies like IBM, LEGO, and Spotify.