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Does Your ScrumMaster Have Agile Intuition? (The Colonel Klink Test)

Growing up I used to watch reruns of the TV show Hogan’s Heroes, a comedy about a fictional Nazi P.O.W. camp (Stalag 13) that houses prisoners who assist the Allied war effort from within the camp.

In Season 2, Episode 8, “A Klink, a Bomb, and Short Fuse,” an unexploded Allied bomb lands in the middle of the camp. There is a scene in this episode where the bumbling Col. Klink, commandant of Stalag 13, the resourceful Col. Hogan, the ranking Allied prisoner, and the loveable, teddy-bear-like Sgt. Schultz are attempting to defuse the bomb.

Copyright © 1966 CBS and Bing Crosby Production.

The dialog at the point in the above picture is:

Hogan: “One of these wires disconnects the fuse and the other fires the bomb. Which one would you cut Shultz?”

Schultz: “Don’t ask me, this is a decision for an officer!”

Hogan: “Alright, which wire, Col. Klink?”

Klink: “This one.” (points to the white wire)

Hogan: “You’re sure?”

Klink: “Yes!” (definitively)

Hogan then cuts the black wire!

Klink: “If you knew which wire it was, why did you ask me?”

Hogan: “I wasn’t sure which was the right one, but I was certain you’d pick the wrong one!”

Intuition & Agility

I don’t claim to be an expert in the inner-workings of the human brain. I do however pride myself on being a thoughtful observer, and over the course of my life I have met people who...

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