You Can't Buy It: Agile
Apr 18, 2020
In a recent interview with Builtin³ about Women in Agile
, I found myself explaining to a curious journalist that Agile is a practice; it’s value is dynamic: [guided] patterns of cooperating among small groups. It’s not a ‘thing’ that you can buy. She wanted to understand how Agile might be of advantage to women’s careers.
48 hours later I’m still reflecting about that conversation. I especially appreciate the neurobiology of Agile. Our brain evolved in the context of a small group with a shared outcome, language and agreed patterns of feedback – knowing they rise and fall as a group - has proven time and again to optimize what humans can do together2. What humans can do together is both cultural and biological; human ancestors lived roughly 9 adults and 9 young - and likely did not individuate.²
Our brains evolved to experience living in the relational dimension. We are witnessing a moment where humans are co-generating new relational dynamics: a new wave of global learning. You can’t buy it.
Nor is collective learning new. It can be a great experience.
The magic of Agile Teams is much like summer camp; stewarded learning cohorts experiment with collective activities, with known rules. Agile leaders, Coaches and Scrum Masters steward the social safety of participants: cultural/biological (not psychological.) The dynamics of social safety can be reliably co-generated. But not purchased; it must be lived.
Key to social safety is a sincere participating guide who deeply respects inclusive exploring and gently wields fierce enforcement. Mammalian neurophysiology ensures that experimenting ceases at the first suggestion of danger; think mama bear, elephant matriarch, baboon troop, camp counselor… Mammals organize and operate by social safety: that-which-you-cannot-buy makes everyone energized and resourceful.
Stay tuned for more #DignityLooping