I started my career as a programmer, and over the years I’ve worn many hats, including business owner, internal consultant and manager. From all these perspectives, one thing became clear: our level of individual, team and company success was deeply impacted by our work environment and organizational dynamics. As a result, I have spent the last twenty-five years helping companies design their environment, culture, and human dynamics for optimum success.
How your company ‘s values are reflected in your environment, your culture and organizational dynamics, directly determines the quality and level of your success. When your company environment, culture and organizational dynamics are positive, mutually receptive and reinforcing, your people, and teams have the capacity to achieve great things.
I help your teams and management understand what’s working and where there are contradictions that sap productivity and stifle innovation. We explore how best to maximize your capacity for achievement by eliminating wasted effort, politics, cynicism, and fear. Together, we achieve a holistic view of your organization, and design your environment to directly enable, support and sustain your agile success, now and into the future.
I’ve written over 100 articles, and co-authored two books–Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great and Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management. I write about management, leadership, collaboration, organizations and change (or another topic I’m currently exploring).
If you’d like to get a taste of how I approach things, many of my articles are posted on this site. Head on over to the Articles Table of Contents to find articles from my newsletter, insights, some of my favorite blog posts, and articles that have been published in various print and on-line magazines.
I teach workshops and talk to groups all over the world. I’ve taught in the US, Canada, Sweden, Finland, France, England, China, India, and New Zealand. If your country is missing from this list, we can fix that.
Along the way, I helped found the AYE Conference, and I’m now serving my second term as a member of the Board of Directors for the Agile Alliance. I was also was one of the three original founders of the Scrum Alliance.
I’ve learned a lot about how organizations work through observation and action research. But I’ve got academic credentials, too. I hold an MA in Organizational Leadership and a certificate in Human System Dynamics.
“I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking advice on how to successfully manage a team. In particular I would say that anyone who wants to improve their ability to ‘nip conflict in the bud’ and forge positive working relationships should not hesitate to get in touch.” - Robert Fitzmaurice
“Esther Derby is a talented writer, facilitator, and consultant. She uniquely understands the complexities around technology and people. But perhaps more impressively, she can clearly communicate the issues and solutions in a practical way that helps leaders navigate those complexities. I highly recommend Esther for your organization!” – Andy Kaufman
“Esther is a terrific teacher, facilitator, consultant, and human being. She does so many things well, you’ll want to check her profile whenever you want to improve your software process.” – Jerry Weinberg
“Esther’s ability to listen and seek out client’s true needs is one of her greatest strengths.” - Becky Winant
“Esther conducted a refreshing, insightful, and very useful retrospective for our project team. She has a gift for listening, perceiving issues, and bringing out ways to improve processes. Our subsequent projects enjoyed concrete benefits in cost savings–as well as in team morale–as a result of the retrospective workshop that Esther conducted for us.” - Robert Rose-Coutre
“This is the BEST training/learning experience. Everyone should attend, not just leaders of Agile teams.” - Catherine S. Castner
“A workshop that teaches you the principles behind team dynamics and actionable techniques your entire team could benefit from.” - Victor Szalvay
“An enlightening class where secrets are revealed to improve your teams and yourself.” - Marty Bland
“Well worth the time and effort–a must experience workshop for anyone who manages other people.” - Ron Logan
“Anyone managing people needs to take the workshop to improve your one-one relationships with your employees (a business’ most important asset).” - Jim