Taylor Swift has a song out called Change. Maybe “old” now by music industry standards.
See here: http://bit.ly/9Bos9y
In 1988 there was a movie with Uma Thurman called Dangerous Liasons. OK, Uma Thurman was not the only good actor in the show (but I am a man, perhaps I forgot). Oh, yes, they had Glenn Close and John Malkovich also. And some kid named Keanu Reeves. And, oh yes, Michelle Pfeiffer. The show was based on the fairly famous French novel. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_Liaisons
One famous line in that show was: “It’s beyond my control.”
I have been in a few companies recently where the fundamental feeling is hopelessness and helplessness. “It is beyond my control.”
As soon as we say it that way, any six-year old will say “This is clearly not a way to live. ” There is not much more to say about it than: “If you can’t change your organization, then you must change your organization.” ie, get out even in the midst of a recession.
Perhaps it is also useful to remember: “Everything changes, nothing remains the same.” A recent idea from the Buddha, only 2,000+ years old. This is to say, we, as individuals, don’t make the real waves in the world, but we can ride the waves. And in small groups even, we must remember that people will change. They only really resist being changed. They want their freedom.
So, stop feeling helpless and hopeless. (We all do sometimes.) [If it seemed a missed a few steps in the logic there, I trust you can add them.]
So, where does this stupid kid, Taylor Swift, come in?
Well, her song starts this way:
And it’s a sad picture, the final blow hits you
Somebody else gets what you wanted again
You know it’s all the same, another time and place
Repeating history and you’re getting sick of it
Certainly I have felt kind of this way when I felt helpless.
And then she asks you to imagine that things just might change.
And she offers to help you (ok, the idea that Taylor Swift personally will actually help is a silly teenage fantasy, but the idea of us helping each other in agile is quite quite real).
And she asks you to imagine, afterward, that you accomplished something you didn’t really think was possible. And how proud you will be then that you never, never, never, never gave up. (OK, I added a bit of Churchill there.)
I dare you to listen to the song.
There are no doubt a few stupid ideas being spoken of by agile people. But the body of ideas is a great set.
Agile is here not to make some minor improvement. It can be a big change in, well, even your life. It can enable you to make big changes in the lives of people you really care about. If you have started, don’t stop. Strap on your armour again. And fight. With a smile.