Agile approaches are enjoying a very bright place in the sun. And that is to some extent deserved; they represent a very different way of working, especially when we are dealing with ill-defined problems and a need for experimentation and search. At the same time, we often define agile as needing to be different than what came before. The implication being that predecessor capabilities are inadequate, inappropriate and best relegated to the dustbin of history. The reality is very different.
We’re often pretty sure that we understand what values are. Defining them clearly and compellingly, though, is an entirely different matter. Values aren’t about defining the lowest common denominator of what is important. They get at the very heart of who we are, and particularly how we operate, decide and interact. Getting them right is critical; it also takes a great deal of work.
Yes, “why” is a problematic question. And in asking it, we run the risk of being seen as part of the problem. That’s in large part because we often fear the answer. We don’t have to, and there are choices in how we respond. We just need to be willing to make them.
Trust is a big thing. A strongly related concept is motive. Our motives shape our intentions, and our perceived actions lead to some pretty significant conclusions about our motives. Getting to the heart of what we are doing, why we are doing it and what we might want to do differently is pretty essential.