It strikes me that we humans often like to think.
Yet we are still territorial creatures.
Therefore when we invent anything, we wish to guard that thing. We are protectors of our territory.
Even when there clearly is neither threat nor territory.
- My friends Chris Matts and Olav Massen had the idea that we can apply the economic theory of real options to your daily life.
- My friend Dave Snowden is posits that there is a rather fluid landscape of existential states that all things (people, policies, relationships, goals, etc) live in that has varying degrees of simplicity, complication, complexity, and chaos and that understanding that state greatly informs responsible action.
- My third friend, Jurgen Appelo has constructed a management aesthetic that transforms the roles of the worker and management to create a simultaneously profitable and humane working environment.
- My friend David Anderson has spent a great deal of time creating a new way of managing software development and IT teams with greater clarity and significantly less process overhead.
- And my friends Bob Marshall and the regrettably late Grant Rule have a concept that companies are in a state of evolution or devolution from zero-sum game authoritarian weak states to more resilient collaborative states.
I, for one, count myself lucky to have such friends. No, doubt they will all disagree with my summaries. :-)
For my part, I had the idea that if individuals better understood the work they were doing, they would make better decisions, feel better about those decisions, and could better deal with difficult challenges when they arose.
What I appreciate most about this nascent group is that there is no appreciable territorial overlap. A team using David's Kanban can be employing Jurgen's Management 3.0 techniques to solve a wicked problem elucidated in Dave's Cynefin framework and act at the right time with Chris and Olav's Real Options by individuals who are informed and ready to act using my Personal Kanban - as they do all this, they are consciously engaged in Bob and Grant's Rightshifting.
I, for one, get a hell of a kick out of that. Individually, we have managed to create an incredibly deep potential system.
Lucky for us all, we are not the only ones interested in our ideas. Globally, each of us has audiences for our ideas. Because all eight of us are quite excited by our ideas, we like to talk about them. So, we gather with those who can discuss and extend our thinking.
That is also awesome.
Over the last year, David hosted a Kanban gathering in Iceland, Jurgen had his Stoos meeting in Switzerland, and Dave et al hosted an event called CALM in England. All three meetings were simply gatherings of people to talk about the ideas. Yet all three were strangely attacked in blogs, Twitter, and through social media for no reason I can surmise other than territoriality.
If any of these three were attacked solely for the ideas being discussed, that would be one thing - but these attacks were most often from fear. What are they doing in there? Why aren't they tweeting? They must have some hidden agenda! As if Stoos were the Illuminati or CALM were some kind of Skull and Bones society.
While all of us have egos, we're all too busy and too invested in social media to build secret process cabals.
We and our supporters apparently see some finite landscape that needs to be conquered and protected. This is regrettable, because without my seven counterparts I know I would have learned a lot less over the last several years. It is also regrettable because when we as standard bearers of ideas shut out the ideas of others, we make intellectual intolerance that much more permissible. This ultimately drives dismissal for our own good ideas.
And, for whatever trappings we may put around them, we are in the idea business.
So, Jabe, go fix that. Thanks.
All the best,