The Law Of Raspberry Jam
Entering Systems

Entering Systems

June 13, 2019

As consultants we both enter new systems on a regular basis. But even if you are working in a company, any time you interact with a new group, you are entering that system, and you will have an impact on that group. The thing is, because you are new, you don’t know what has happened before you got there, what the struggles have been, what the norms are.  So it is useful to enter with clarity about your own intentions, and a clear commitment to understand who the group was before you. As a newcomer, you are looking at the group with fresh eyes. Your insights are more likely to be accepted, if you stand in curiosity, rather than judgement.


In this episode we’re shifting focus a bit--but still, we come back to questions. The questions that we ask ourselves, and some that you might ask for self-reflection.


Sign up to our newsletter on our website to download our episode notes and reflection questions.

Asking Better Questions - Assumptions

Asking Better Questions - Assumptions

May 13, 2019

Our third and final episode (for now) about asking better questions is finally out! In it we talk about the assumptions embedded in questions. We all make assumptions, based on our view of the world, our background, and other factors. Becoming aware of our own assumptions can help us ask better questions. Becoming aware of others’ assumptions can help us understand how others see the world. When we can identify assumptions, we can examine them, test them, and arrive at a shared understanding.

Click here to download the Questions and Assumptions, and Homework mentioned in this episode.

Asking Better Questions - How Different Structures Of Questions Function

Asking Better Questions - How Different Structures Of Questions Function

April 13, 2019

For the most part, we've learned how to ask questions from the way people have asked us questions, but also through observing and imitating our parents, teachers, and other people in authoritative positions. Very often the question we are asked in school have a right answer, they are closed or multiple choice which is a variation of a closed question. As a result, our questions are often not nearly as effective as they can be and in this episode, we explore the structure of questions and how the structure impacts their usefulness or effectiveness. We also discuss the scope of a question and how that can either empower or disempower the team or people we ask the questions too.

We've created a short download with example questions. Sign-up to our newsletter on our website to download it.


Asking Better Questions - Intentions

Asking Better Questions - Intentions

March 13, 2019

The questions we ask determine the answers we get--obviously. Being aware of sort of answers your questions are likely to illicit (which we call intentions) increase your ability to choose questions that will help groups think clearly and solve problems.

In this episode, the first in a series of episodes about asking better questions, we go through 9 different intentions that we’ve found helpful when working with groups.

We've also created Question Intentions Worksheet in which we list and describe intentions and give several examples of them. Sign up to our newsletter on our website to download them.

System Constraints and De-constraints

System Constraints and De-constraints

February 13, 2019

Adding and removing constraints impacts patterns and performance. Too many constraints limit people from taking action and collaborating which is usually the opposite of what organizations want. But with too few constraints we get flailing. Or? Do we? That's what we talk about in this episode--what if we got it all wrong and our job is mostly about removing constraints?

5 Tips That Will Help You Improve Your Agile Retrospectives

5 Tips That Will Help You Improve Your Agile Retrospectives

December 3, 2018

Our third episode is about agile retrospectives. Super exciting given that Esther co-authored the first book on them. In this episode, we talk about the 5 stage retrospective format, the difference between subjective and objective data, and we give you 5 tips on what you can do to improve your retrospectives.

Content mentioned in the episode.

  1. The discount code to Esther's online course: LAWOFJAM (20% discount)

    1. To read more about the course visit
  2. Books about retrospectives
    1. Agile Retrospectives - Esther Derby and Diana Larsen
    2. 50 quick ideas to improve your retrospectives - Ben Williams and Tom Roden
  3. Websites with Retrospective tips and inspiration
    1. Retrospective Techniques Trello Board
    2. Coaching Agile Slack Channel
    3. Retromat
    4. Fun retrospectives
    5. Tasty Cupcakes


How Agile Might Evolve In The Close Future - With Yassal Sundman

How Agile Might Evolve In The Close Future - With Yassal Sundman

October 29, 2018

In our second episode, we are guested by our friend Yassal Sundman, a consultant at Crisp AB. Together we explore what comes next, after agile, and how agile may evolve in the close future.

Being A Beginner At Anything Increases Your Empathy

Being A Beginner At Anything Increases Your Empathy

September 8, 2018

In our first episode, I interview Esther about a recent art class she took and how it reminded her of how being a beginner at something increases your empathy. We talk about what empathy is, why it's important, and give you tips on how you can increase your empathy and make it easier to access it.

Tips mentioned in this episode:


Amy Edmodnson - Psychological safety

Brene Brown - Vulnerabiltiy


Self-reflection questions 

How might this look to someone else?

How would you see things if you were in their position?



Reading fiction increases your empathy

Virginia Satir - Coping Stances

Getting to know each other exercises like Journey Lines, Market Of Skills, etc