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Design Patterns for Undefended Software Teams: It's never a Technical Problem with Daniel Ellenberg and Judith Bell

March  1 - 1, 2013
9:00 am - 1:00 pm


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Judith Bell

Design Patterns for Undefended Software Teams: It's never a Technical Problem with Daniel Ellenberg and Judith Bell

*This workshop occurs over a series of three Fridays*
March 1: Design Patterns for Undefended Software Teams
March 8: The Power of Clarity: Leaving the Assumption Warehouse
April 5: Resiliance Dynamics: Riding the Waves of Change.

About the Workshop

Let's face it: working in high tech demands intense focus and a constant need to innovate. The stakes are high. The problem is, even though the pressure can lead to creativity, it can also trigger massive stress.

The negative impact of repeated stress on the brain and on teams (that have these brains) is well researched and documented. For starters, ongoing stress literally shrinks our brains. Stress also breeds defensiveness. When the defensive center of the brain (the amygdala) triggers the fight-flight-freeze survival system, the intelligent capabilities of the prefrontal cortex go south... quickly.

When this emotional hijacking happens, you can forget about creativity and innovation. The results are predictable: bad moods, short tempers, higher tension, confusion, and delays on deliverables. No fun. The bottom line is that more often than not, software fails because of people problems, not technical problems.

In this workshop, you will learn a skillset that helps you shift your team out of toxic patterns. We'll discuss ideas and practices that can be applied immediately. You'll be able to ground these design patterns in practical day-to-day interactions.


  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness
  • Decrease bickering
  • Decrease mumble-f@#$ing
  • Recognize signs of defensiveness and stop the problems mid-stream
  • Use neuro-scientifically sound tools to change your emotional state
  • Use your new skills to help those around you
  • Increase your ability to engage more easily in important conversations that might be difficult
  • At the end of the day, feel good about how you behave

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About the Presenters

Daniel Ellenberg, PhD, is a principal in the Authentic Leadership Institute, an organizational trainer and consultant, and a psychologist. He has helped CEOs, VPs, managers, engineers, scientists, artists, and more realize that their greatest assets lay in their own curiosity, authenticity, and willingness to embrace change. He specializes in helping leaders craft and deliver their messages to individuals, teams and organizations. A primary focus is to help leaders recognize and act upon the critical success factors that turn unconscious assumptions and common misunderstandings into clear, precise, and productive conversations. His background in psychology, contemplative practices, neuroscience, and philosophy makes him uniquely qualified to help people gain a deeper, more effective understanding both of themselves and those they serve. He co-created and delivered a specially designed resilience training program for NASA to help its workforce survive and thrive during a crisis in organizational confidence. Daniel has coached leaders in companies such as NASA, Yahoo, Netscape, Oracle, ESPN, Power Vision, Adobe, Restoration Hardware, Autodesk, and Genentech.

Judith Bell, M.S., is the founder and president of Authentic Leadership Institute and consults with high performance teams internationally. She has created and delivered personal growth, team development, and organizational change seminars for over 30 years. By helping executives, managers, and staff understand themselves better and communicate more effectively, she helps create productive teams that have the skills to respond flexibly and rapidly to their changing environments.

In her consulting practice with intact, matrixed, cross functional, and virtual teams,, she is known for helping organizations find simple solutions to complex problems. Engineers and scientists seek her out to collaborate with them to apply so-called "soft skills" to tackle and resolve hard technical challenges.

She is one of the world's leading experts on FIRO Theory (from which FIRO B originated) and trains organizational consultants internationally. She provides training, consultation, and coaching for diverse organizations in high tech, manufacturing, government, education, and health care including NASA, Amdahl, Proctor and Gamble, and Bayer Schering Pharma.

California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103