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Curriculum

Vit
rob@robgibson.me
+61.433.919.576
http://robgibson.me
current as of November 2016

The Pitch

Consultants are a nightmare.

They spout jargon while they try to convince you of their proprietary methodology and create more
work.
And when you hit those innovation and strategy problems, culture or engagement issues, or impossible
IT projects on fire it seems there's no choice. The upside of a solution is huge. And your staff can't
match the years of battle scars, expertise and perspective.
And yet the thought of a fleet of suits coming in armed with their narrowly focused tools and processes,
multiplying as they complicate the hell out of everything makes you want to whimper.
If there was a single resourceful professional who could handle the messiness of people issues, the
intricacies of technology and the pragmatics of business, then you'd get that upside without the pain
and expense of a typical consultancy.

You'd just have to find him.

ve
a
h
u
yo
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rob gibson curriculum vit

Rundown

TrueSpace
3P Learning
SAP
Telstra
Australian Defence Forces
National Australia Bank
Civica
Macquarie Bank
The GAP
Countrywide
Stanford University
ThoughtWorks AU
Caterpillar
Cacheon
US Interactive
Pagemart
Helix
Swedish Railways
Motorola
Continental Power Exchange
Western Asset Management
Republic Indemnity
The Capital Group
Sydney Stock Exchange

2017

2015
2010
2005
2000
1995
1990

film-making

creative processes
wicked problems
typography

tequila
design thinking

value stream mapping


neuroscience
ruby
NLP
lean
EQ
agile
python
biomimicry
XP
PHP
flowscapes
java
memetics
storytelling
fractal theory
design patterns

smalltalk
chaos theory
psychology
FORTH
design

philosophy
assembler

rob gibson curriculum vit

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Australian Gilt Securities


Post Zentrum Mlligen

1985
1982

Programming Language
Methodology
Framework
Field

AV Services
Gareth Powell Publishing
ABC Car Rentals
Lets Play

Business Strategy
Organisational Change
Training / Coaching

IT Strategy

Systems Architecture
Coding

Character
Bueno Aires
Rio de Janiero

> ok

Santiago

I LEARNED TO THINK AND CODE


FROM SMALLTALK & FORTH
Panama City
Columbus

Mexico City
Dallas

New York

BOOKS THAT SHAPED MY BRAIN

Berlin

Paris

Victoria

Stockholm

Casablanca

Ive lived here


I worked / stayed here
Its on my list

San Francisco

Chicago

London
Barcelona

Los Angeles

Tempere
Moscow
Zrich

Capetown

Istanbul

Tokyo

Kathmandu

Seoul
Shanghai

Bangalore
Zanzibar

IM WRITING A COOK-BOOK:
BLOWTORCH, BLENDER & BBQ

Hanoi

Pune
Darwin

Singapore
Perth

Sydney
Adelaide
Melbourne

MY PERFEC T FLIGHT OF TEQUILA

miscellany

I speak human, so I never say things like customer-infused retailing.

Coriander: I hate it. Almost as much as I hate arbitrariness.

My memory is excellent and intermittently phonographic.

Im obsessed with movies. I have trained in voice-over performance and film-making.

The sea is in my blood: half of my life Ive lived by the beach. Someday I will live on a boat.

Paperwork is my kryptonite.

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rob gibson curriculum vit

Back Story
I was a hardcore hacker: Motorola's Iridium Project, JP Morgan

Chase, the Human Genome Project, Swedish Railways, the Stanford


Linear Accelerator. I coded in Smalltalk for 13 years, FORTH for 8.
Also in Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, COBOL and Assembler et al. My
Ward Number is 2. Kent Beck personally certified me in XP.
I've been around: from JP Morgan to Greenpeace, from Stanford to
startups. Industries? Scientific, Research, Telecommunications,
Utilities, Banking, Education, Entertainment, Financial Services,
Manufacturing, Medical, Nonprofit & Publishing. Macquarie Bank
entrusted a whole department to me for 6 months (and I was a
consultant.)
I've presented and trained all over the world. At the behest of the

CEO, I trained the ThoughtWorks Australia offices in Agile in


2003/4, and created their first Lean SD training courses. Ive taught
Design Thinking internationally for SAP.
But tech is just an accelerant. An enabler. To get the most out of it

you have to really understand what its trying to achieve and for who.
You have to really understand business and you have to know what
makes people tick. Developers. Leaders. Customers. Stakeholders.
And to be able to bridge the gaps between them so they work together
instead of at odds.
So in the last few decades Ive spent as much time in the boardroom
as in the trenches, working with c-suite to realise their strategy,

coaching them in how to be better leaders and create amazing cultures.


