Based in Glasgow, Scotland, Valerie McLean believes that people, collaboration and communication can achieve amazing things. Currently spending her days as an agile coach and mum of one.

Weeknote 9 - Refreshed and Ready - or not!

Weeknote 9 - Refreshed and Ready - or not!

So I had a week off and spent it in a beautiful part of Scotland with my family. It was lovely and really gave me the reflection time I was needing after a crazy week and ahead of a really busy spell ahead. This week has been really good, lots of thought provoking conversations and an amazing meetup (as always). Read all about it...

What should I remember this week for?

Lean Agile Glasgow - First time speakers night

Word of the week:


Message of the week:

Take the leap, but don’t forget to look after yourself.

Who taught me something or really made me think this week?

My co-host at Lean Agile Glasgow, Chris. We spent a lot of time together this week getting the meetup together, the running order, the mode of collating feedback, organising refreshments… We had a lot of good chat, as ever. Anyway, one of those conversations got me thinking about the differences between communities and teams. I got myself in a bit of a state to be honest, going round in circles and completely overthinking it, but I think it is super interesting. If anyone knows of any research into the area, please let me know - I’d love to take some time over the next while (but after my crazy next few weeks!) to look into it further. 

Some of my new workmates. I saw a discussion happening at a white board and couldn’t help but go over to listen in. They were having a super interesting discussion about the difference between a product and a service. How making a switch from product to service minded ownership would mean a completely different experience for teams and customers. I only caught about 15 minutes of the conversation, but it was really thought provoking and opened my eyes a bit to the different mindset you would need in a service driven environment. Loved it.

Where did I find inspiration?

The group of people I’m working with just now are so energised and we are really looking to do good and make a difference together. It’s infectious and inspirational, makes you start to dream. :)

Chris and I at the new speakers night.  Thanks to new speaker  Craig  for the pic!

Chris and I at the new speakers night.

Thanks to new speaker Craig for the pic!

Lean Agile Glasgow this week was an absolute honour to be part of. We had a new speakers night, we invited people in our community to ‘Share their story’. Everybody has countless stories and I find that people often feel they have nothing interesting to say, so just don’t. We wanted to buck that trend. I was delighted that we had 8 new speakers over 7 talks and it was just incredible. The community we have here in Glasgow (and indeed Scotland too) is so willing to support each other and share their successes and failures, it’s inspirational for sure. The talks were all excellent, the nerves were barely visible and each speaker got amazing feedback. What a joy- I’m still buzzing now

What am I still trying to work out?

So for context - I play in a community wind band, Stewarton Winds. I have done for many years now. At our rehearsal on Thursday evening one of my fellow players asked me how I was and I said ‘not bad’. He then told me he was good and went on to describe a super busy day he’d had. It got me thinking - I’ve always thought of myself a really positive person - when did ‘not bad’ become an acceptable answer?


I’ve been busy it’s true, this year has brought motherhood, a company of my own and too many commitments in terms of organising meetups and speaking at conferences… It has all been great, don’t get me wrong, but I guess I need to take a bit of time for me and find the balance in my life that will make me say ‘good, thanks!’ instead of ‘not bad’.

I also have way too many conference talks to deliver in the next month - I’m slowly picking away at them but this week I had a confidence crisis. Two people suggested I ‘rubber duck it’. If anyone doesn’t know what this is and would like to know, just shout. It was only explained to me recently! Anyway, still lots of working out to do on those. I worked out my schedule and found the gaps this week, so that’s a start!

How can I be better next week?

I need to slow down! In my job, I say ‘slow down to speed up’. It actually works. It’s so frustrating how it can be so hard to practice what you preach.


Foo Fighters - Concrete and Gold


Still ‘Thinking in Systems’ - by Donella H. Meadows


All or Nothing (prime video) - we’re now on to the All Blacks season of this awesome documentary. Fascinating!

Weeknote 8 - A new chapter begins

Weeknote 8 - A new chapter begins