Monthly Archives: May 2011

Microbes Swap Genes to Communicate; We Have the Option to Swap MEMEs to Communicate

[From the Archive: Originally posted at May 29, 2011]

[The original page has gone, it’s now at: – updated here 2 June 2021]

Random thought of the day.

New research from biology tells us that microbes can actually swap genes in order to communicate with each other. We as humans have the option to swap memes.

Amplifyd from
Microbes swap pieces of their DNA to communicate their behavior.


– Bob

Critical Agile Memes

[From the Archive: Originally posted at May 17, 2011]

One topic of the recent #lru2011 London Rightshifting Unconference was “Adopting the Agile Mindset”, and to kick off the topic we chose to attempt definitions of those terms, so that we might be all on the same page.

In the course of that discussion, we surfaced the following “Critical Agile Memes”:

Agile adoption means personal change – not just for developers, but for other folks across the whole organisation. And by personal change here, we mean coming to see the world (and the world of work) from a different perspective.

Agile adoption means a focus on delivery of value – early and often – By value we mean, things of value to stakeholders; and by early we mean within a few days or weeks (sometimes even, hours) of starting a new project.

Agile adoption means understanding that people are different – seeing people as individuals, and recognising that a one-size-fits-all attitude to people has serious drawbacks.

I’ve posted these three memes here as I thought them worthy of recording, and because I find it very interesting that we focussed on these three (and not, for example, the multitude of other “what is agile?” memes).

– Bob

Second London Rightshifting Unconference Report #LRU2011

[From the Archive: Originally posted at May 15, 2011]

Second London Rightshifting Unconference

Wednesday 11 May 2011 saw the second London Rightshifting Unconference #LRU2011 take place under the kind auspices of London City University.

Following-on from the success of the first Unconference in December, 2010, bookings were strong but attendance was down, on the day.

As an Unconference, our first order of the day was to decide on a (few) topics for “slots” during the day. We arranged these into a simple backlog, Kanban-stylee.

The topics we decided upon (in no particular order) were:

Decision Efficiency

Why do business decisions take so long, how can we speed things up?

Adopting the Agile Mindset

Practical means to open folks’ minds to Agile ways of seeing, being?

Shared Experiences

Shared experience amongst the delegates of applying Rightshifting, or of situations where Rightshifting could have helped had we but known enough about it.

Cultural Challenges

Aspects of existing organisational cultures (collective mindsets) that make adopting new ways of seeing, being a major challenge

Chaordic Organisations

What do these kinds of organisations look like, feel like, work like? What role for managers in this brave new world?

The Role of Managers in Continually Improving Effectiveness

The Rightshifting Perspective on what and how senior and middle managers can contribute to Rightshifting their organisations, and in particular , shifting the prevailing collective organisational mindset.

Enrolling Stakeholders in Rightshifting

Who are the stakeholders in making organisations more effective? What’s in it for each for them.How can we nurture what Kotter describes as the essential “guiding coalition” for change?

Knowledge and Competency Constraints

What constraints are there on the velocity of Rightshifting in a typical knowledge-work business? How can we exploit and then elevate these constraints (cf Theory of Constraints)

Introduction to Rightshifting

A semi-formal presentation of / introduction to / recap on the fundamental ideas of Rightshifting and the Marshall Model (from @flowchainsensei).

Output (outcome) based Contracts

A brief overview (from @pg_rule) of how using output-based contracts (now well-established in some quarters) can ease customers concerns over the commercial aspects of agile methods.

The Five Capitals Model

How the Forum Of The Future’s Five Capitals model supports the discover and delivery of value within e.g. software development and other knowledge work.

The Running Order

The Running Order for the day turned out to be:
  • Introduction to Rightshifting
  • Adopting the Agile Mindset
  • Cultural Challenges
  • The Role of Managers in Continually Improving Effectiveness
  • Chaordic Organisations
  • Enrolling Stakeholders in Rightshifting
  • Output (outcome) based Contracts
  • Summary / wrap-up of the day

The sessions had a natural flow, moving easily from one topic and slot to the next. A good time was had by all, and everyone expressed that they had learned some useful things, and had found much value in attending.

In the spirit of “pull”, if you have any interest in hearing about what we discussed within each of these slots, please post a comment or question, below, and I’ll be happy to trawl my recollections for specific details.

– Bob

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