“Just over a decade ago, breakthroughs enabled software development teams to achieve both disciplined execution and continuous innovation, something that was impossible to accomplish with traditional management methods.”
– Steve Denning, author of Radical Management
I currently seek ways to amplify what seems like a natural alliance between the agile sector of business, for which we can use the loose shorthand “start-up world,” and the arts. Both need management practices and principles in order to deliver and operate, yet report a predictable set of structural tensions and frustrations with traditional, water-fall style management. I don’t advocate arts managers paying attention and learning about Agile because business has all the answers, but because the start-up world is so darn arts friendly, it hardly makes sense not to.
As Denning describes it, “Software developers were known to be antipathetic to both managers and management. Badly dressed, unkempt, even sometimes unwashed, speaking about issues that managers could hardly grasp, these employees were the most problematic of a big organization’s employees. ” Yet they came up with a solution that management couldn’t, a framework for completing excellent work at high velocity in climates of extreme uncertainty.
It is a punk rock way to work, because it subverts command and control, top-down approaches. It is a way that feels good to work with others, because it rivets everyone’s attention on being great and kicking obstacles out of the way. It creates an environment that encourages workers to bring more of themselves to work, to be people while they are working, and to play.
Four of us who attended the Agile Games in Cambridge last week discussed forming an Agile in the Arts user group as part of Agile New England. Agile New England is an open membership group, by the way. http://www.agilenewengland.org/
Letcha know what transpires…and please do the same.