Adaptive Imagineering

Welcome to my new, or should I say completely redesigned, web site. Over the past couple of years I’ve been thinking, writing, and speaking about issues of adaptive/agile leadership and organizational transformations. Working with companies, working with the APLN Executive council, and speaking at conferences and internally with company leadership has encouraged me to focus my energy more and more on management, leadership, and transformation issues. These focal points also weighed heavily on my decision to accept a position at ThoughtWorks.

The agile movement has greatly impacted software development over the last 10 years since the Agile Manifesto was signed. The two underlying themes of the agile movement have been at partially successful (there’s always progress to be made)—building better software, having fun at work. There are a growing number of companies in which adaptive/agile values and practices have been infused throughout the organization, but there are too few of these.

During this 10th year anniversary of the Manifesto, we need to reflect on our successes, areas for improvements, and create a vision for the future. For myself, I’ve labeled the last item “Agile Imagineering (borrowing from Disney).” Just imagine if more companies focused on values and quality; if they focused on self-organizing at every level; if they focused on collaboration, transparency, courage, and technical excellence; if they focused on doing less and inspiring their people; and if they used the success generated from this transformation to promote social and economic justice in the world.

My personal mission statement is “To inspire executives and managers to build adaptive/agile organizations and provide them with the framework and tools to do it.” Just as the original agile manifesto vision hasn’t been fully realized in the past 10 years, I doubt my mission will be realized in the next 10 years. However, one of the primary practices of agility is about Envisioning and Evolving rather than Planning and Doing—it’s about having a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal per Jim Collins in Good to Great) and adapting over time to move towards that goal, and not about having a prescriptive plan and executing tasks.

My intent is to use this blog to explore into this BHAG—and I invite you to join me.