Apart from our stakeholders and the core idea another topic I suggested at the Stoos…
The original announcement for the Stoos Gathering started as follows:
At the Stoos Gathering we will discuss how to accelerate change in management and organizational transformation.
In my interpretation, our goal for the gathering was to achieve an understanding of the problem, an agreement on the desired future, and at least some suggestions for how to get there faster.
The participants defined the problem in the form of “a fifty-dimensional mind-map”, as Steve Denning calls it. It is rather comprehensive in terms of root causes and consequences. But we intentionally call it a “work in progress”, not in the least because the problems themselves are evolving too.
We defined an idealized future as follows:
Organizations can become learning networks of individuals creating value, and the role of leaders should include the stewardship of the living rather than the management of the machine.
Some would say this is not measurable, and they would be right. But the Agile Manifesto was not measurable either, and yet it inspired many. The 21 participants found the communiqué that emerged at the end properly reflected their hopes and dreams, and we can only hope others find it inspiring too.
So far so good.
Of course, for many people the heart of the issue is “how to get there faster”. Plenty of our discussions were not about the problem nor the goal, but about what we can do to accelerate change. Here’s what we came up with:
From emails with the other participants I know that more content about specific topics is forthcoming, but I can’t say when or where.
One lesson from earlier events has been that “less is more”. Agreement on the problem, agreement on the desired outcome, and agreement on first steps that can help us to accelerate change, will be more effective than hundreds of pages of content. The constraints matter much more than the content.
I think only in a year or so we will be able to say if the Stoos event was successful. If our event is the main trigger for successful follow-ups by other people (some of whom thinking they can do better than us), then we will have succeeded at accelerating change.
On the other hand, it could be that people find our statements of the problem, the desired future, and our suggestions for acceleration very inspiring. But if nobody actually takes some next steps, my opinion is that we will have failed.
For now, I think we made some progress. It is too early to cry victory or defeat. The Stoos Gathering must be seen as a first step on a road that is probably longer than all of us like.
Next week: Stoos Network (part 7): What's Next?
Yesterday: Stoos Network (part 5): Complaints & Complexity
For more information: Stoos Network website, Stoos Network group