And Ive spent endless hours studying philosophy and psychology to
get a handle on the human side of the equation, coaching individuals
and teams in how to better work done faster and have a better time
doing it.
I was there at the beginning of the Agile, Design Patterns, Lean and
Design Thinking movements. Wicked Problems is nextworking at
the edge of a whole new field of thinking. In fact, the Wicked
Problems problem framework I helped develop is now being cited in
other texts.
So now I combine them all. I work at the nexus of technology and

people and business to create great work that inspires people and
makes businesses sing.
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rob gibson curriculum vit

I work at the

nexus of

technology
and people

and business
to create great

work that

inspires
people and

makes

businesses

sing.

Credits
2007-2016
Brief: Brought in to repair damaged IT Biz dynamic, accelerate

development team and coach leadership.

I was later asked to stand-in as


Head of Product for some time.

Outcome: Major improvements. Agile, Kanban & Design Thinking

installed. 2nd largest tech IPO in Australian history to-date.

Brief: Train global SAP staff in Design Thinking.


Outcome: Contributed to courseware. Trained hundreds of staff on 5

continents, culminating in running a DT strategy workshop with 120+


participants at SAPs annual global conference in Barcelona.

Brief: Deliver chairmans first priority, APRA-mandated, media-

visible, doomed and utterly paralysed 17-person project.


Outcome: Released project 10 weeks early with 5-person team.

Minimal overhead, happy team. System still in use last time I looked.

Brief: Ran a Lean Value Stream Improvement on an agonising

finance-product release process with an internal cross-functional team.


Outcome: Cost reduction of 80%. Revenue increase of 150%.

Im not making these numbers


up I have witnesses. None of
us could believe it. This is why
I'm still a VSI convert to this day.

Company-wide roll-out. ROI for my time approximately redonkulous.

Brief: Managed one of Macquaries IT department for 6 months as a

safe pair of hands until new a new leader could be hired. (6 months).
Outcome: Installed a Lean project portfolio process. Massively

reduced project churn. Improved visibility. Business/IT reconciled.


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rob gibson curriculum vit

I was a consultant when I did


this, not an employee.
Management isnt really my bag,
so I used it as a platform for
coaching and improvement.

Credits
2002-200

ThoughtWorks.
CHANGE CONSULTANT

As Change Consultant, ran organisational transformation projects,


typically introducing Agile and Lean processes. Eg:

Usually I work independently,


but during this period I was an
employee of ThoughtWorks, a
boutique global IT consultancy
with offices worldwide.

Nationwide Financial Services: (Columbus, Ohio) Permanently

changed clients software development practices, introducing


automated testing, new project chartering and management
processes.

JP Morgan Chase: (Wall Street) Co-trainer of JPMCs on-line

banking team in XP and Agile practices with Kent Beck. From


CMM 1 to CMM 3 in < 6 months.
PRACTICE LEAD

As Practice Lead, prime developer of ThoughtWorks Organisational


Transformation service offering: processes, collateral, presenting,
support, sales and coaching. Example project:

Reporting to ThoughtWorks CEO, relocated from U.S. to the


ThoughtWorks Australia offices for a year to train & develop
staff, manage engagement risk and ensure organisational growth.

Salvaging an at-risk multi-million dollar project. Significantly


increasing staff retention and morale nationwide. Defined the
baseline consulting methodology (still used), and training all
offices & staff, improving engagement quality.

ThoughtWorks CEO Roy Singham


later hailed this assignment as,
an unmitigated success.

