Our real-time, globalized world thrives increasingly on information and technology. The balance of businesses and society has rapidly shifted from industrial (often physical) labor to digital (often virtual) activities. The world seems to be changing faster and less predictable than ever before. We used to believe a majority of our problems to reside in the ordered stability space, but we find ourselves living and working in the complex novelty space nowadays, the space where more is unknown than is known.
The industrial recipes of Excel-based management, unlimited expansion, shared resources, efficiency and utilization don’t apply anymore. Agility became a critical state for organizations. The Agile paradigm is replacing the old, industrial paradigm. Scrum is a clear and the most adopted definition of Agile, and the third Scrum wave is rising.
The principles and ideas underlying Scrum are a better fit for navigating the complex novelty space. Scrum introduces new language and terminology to express the novelty of those principles and ideas. It makes the impact of the change more transparent. The new language and words, however, are often copy-pasted to be embedded in a broader old, industrial setting; against the illusion that work happens within the ordered stability space. The words get disconnected from their novel intent, meaning or feeling. Shifting to a new paradigm includes the conservative tendency to mimic, isolate, copy, paste what is perceived as trendy, popular and profitable.
Rigor is required in morphing towards an Agile way of working. The real challenge is not even to just sense whether our words are reminders of the industrial paradigm and don’t apply anymore. We need to remain conscious about the continual evolution of insights within the new paradigm, and how this is or is not expressed in our language. Unknowingly we grind, grow complacent. The Agile space, in which we operate, keeps evolving. We discover better ways to express our intents than blindly repeating what others are saying:
- Do you recognise how teams need to be ‘high-performant’, and such high-performing teams must be built? A team, however, cannot be constructed by an external force. Nor is a group of people necessarily a ‘team’. A team is a cohesive collective of people working towards common goals and objectives, thereby jelling and overcoming resistance, internally and externally. A team is what emerges through intense collaboration. Performance arises from such intense collaboration. Rather than aiming at high performance in itself, often hinting at productivity, facilitate collaboration. Foster an environment, clear the way for people to interact, to share, to disagree. Highly collaborative teams will perform.
- ‘Maximization’, even unintendedly, has a smell of infinite expansion, endless growth. As does ‘continuous improvement’. It leaves an impression of unlimited accumulation; more, more, more. Where is the room for reflection, adjusting, changing direction, adapting, maybe even turning back? Consider to optimise what …read more
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