Keep Austin Agile Conference 2020
Nov 13, 2020, 9:00 AM CST
KAA Virtual Conference

Agile Austin is proud to present our first Virtual Keep Austin Agile! We've got three amazing speakers: Evan Leybourn, David Bland, and L. David Marquet — all there to help us in this fundraising event for two fantastic local non-profits: Good Work Austin and African American Youth Harvest Foundation. We are giving 100% of the donations to charity. If you don't want to donate, enter promo code for a free ticket: KAA 2020.  Learn more and register below!

Conference Agenda

9:00 am      Welcome
9:10 am      Evan Leybourn, Better Than Yesterday
10:05 am    David Bland, Testing Business Ideas
11:05 am    L. David Marquet, The New Playbook for Leaders
11:50 am    Close

Note: Times shown are in Central Standard Time



Presenter: Evan Leybourn, Founder and CEO of the Business Agility Institute

Business agility is a complex and multi-faceted concept spanning all aspects and interactions of an organizational system. With the single intention of finding ways to create an organization best able to fulfill its purpose (its customer), no matter what the future brings. It is a continuum, where the question is not whether you have it, but rather how much you have and is it enough. Regardless of the reason, an organization chooses to go down this path, the intention is to be better. And in today's society, we need better organizations. This means being better for customers through an overriding focus on meeting their real needs and creating positive experiences. Being better for employees through a foundation of respect, trust, and autonomy enabling them to work towards customer outcomes without coercion. And being better for society and contributing to a greater good. 

We live in a time when work, life, and society aren't separate concepts but inextricably intertwined. And in today's unpredictable economy, for organizations who understand and act on this, it can be the difference between thriving and merely surviving. However, defining business agility is not simple. There is no silver bullet or single framework, method, or system that can implement business agility - and, by definition, because an organization is a complex adaptive system, there can never be one. In most cases, even different business units need different approaches. Yet, while no two organizations follow the same journey, common patterns emerge. 

In this talk, together we will explore these patterns to better understand the characteristics of an agile organization. 

Speaker Bio

Evan is the Founder and CEO of the Business Agility Institute; an international membership body to both champion and support the next-generation of organizations. Companies that are agile, innovative and dynamic - perfectly designed to thrive in today’s unpredictable markets. His experience while holding senior leadership and board positions in both private industry and government has driven his work in business agility and he regularly speaks on these topics at local and international industry conferences. 


As well as leading the Business Agility Institute, Evan is also the author of Directing the Agile Organisation (2012) and #noprojects; a culture of continuous value (2018).



Presenter: David Bland, CEO and Founder of Precoil
David's slides for reference.

David J Bland and Alex Osterwalder observed a gap between sketching out an idea and finding practical ways to rapidly test it. They curated a list of experiments for people who are stuck making progress on their idea. In doing so, they adopted three major themes from design thinking. The first, desirability, describes whether or not people want the solution. The second, viability, illustrates if you can create a sustainable business with the solution. The third, feasibility, lays out the steps to run the infrastructure. In this talk, David gives an overview of how he works with agile teams in this fashion to iteratively de-risk their products.

Speaker Bio

David advises companies on how to find product-market fit using lean startup, design thinking and business model innovation. He’s the co-author of Testing Business Ideas with Alex Osterwalder. David pioneered GE FastWorks with Eric Ries, advised emerging product teams at Adobe and even mentored Toyota on lean startup practices. Before his transition into advising, David spent over 10 years of his career at technology startups. He stays connected to the startup scene through his work at Singularity University, Draper University, Backstage Capital and several other Silicon Valley accelerators.



Presenter: L. David Marquet, Author, Leadership is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say ... And What You Don't


In this Keynote, Based on the WSJ Bestseller Leadership is Language: The Hidden Power of What You Say ... And What You Don't, David Marquet explores the origins of our language at work, how it was shaped by the Industrial Age, and the language we want to use in its place. What is revealed is a pattern of six “plays” that leaders can run to optimally balance the work rhythm between thinking and doing.

Speaker Bio

Wall Street Journal bestselling author L. David Marquet imagines a work place where everyone engages and contributes their full intellectual capacity, a place where people are healthier and happier because they have more control over their work-a place where everyone is a leader.


A 1981 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Captain Marquet served in the U.S. submarine force for 28 years. After being assigned to command the nuclear powered submarine USS Santa Fe, then ranked last in retention and operational standing, he realized the traditional leadership approach of "take control, give orders," wouldn't work. He "turned the ship around" by treating the crew as leaders, not followers, and giving control, not taking control. This approach took the Santa Fe from "worst to first," achieving the highest retention and operational standings in the navy.


After David's departure from the ship, the Santa Fe continued to win awards and promoted a disproportionate number of officers and enlisted men to positions of increased responsibility, including ten subsequent submarine captains. Further, having been on the ship, Stephen R. Covey said it was the most empowering organization he'd ever seen and wrote about Captain Marquet's leadership practices in his book, The 8th Habit.


Captain Marquet is the author of Leadership is Language, Turn the Ship Around! and companion workbook, The Turn the Ship Around Workbook. Fortune magazine called the book the "best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution."


Captain Marquet retired from the Navy in 2009, and delivers the powerful Intent-Based Leadership message: that leadership is not for the select few at the top. In highly effective organizations, there are leaders at every level. David speaks to those who want to create empowering work environments that release the passion, initiative, and intellect of each person. His bold and highly effective framework is summarized as "give control, create leaders."


He lives in Florida, is an enthusiastic novice trail runner, and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Copy of aayhf_logo-small.png

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Platinum Sponsor

AV-logo-color (1) (5).png

Gold Sponsors


Please contact if you’re interested in sponsoring the conference.