The Year of Being Agile -- Individuals and interactions over hierarchy and rules

As part of my year of being agile, I'm going to explore each of the four values in my Agile Magic Manifesto in order to a) help create actionable items and b) define my own plan for the year (one of the secret benefits to blogging is that writing about stuff helps you get shit straight in your own head).


Individuals and interactions over hierarchy and rules

This isn't just about the hierarchy of magical orders or who's who in the occult or Pagan communities. This is about levels or divides that keep us from connecting in real ways. It's about external rules that dictate who you talk with or what you can believe. It's about "real" news versus "fake" news. It's about building, and defending, community. It's how we stay out of the bubble.

I'm focusing on people I trust rather than institutions (just like Martin Armstrong predicted, dammit). I'm prioritizing the experiences of those I care about and their lives rather than some sweeping declaration of what's right for everyone. And to follow the very good advice of my dear friend Val: "I'm focusing on doing good things for myself and my community instead of all the bullshit."

These tools I'm sharing (magical and mundane) can be used to build bridges or build walls. To connect or divide. To reach out. Yes, this is a philosophical position, but it's also a highly practical one. Remember, the original agile manifesto was created to help programmers make better software. What the founders of agile discovered was that prioritizing these connections over formal documents and agreements made for better working relationships and better project results.

My last post garnered a really lovely comment. I don't get many comments, and I love each one of them that I get -- hint hint -- but this was particularly meaningful and relevant:

...
I'm using your articles at work as examples for my team and I like the 'agile' angle. We house people temporarily in our accommodation and try and work with them to be able to manage their own tenancies (99.9% of our clients have substance misuse, offending histories, mental health issues as well as experiencing homelessness.) Each tenant has a support plan which staff draw up with them but it's often difficult to engage the tenants and support plans are often too wishywashy - I want plans to be SMART but realise my team need to be flexible with the tenants they are working with. Your posts are helping me present that to my team - despite our funders forever changing the goalposts!

Apart from being very humbled by this, it's a perfect example of the power of agile. It's also really relevant to this particular post. When you are working together to meet a shared goal, or working to help someone else meet their goals, interacting with people directly is a powerful tool. Because you can't make a plan or goal for someone else, they have to have ownership (Taleb would say "skin in the game"). It's not that you never have an agreement or contract, but you value the personal connection and communication more because that's what makes the more formal agreement work.

This has been a very busy time for me in my professional life. It's also another travel week for me. These are great for learning and perspective, but not so good for making many posts on the blog.

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