Agile2016: Self-Selection, paradigm shifts and the Agile Alliance of NZ

Aug 16, 2016  ·  Sandy Mamoli

David and I were super excited to head to Agile2016 in Atlanta. We had a really great five days: catching up with old friends, making new acquaintances and eating Atlanta's "streetest" BBQ!

A new phase for New Zealand’s Agile community

Shane Hastie and I signed the papers to establish the Agile Alliance of New Zealand, an affiliate of the Agile Alliance.

This is great for the community in New Zealand as it hopefully will bring us closer together across the country and strengthen our ties with international communities. We're 2nd in the world to be a national affiliate of the Agile Alliance and I particularly look forward to exchanging experiences with the world's first affiliate, Brazil. Good times are ahead!

No new ideas?

While it was great fun to hang out with fellow agilistas during the conference, I felt like I’d seen it all before. I couldn't find any new ideas that blew my mind or even piqued my interest. And I wasn’t the only one: Several people commented on this same thing—noting that Self-Selection was one of the very, very few new ideas at this conference.

This sounds pretty ominous. However, Steve Denning's fishbowl session - my favourite session of the conference — made me realise this is to be expected and not necessarily a bad thing. According to Steve, we're in the last phase of a paradigm shift in management theory. Following phases of divergence our current state of broad agreement is part of the third phase, where big ideas begin to converge and thought leaders start to agree on new concepts.

Of course, when ideas start to converge and thought leaders are agreeing with one another, then the times of mind-blowing new ideas are over! And it’s natural that early adopters and trail blazers are going to perceive this stage as boring. So, if parts of the conference felt a bit boring ultimately it's good for the world because it means—as Steve said—“We have won the war of ideas”.

And while our labels might still be all over the place the way forward is clear. We now need to focus on actually making it happen!

Sandy and David with Steve Denning

If you’d like to know more, you can read Steve’s article on Forbes.

Talking Self-Selection

David and I ran two conference sessions over the week—a talk and a workshop—both on Self-Selection and both very well received.

A completely full workshop!

Not only were the sessions full, with doors locked and waiting lists in effect, but the conference book store completely ran out of our books! If you were around and are now using Self-Selection to structure your organisation, we’d love to hear about your experience so please drop us a line.

A rare sighting of the book at the conference bookstore