The Trojan Form of Change

It happened again.

Some people at the (wildy awesome) ALE 2012 unconference said,

“We need to get more managers/leaders/aliens to this event!”

Really, you can dream all you want. But you will not get people with different mental models to participate in your dancing and chanting.

Motivating traditional managers to attend an Agile event is just as useless as motivating Agilists to go work in a traditional hierarchy. It is the same mistake. You’re projecting your own mental model onto someone else, hoping they will spontaneously “get it”.

I believe real change in traditional management will not come from people telling managers how green the grass is on the other side of the fence. It will come from people who can inject an idea virus in a traditional organization, which is not destroyed by the current mental model, and which then transforms it from the inside, using the current mental model against itself.

It is the Trojan form of change.

The purpose of ALE, Stoos, and all the other (un)conferences is not to reach out to uninterested managers and "aliens". The purpose is figuring out together which virus is able to get past organizations' immune systems and do some delicious damage to outdated ideas.

(image: Darcy McCarty)

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