Luke Hohmann on Figure Skating, Innovation Games, and Participatory Budgeting | Humanizing Work ShowIn this episode, Peter and Richard talk with Luke Hohmann, best known as the creator of Innovation Games. We discuss how Luke moved from high-level figure skating into software development, how Innovation Games started, and what he’s doing now with his new company, FirstRoot, to bring participatory budgeting to schools.
Episode page: https://www.humanizingwork.com/luke-hohmann-on-figure-skating-innovation-games-and-participatory-budgeting/
Connect with Luke:
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02:57 Lessons Luke learned as a champion figure skater that shaped who he is today, including tenacity, persistence, analysis, retrospection, and how to peak at the right time.
08:43 How self-belief is not enough, and gratitude runs
10:50 How Luke got into computer programming, reinforcing loops of liking what we're good at and being good at what we like, and how that shapes great teams
12:30 Moving to Michigan and finding concentrations of talent
15:20 First full time job at EDS: "I worked my way from beneath the ground up"
18:20 From floor grub to VP in less than 10 years, a journey of gratitude, Dan O'Leary and Vern Olson
21:00 Turning around broken projects and inventing the precursors for Innovation Games
23:40 What Luke learned from Vern Olson: when not to work, the importance of celebrating
30:45 The distinction between the domains of being and of doing
31:21 Fit for purpose cultures: is your culture working for you?
32:20 How the agile community sometimes plays to small
34:00 Small retrospectives vs. large ones
35:25 Agile–being prepared to take advantage of changes in your context that you don't control
38:30 Shifting from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset
40:15 Building products should be fun
41:00 Dependencies are just code for broken collaboration
42:00 Luke corrects Peter on how they first met
44:00 Building trust through early delivery of value
45:00 Luke's experience founding Conteneo, a self-funded enterprise startup that was acquired by Scaled Agile in 2019
49:00 Top thee goals Luke had for how to lead First Root
56:10 What it means to take a growth posture
58:09 Believing in a mission
59:18 The precarious position of democracy in the U.S., and how real collaboration is an antidote to extremism
1:03:30 Luke's advice
Most agilists approach their work from a scarcity mindset. The reality is you have enough resources. What you have is an abundance of opportunity. Your job is to use the techniques that we have available to select the best opportunities.
In this episode, Peter and Richard talk with Luke Hohmann, best known as the creator of Innovation Games. We discuss how Luke moved from high-level figure skating into software development, how Innovation Games started, and what he’s doing now with his new company, FirstRoot, to bring participatory budgeting to schools.
- Connect with Luke: Twitter | FirstRoot Website | FirstRoot Curriculum
- Luke’s Books:
- More about Participatory Budgeting:
- City of San Jose Participatory Budgeting Overview: YouTube Video
- Luke as a champion figure skater: LA Times article
- Book about hostage rescue: On Wings of Eagles
- Kevin Rivette’s book about patents: Rembrandts in the Attic
- Forrester Articles on Serious Games:
- The economic impact of the racial wealth gap: McKinsey Report
- Tufts University study on state of democracy in U.S.: The Republic is Still at Risk
- More about “Teal Organizations”: