Your monkey (inner chimp) does most, if not all, of your thinking for you.
I’m so tired of books and articles that start something like:
“We live in times of unprecedented turbulence and uncertainty and we are losing faith in our ability to organise ourselves to deal with it.”
It’s such tosh. And please stop mentioning VUCA, too.
Nobody’s called me Ignaz yet…
What’s you gut reaction to the idea of “change”?
We’ll know for sure the Agile fad is over when more money is to be made by other means.
It’s close now.
Agile Expert, Deprecated
Are you an Agile Expert? Do your revenues depend on your Agile chops? Do you see the writing on the wall?
Newsflash: You’re as obsolete as a buggy-whip maker. Agile Main Street is closing. Your markets are shrinking. You’ll only be dealing with the laggards and bad-faith actors from now on.
As a player in technology markets, you know all about technology adoption curves. We’re fifteen years or more past the Chasm for Agile. And tech markets move much faster than FMCG, manufacturing and other such markets.
What’s the next technology curve where your existing cumulative assets can play best and earn the greatest margins? What legacy issues are holding you back? Are you another victim of the Sunk Cost fallacy? What new assets must you acquire to play well on the new curve? What actions must you take today to best position yourself for tomorrow? Times they are a’changing (as always). Are you changing with them?
And what resolutions do these questions bring to mind?
Common sense is distinctly uncommon. Especially in the technology industries.
(Props to Voltaire)
No, you can’t buy in to Agile without changing your thinking. Your OWN thinking. Can you buy that in?
Absent such change, any imagined or sought benefits must inevitably be foregone.
Apart from the benefits of theatre, that is.
(See other posts here for why the real benefits of buying in to Agile are not worth the candle, anyways).
I propose its the theatrical benefits which are the only benefits of interest, nowadays.
I use Wikipedia extensively in my research and other work.
I just donated to @Wikipedia. Support free knowledge! #iloveWikipedia
I’ve been taking in a few online meet-ups recently. Without exception they have been poorly hosted and heinously presented with execrable powerpoint shitshows. I’m amazed anyone turns up for them (although I have, sigh).
At least with in-person meet-ups (COVID restrictions permitting) one gets to bypass the presentations and chat with fellows.
Never again. #NoOnlineMeetups
Oftentimes, the most powerful questions are those that folks ask, and answer, for themselves.
I find it can be helpful to aid interested folks in “getting into the groove” of asking themselves questions.
Memeology Early Feedback
As my Organisational Psychotherapy self-help book “Memeology” approaches completion (now 96% complete) the feedback begins to arrive…
Here’s a couple of things I’m so grateful that folks have been kind enough to say, recently:
“Now My Go-To Reference Guide For Asking Powerful Questions”
“I’m trembling with a mix of excitement and nervousness. Memeology is a gift that just keeps giving. I can see so many situations where the memes can be used to facilitate a profound reaction from participants…even if some of them will be extremely awkward to discuss. Love it. As you know, I like books that provide practical, real world, actionable steps. Thank you Bob, this is the best set of questions I’ve ever seen in any organisational change context”
~ Ian Carroll
“A Priceless Tome”
“Memeology is a priceless tome containing the most important questions upon which to reflect and discuss collectively, along the path to organisational self-awareness, and thus to healthy, long-lasting change in the collective assumptions, beliefs and behaviours that determine organisational success.”
~ Marco Consolaro
I would be delighted to receive your feedback, too.
When no one’s even heard of Deming, suggestions that psychology has relevance may fall on deaf ears.
I hate it when I hear (or see on Twitter) somebody referring to new software makers as “juniors.” Seems both demeaning and dumb. Hierarchy at its worst. Those “juniors” can often contribute more than the arrogant clowns looking down their noses at them.
— Allen Holub (@allenholub) September 20, 2021
Here’s a bunch of things that readers of this blog – and by extension, software folks and execs generally – are not interested in:
We’re Still Working in the Dark Ages
Medievalism is a system of beliefs and practices inspired by the Middle Ages of Europe, or by devotion to elements of that period. Closely related to and encompassing Feudalism, and the Manorial system.
Despite many legal and social changes since the Middle Ages, from the perspective of folks working in organisations there’s not much difference between serfdom then and employment today. Employees are hired and remain employed at the whim of the Lords of the organisation, and dismissed with as little thought – or maybe even less thought – than serfs.
The relationship between employer and employees remains predominantly one of power-over. And although a relationship, it’s hardly ever a humane relationship. And thus hardly ever a positive contributor to organisational effectiveness.
Whilst any kind of universal solution remains a long way off, and dependent on widespread social change, individual organisations can address the issue and consequences through deploying ideas like nonviolence, the Antimatter Principle, and redefining the collection of The Folks That Matter. Above all, though, progress depends on us recognising the medievalism implicit in the way our work works, and our relationships with that, and each other. Are you bovvered?
Kahane, A. (2010). Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Experience counts for naught.
Ability counts for naught.
Insight counts for naught.
Achievements count for naught.
Past results count for naught.
Needs count for naught (obviously).
Compassion counts for naught.
Knowledge counts for naught.
Intellect counts for naught.
how often do your managers lead? And how often do your leaders manage? And how often do they do little to zero of either of these things?
The software industry is not the only domain in which dogma and conservatism combine to defeat effectiveness. Here’s an article on how the US Army (and USMC) are using Mission-type Tactics (Auftragstaktik) in name only (MTTINO).
and a backgrounder on auftragstaktik:
And see also: Product Aikido for insight into (real) mission-type tactics for product development.