Art of Agile Foundations

CREDO:
„If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Sir Isaac Newton

WHAT IS AGILE FOR US?

  • a modern way of discovering the world
  • the harmony of head, heart and hand – thought, feeling and will to act
  • simplicity – untangling complexity (mindset shift)
  • a set of values and a way of thinking
    • focus (goals, mission, vision)
    • freedom to make decisions (responsibility)
    • action
  • creating space for free will
  • retrospection and re-planning
  • the dynamic, the moving is stronger in the long run than the rigid form
  • resourcefulness
  • a therapy for weak, ill organisations
  • a transformational journey from Amber to Teal
  • (heart)beat, rhythm – sustainable pace
  • a collection of vital forms
  • experiencing gratitude in the process of delivery, handover (accomplishment)
  • the experience of community and flow
  • focusing on continuous improvement
  • the gym where we can exercise being present – learning from the past, pre-sensing the future
  • improving the ability to make decisions

WHAT DOES ‘ART’ MEAN IN OUR NAME?

Agile was born in the fastest improving and developing field of our era, IT. However, it has since grown well out of its cradle. While we can describe the laws of some software development processes or team dynamics quite precisely, the operations of a whole organisation or the mystery of leadership can only be unravelled with humility, balancing awareness and inspiration. We have experience in and practice several forms of art. We are witnessing the birth of a new social art form, which draws inspiration from classical art as well: eurhythmics, drama, fine arts, music, etc.

The popularity of Agile springs from the zeitgeist-inspired realisation that people today are capable as well as require to (re)create the harmony/balance of thought, feeling and action in their work. The insights of sociology, psychology and economics have shaped – partly consciously and partly unconsciously – a new type of approach to work. In the past 80 years our idea of humanity has changed drastically. A few key milestones of this change:

  • 1900: Taylor (a colleague of Gantt) creates the model of “scientific” management, which influences the way we build our organisations even today
  • 1914: Sri Aurobindo starts using the expression “integral”, which later has a great impact on the work of Ken Wilbur
  • 1917: Dr. Rudolf Steiner presents the concept of threefolding, the basis of which is the adequate use of three core principles: freedom in thinking and culture, equality in the world of law and agreements, and fraternity in economics.
  • 1928: DISC personality typology is born as a renewal of the ancient typology of the 4 temperaments (earth, water, air, fire)
  • 1939: Gebser lays down the foundations of the Integral approach
  • 1943: Maslow creates the pyramid model of human needs
  • 1944: the MBTI typology is born out of the Jungian concepts of human sensing, feeling, thinking and intuition
  • 1950: classic project management is born at the same time as Japanese LEAN
  • 1951: Rogers introduces the term Empathy to describe the phenomenon of deliberately turning towards each other
  • 1968: Friedrich Glasl creates the early draft of Theory U based on the teachings of Dr. Rudolf Steiner
  • 1969: PMI is born, project management becomes a profession
  • 1970: system thinking comes into existence
  • 1973: Ken Wilber finishes his first book about Integral Theory, where he connects spiral dynamics, holon theory and the models of Gebser
  • 1974: the foundations of spiral dynamics (an evolutionary model of humans, communities and organisations) are laid down
  • 1989: Covey’s book (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) is published, in which he describes the consequences of abundance and scarcity mentality
  • 1990: Peter Senge develops the concept of the learning organisation, which is built on system thinking, striving for professional excellence, mental models, shared vision and team learning
  • 1993: the Kanban method is born and facilitation turns into a profession
  • 1995: the foundations of SCRUM are laid down, and the Scrum Master becomes the “prototype” of a new, servant leader without authority
  • 1996: the first book about spiral dynamics is released
  • 2000: Otto Scharmer creates the modern Theory U developmental model
  • 2001: the Agile Manifesto is born, as well as Lean Six Sigma, which integrates the 5S approach
  • 2007: Holacracy is born, which codifies the forms and operation of learning and agile organisations
  • 2008: Alex Osterwalder and colleagues present the Business Model Canvas
  • 2009: Daniel Pink writes one of the fundamental books on intrinsic motivation, “Drive”
  • 2010: an open, downloadable SCRUM guide is created, and Steve Denning serves as a “midwife” for the birth of “Radical Management”
  • 2012: Spotify’s working culture is published, which later turns into a model to be followed
  • 2014: Frederic Laloux creates “Reinventing Organisations”, a collection of case studies, in which he systematises forward-looking organisational cultures in the framework of integral theory. The IMU Augsburg presents the map of the development of organisations
  • 2015: the model of Open Participatory Organisations and the Corporate Rebels initiative are born
  • 2017: Kiss Ferenc, member of Circle43 group writes the book “Szociokrácia és Holokrácia”
  • 2018: the SCRUMBAN model is officially introduced, and the reinventing map becomes available in 15 languages
  • 2019: Art of Agile is launched, and Jövőképző school is born from the merger of Circle43 (a community of practice) and Leaders’ Roundtable (organic leadership institute). The school trains organisational developers and agile trainers, together with Art of Agile.

WE RECOGNIZED…

…that Agile puts an emphasis on the following challenges of our era (which we would like to present and explain on a deeper level):

  • learning by consciously experimenting with structures, processes and notions
  • learning via value creation
  • expanding and applying the knowledge about the role and impact of rhythms and recurring events
  • building a culture of questioning, developing the culture of feedback and evaluation
  • striving for equilibrium, ability to create a stable centre
  • re-evaluating the forms, processes, relationships and notions of the past (releasing the obsolete)
  • working in a community, team – discovering the forms and dynamics of cooperation, consciously connecting to a group in order to create complex products and solutions together

WE BELIEVE…

…that more of today’s challenges should be addressed during the practice of Agile:

  • the evolution of individuality by consciously connecting to groups
  • harmonising thought, feeling and will both on an individual and organisational level
  • connecting with the unfolding future (understanding the state of the art – research, innovation, presence, sensitivity)
  • enhancing and applying the knowledge about the process of learning
  • expanding consciousness, responsibility – reinforcing creation and initiative