Mad City Agility Conference 2021

AugUST 17th, 2021


Rock stars get tired on tours but they always take the stage. Mentally and physically exhausted - they still perform. Change agents are very similar. We keep pushing and challenge our organizations to be better. Are you a boat rocker? Are you a rock star?

Join us as we have agile rock stars take the stage this year for Mad City Agility 2021!

Let’s ROCK the boat!


Modern Management: Adapt How You Lead for Agile Success

Joe Justice

SWITCH: How to switch your entire organization to agile

Johanna Rothman

Modern Management: Adapt How You Lead for Agile Success

Karin Tenelius

Breaking the hierarchical dynamics and creating a culture of trust and openness

Robin Zander

Lessons Learned Building a Responsive Café


9:00 am - Kickoff

9:15 am to 10:15 am - Joe Justice - SWITCH: How to switch your entire organization to agile

10:15 am to 10:35 am - Break and Music

10:35 am to 11:35 am - Johanna Rothman - Modern Management: Adapt How You Lead for Agile Success

11:35 am to 1:00 am - Lunch

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm - Robin Zander - Lessions Learned Building a Responsive Café

2:00 pm to 2:20 pm - Break and Music

2:20 pm to 3:20 pm- Karin Tenelius - Breaking the hierarchical dynamics and creating a culture of trust and openness

*All times in Central Time Zone - United States and Canada

Speaker Bios

Karin Tenelus

Keynote speaker Karin Tenelius has been experimenting with employee-driven organisations and self-managing teams since the nineties. While studying marketing in her twenties, Karin became interested in a leadership style that is not founded on hierarchical principles. She studied books by Ricardo Semler and became inspired by these ideas. In 1999, she got the opportunity to try the ideas in practice. Astonished by the power and capacity that arose in her co-workers, she saw how effective this way of working is and what incredible results come out of it.

Several businesses in deep financial troubles were turned around in a very short time by this way of leading and organizing. She founded a company – Tuff Leadership Training – to provide training in the skills needed to succeed for managers who wanted to lead in a more co-worker involving way. But that was not enough to change the mutual “stuckness” in hierarchical organizing, so to produce more material of evidence she started to acquire and build more businesses in different sectors, run in an employee-driven way. Her entrepreneurship is driven by a strong vision to contribute to the change of society, focusing on creating workplaces that works for people and take out the best in them. In 2020, the book Moose Heads on the table – Stories about Self-Managed Organisations came out, co-authored by Karin Tenelius and Lisa Gill.

Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” offers frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams do reasonable things that work. Equipped with that knowledge, they can decide how to adapt their product development.

With her trademark practicality and humor, Johanna is the author of 18 books about many aspects of product development. She’s written these books:

  • Modern Management Made Easy series: Practical Ways to Manage Yourself; Practical Ways to Lead and Serve (Manage) Others; Practical Ways to Lead an Innovative Organization

  • Become a Successful Consultant: Advise, Influence, and Serve Clients for Mutual Profit

  • Write a Conference Proposal the Conference Wants and Accepts

  • From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams (with Mark Kilby)

  • Create Your Successful Agile Project: Collaborate, Measure, Estimate, Deliver

  • Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization

  • Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects, 2nd edition

  • Project Portfolio Tips: Twelve Ideas for Focusing on the Work You Need to Start & Finish

  • Diving for Hidden Treasures: Finding the Value in Your Project Portfolio (with Jutta Eckstein)

  • Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Project Schedule or Cost

  • Manage Your Job Search

  • Hiring Geeks That Fit

  • The 2008 Jolt Productivity award-winning Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management

  • Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (with Esther Derby)

In addition to articles and columns on various sites, Johanna writes the Managing Product Development blog on her web site,, as well as a personal blog on

Joe Justice

I was introduced to Agile and Scrum management in 2005. In 2006 I founded WIKISPEED as a road legal automotive company, which received global press for using agile methods in hardware development and fabrication. My work with WIKISPEED created the modern field of Agile Hardware management and Justice’s Law, “The modules of the project create the structure of the company”. I was recruited to work on a Scrum team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2008, commuting weekly by airplane for two years prior to and moving to Seattle, WA, USA with my wife in 2010. I did attend meetings directly with Bill Gates where I learned his perspective on parallel execution in management.

In 2019 I moved to Tokyo, Japan, to open the offices of Scrum Inc. Japan which commenced operations April 1st. I formed the Agile Business Institute in 2019 and assumed the role of Chair of the Board. In 2020 I broke ground for an agile factory in Rosamond, CA, USA. In October 2020 Ai Kuwabara and I filed for divorce.

I currently lead the Agile Business Institute (Seattle, WA, USA, with operations globally) as Chair of the Board. I currently operate WIKISPEED Inc. as a nonprofit organization (Seattle, WA, USA, with operations globally).

Robin Zander

Robin P. Zander is an entrepreneur, strategist and bestselling author. With 15 years of experience in everything from management consulting to the circus, he has devoted his life and career to working with individuals and companies to improve and accelerate performance.

Robin is the founder and CEO of Zander Media, a creative shop that makes irresistible explainer videos. He is also the executive director of Responsive Conference, an annual industry event about the future of work.

Robin is the author of two books: “Responsive: What It Takes To Create A Thriving Organization” and “How To Do A Handstand,” a national bestseller in Japan.

Through his podcast, The Robin Zander Show, Robin interviews exceptional performers from across industries to understand how individuals and organizations can accelerate change.

Learn more:


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Meet Your Organizers

What makes Chad and Jeff rock stars?

Chad Beier

Chad started a YouTube channel of Agile and Scrum Parody songs to fulfull his lifelong dream of being an actual rockstar in a rock band. (This is the closest he'll ever get.)

Jeff Bubolz

Jeff is co-host of The Agile Wire Podcast where he routinely interviews the rock star authors and thought leaders in the Agile community and beyond.

Chad Beier

Chad is an organizational agility advisor and external change agent with and Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) with He promotes organizational agility and positive pressure for change through speaking, advising, coaching, and training.

His first experience with "agile", Scrum specifically, was in 2005 on a global transformation team responsible for software customizations driven by a global consolidation of accounting software. He ran into typical implementation challenges and organizational impediments.

Around 2012, his passion for lean, agile, and continuous improvement grew. He left his traditional business analyst and project manager roles behind and evolved into an internal change agent kickstarting an agile transformation. Now in an advising role as an external change agent across many organizations, he promotes organizational agility and positive pressure for change.

In addition to speaking at conferences across the United States, Chad is active in the Wisconsin agile community - organizing meetups in multiple regions (Mad City Agility and Central Wisconsin Agile) and founder of the Mad City Agility Conference.

Jeff Bubolz

Jeff is a Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) with, organizational agility advisor and speaker. He has been a Product Owner, Scrum Master and Development Team member and has worked with companies ranging from enterprise to small start-ups.

While working with many teams across many companies Jeff has found that most problems are not technology problems, but are organizational structure, process, and people problems. Jeff brings storytelling, a broad array of experience, along with a collaborative approach to teaching and speaking.

Jeff is the co-host of The Agile Wire podcast where he speaks with industry leaders around the world. He also speaks at conferences across the United States. Jeff is active in the Wisconsin agile community - organizing meetups in multiple regions (Mad City Agility and Central Wisconsin Agile) and founder of the Mad City Agility Conference.


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