Reinvigorate agility: Embedding agile in a larger purpose

This is a personal talk focused on agile-eager, passionate agile change agents: the coaches and ScrumMasters of our world. In this talk I delve deeply into the implications of agile losing its connection to business purpose and becoming an idealistic practice-centered thing… leading broad swaths of potential beneficiaries to check out and disregard agility. I propose a variety of ways to address this challenge centered around the power of embedding agility as a tool for achieving company mission, purpose, and strategy… in turn creating desire and demand for more agility from those very people who were previously checked out. I’ll frame the opportunities through the head / hearts / feet (Elephant / rider / path) metaphor and help attendees see a path to reengage with their own passion, let go of control of what agile looks like, and gain the joy of seeing agility flourish around them.

This talk is personal for me, as I’m saddened by the current behaviors endemic in our shared community. My hope with this talk is to help heal some of the dysfunctions seen in our community, and help us reorient our approaches to the larger impact and potential benefits in service of my career-long mission: helping everybody sleep better at night. The specific ideas in this talk emerge from my XP2023 talk (Exploring the limiting biases of agile expertise), from the many demotivating X vs. Y debates online (sound and fury, signifying nothing), and from the wonderfully positive Princeton Agility panel I recently joined alongside Ronica Roth, Bob Galen, and others: