Interview with Hendrik Esser

Interview with Hendrik Esser

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

I am Henrik Esser and I am working as Manager for Special Project at Ericsson. I have more than 20 years of leadership experience in product development, leading small (20 people) to very large (>7000 people) organizations. I am one of the drivers of Ericsson’s enterprise transition. Outside the company I also work as voluntary program director for the Agile Alliance’s Supporting Agile Adoption initiative and I am a frequent speaker at international conferences and company events.


Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?

I will talk about experiences with the agile transformation at Ericsson. The company is very large and I have seen a lot of things over the years. Working for the Agile Alliance I have met a lot of people from other companies and I see many having similar challenges. So I want to share what we have found: what worked for us, how we approached a successful transformation and also what problems we faced and how we coped with them.


Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session?

Participants will hear about experiences I made myself working in a large transformation over more than 10 years. So they will get a realistic and unfiltered view on how a transformation can be approached and how it can be kept “on track”. I will especially share how we managed to not only spread agile practices, but also an agile mindset – maybe one of the biggest issues in many enterprises.


Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organisations that are transitioning to agile?

Come to my talk and you will hear about that 🙂


Q: How do you see the evolution of agile in the future?

When you start with an agile transformation, you of course are not yet an agile master. So usually we take things quite black-and-white in the beginning. Also usually we start in our product development organizations. Over the course of time we more and more understand the nature of agility and we become able to see the nuances. That helps us to address the wider organization and even your market eco-system. I see an evolution not maybe so much in Agile, but rather in using an agile mindset and world-view as a base to take further steps. There is a lot going on in regards to agile HR and organizational design as well as how to evolve a company and build strategies in an uncertain, sometimes disruptive environment.


Q: You have given many interviews/presentations about agile. Is there a question you wish to have been asked but no one ever asked you?

I have been asked and discussed a lot of questions with a lot of people. I am always hoping for questions, that I couldn’t think of myself and that surprise me. Those are the ones, that make me think, learn and grow. And when I learn something I am always trying to convey that to other people.

Nikos Batsios