Menlo Innovations 
Beginner level
Intermediate level
Value Stream 1 Engaged People

Build a workplace people love - just add joy

Tuesday, Oct. 20 Location Code
9:30am-10:30am Jr. Ballroom A/B, 3rd floor TP/01

Create an international team culture, unleash human energy and gain hoped-for results

Learn how to create an intentional, high-performance workplace culture marked by trust and joy; rigor and discipline stemming from a shared belief system; embrace change; achieve results you always knew were possible.


Explore what an intentionally joyful culture must choose as its focus, how workplace noise increases productivity and strategies for releasing human energy to achieve results you always knew were possible. Hear what joy looks and feels like and how it is organized. Discover how to ignite inspired employees, turning around an environment marked by a dedicated-but-demoralized workforce. Learn how to turn disillusionment back to joy, how rigor and discipline stem from a shared belief system and how transparency conquers fear. Understand how the disciplines including agile, lean and six sigma, when done well, are about building human relationships at the intersection of business and technology, between project management and software development/design and how quality can be a natural result of a team built on trust. Embrace change as you learn about the experience of a company served well by an intentional culture. Gain insights about the business of joy and participate in discussion about related culture, employee engagement and coaching/communication issues.


Custom software designed and built by Menlo Innovations is widely adopted and enjoyably used by its intended end users. Its mission is to end human suffering in the world as it relates to technology. The company achieves this goal through high-tech anthropology and paired programming in an intentional, open, collaborative and joyful environment. Passionate about sharing its culture and processes, Menlo Innovations offers workshops, books and tours to help others understand its methods. It has received numerous awards and honors including 2014 WorkBlu List of the Most Democratic Workplaces, Inc.’s 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America, 101 Brightest Companies to Work For-Metro Detroit and an Alfred P. Sloan award for excellence in workplace flexibility.

Speaker: James Goebel

As an MBA from Eastern Michigan, certified scrum master and certified project management professional (PMP), James Goebel has practiced software product development for more than 20 years as a developer, team leader, system architect, project manager practice director, executive coach and change agent. His work in a variety of environments—from two-employee start-ups to billion dollar organizations—prepared him to be a founding partner of Ann Arbor, Michigan's Menlo Innovations. Now $3.6 million and 50 employees later, Goebel has helped build a team that includes an extreme programming development team, usability design specialists, a quality assurance practice and formal project management.