After a series of Agile Caravanserai conversations with the authors of the Agile Manifesto, it’s now time for something completely different! For the next several episodes, we’ll be pivoting to conversations with senior leaders in industry and also in the agile community.

Michael Carrel is the Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Marketing & Enterprise Growth Solutions at Nationwide Insurance.

I’ve been privileged to know Michael for 14 years. We first met in 2007 when we partnered with Michael and his amazing team of agile leaders including Tom Paider, Charlie Kennedy, Leah Wells and Kevin Fisher. The work they did resulted in an incredibly successful pilot agile transformation. Along with other pilots, it grew into a large-scale agile transformation under their visionary CIO Srini Koushik.

Our corporate world has always been rife with egotistic and authoritarian leaders who cause untold damage to their companies and their people. Michael and Nationwide in general have definitely marched to the beat of a different drummer. Along with his other executive peers, Michael models a refreshing and uplifting brand of humble, servant leadership. His style is quiet and commanding at the same time. Michael’s proteges have also become world-leading agilists in their own right.

Michael is a runner and an early riser, and that discipline and determination show in his work ethic and attention to detail. Over the years, Michael has applied agile methods to everything ranging from small projects to a large-scale implementation of the HR software Workday.

Today, as Nationwide moves decisively into a new era with many pandemic challenges, Michael is right there – this time at the helm of Marketing and Enterprise Growth IT.