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Session + Live Q&A

Lead with Speed

In this talk, I will share concrete examples about being in an organization optimized for cost & efficiency and the shift to optimizing for speed. I will talk about the leadership mindset shift required and how to still achieve cost and efficiency by leading with speed. This journey started for me at Nordstrom and I carried this philosophy into my roles at Starbucks, Nike and Zulily. I will share the similarities and differences in each role/context, but how the one thing stayed constant – leading with speed. 

Many of us face pressure from our organizations to “save money” and justify the cost of technology. I truly believe focusing on speed as the primary objective will deliver strong results, including managing costs. Some tactics I will share include:

  • Outcome based teams
  • Making all work visible
  • Limiting WIP
  • Understanding velocity and viscosity
  • Architecture/Standards Evolution (some amount of discipline enables speed/agility)
  • Myth busting (speed means sacrificing quality, only unicorns can focus on speed, cloud is more expensive and can’t be managed)


Courtney Kissler

CTO @zulily

Courtney Kissler joined Zulily in January 2021 as CTO and SVP of Technology. Previously she was Vice President Global Technology at Nike accountable for building a re-usable seamless platform to power Nike Direct to Consumer experiences, core commerce services, user services, consumer data...

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Wednesday Nov 3 / 12:10PM EDT (40 minutes)


Optimizing Your Organization for Speed


Organizational PatternsAgileContinuous DeliveryTeam Collaboration

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PANEL DISCUSSION + Live Q&A Leadership

Panel: Engineering Leadership Lessons for Improving Flow

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Sarah Wells

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