CLIENT PRINCIPAL

As Client Principal, responsible for commercials, staffing, delivery


assurance and building relationships with marquee clients, i.e.:

Stanford University: (Menlo Park, California) Ran three projects

across Stanfords 20,000 person campus:


Coached a Stanford/ThoughtWorks team in Agile as they rewrote
Stanfords enterprise identity lifecycle management system.
Restructured Stanfords PMO, including reporting and processes.
Verified Stanfords administrative systems strategy.
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rob gibson curriculum vit

According to Stanfords CIO, this


release was, The smoothest
release in Stanford memory.

Credits
02

20
r
o
i
r
P

Corporate Architect - Mystery Start-up: (Silicon Valley) Day-to-day

management of engineering team, heavy-lifting architecture of parallel


processing & distributed computing framework. Dealing with investors.
Then the dot bomb dropped.
Consultant/Internal Process Improvement - US Interactive: (Los Angeles)

Through automation, Knowledge Management & Agile techniques,


compressed first phase of engagement by over 30% (saving several at-risk
engagements).

CIO Jim Letts later wrote, I wish


this had been my idea, but it
was Robs in his company
wide email.

Trainer/Systems Optimiser - Objectivity: (San Jose based, consulting in Europe

and US) Rescued giant US telecom carriers ailing real-time voicemail system
investigating, profiling and optimisation - in three days; increasing
performance 170%. Plus training/troubleshooting for customers such as: I2,
Swedish Railways and SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator: 1TB/hour ingest
rate!). And troubleshooting on Motorolas Iridium project.

Real-time CORBA orbsin Space!

Architect/ Trainer/Negotiator - Metro Water District: (Los Angeles & San

Francisco) Negotiated extensions to UBA (Utility Business Alliance)


standards with a bunch of politicos. That was hard. Trained team of 12, led
architecture team, designed and built prototype of real-time water treatment
QA system in < 3 months.
Technology Advisor - Human Genome Project: (Seattle, Washington) Advised

on technology and taxonomy/architecture foundation for allele-demographicmutation database sub-project (mapping allele mutation to socio-economic,
hereditary and environmental factors).
Architect and Operations Manager - Continental Power Exchange: (Los

Angeles) Designed and developed worlds first electricity trading system


running on a distributed object-oriented database. Provided front line client
support, maintained platform and wrote loads of code.
Programmer/Architect - Mystery Top 5 Global Investment Manager: (Orange

County, California) Sourced as one of international team of Smalltalk


Experts. Built Object-Relational database access layer: IBM OS2/
Presentation Manager through a 3270 terminal, CICS, an AS400 and DB2
on the back end. Insane. (It worked.)
Technology Consultant - Stock Exchange: (Sydney) Investigated and advised

on technology to replace the traders string-pegs-and-coloured-pieces-ofpaper for managing trades on the chaotic trading floor. After two days
advised ,leave them alone; no tech existing could compete with the
coloured pegs. President v. happy.
Mr. Fix-It - Greenpeace: (Perth) Volunteered for three months to set up
telecoms for Greenpeace office, Perth. Email, Fax, Bulletin board, etc. Didnt
have to wear a suit. Saved a whale.
And many more

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rob gibson curriculum vit

Foolish or not, Im always aiming


to put myself out of a job if its
in the clients best interests.

Epilogue
In case you didnt notice, Im very good at dealing with catastrophes
and cluster-fucks. If you have one or have a friend who does !
please get in touch.
Also get in touch if you need Agile, Lean or Design Thinking training,
consulting or coaching.
Or if you need consulting, facilitation or coaching on strategy,
culture, leadership or innovation. Anywhere that people, business
and technology intersect.

Theres a whole list of typical workshops and engagements people


hire me for on the website.

WAYS TO GET IN TOUCH WITH ME:

rob@robgibson.me
# +61 433 919 576
robgibson.me (website)
au.linkedin.com/in/flowscape
instagram.com/flowscape
vimeo.com/flowscape
twitter.com/flowscape

u?
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I he
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How

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rob gibson 2016