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What's the opposite of fragile?
Most people would answer "robust" or "resilient." If we subject something that is fragile to stress, shock, randomness or volatility, we can expect that it will be harmed. If we do the same to something that is robust or resilient, we can expect that it will resist harm - but won't be any better off than when we started. But what if something that is subjected to stress, shock, randomness or volatility actually benefited? That would be the opposite of fragile: antifragile. This is the core theme of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.
Accountability and commitment. We hear these words a lot in the business and Agile world, but what do they mean, and how do we do them well?
We've all seen instances of "accountability" in the form of blaming and shaming: ("Whose fault is it?" and "What were you thinking?) These are the forms that accountability takes in a fear-based organization. The blaming and shaming approach to accountability creates unhealthy stress, shuts down creativity, and limits the success that people and organizations can achieve to only what is achievable via "safe" choices.
However, some people and organizations that have rejected a fear-based culture, and the blaming and shaming that go with it, may swing the other way, and avoid holding people accountable at all. I don't know how to hold you to account without blaming and shaming you, so I won't say anything at all, even though your work or follow-through has not met my expectations or the organization's standards. You might have experienced this dilemma. But surely this can't be the only alternative?
Argentine Tango is an intricate and improvised dance form, with a long history and participants all over the world. Tango aficionados attend workshops to refine their skills. Workshop teachers often take us, "back to basics," which in the case of Argentine Tango, is walking. (Who knew how much there is to just walking?) Going back to basics, we discover new nuances, and new ways of thinking and using what we already know.As ISE launches into blogging about our experience, I thought it would be appropriate to write about Agile from a "back to basics" perspective - and also consider how those basics from Argentine Tango might give us new nuances, and new ways of thinking by using what we already know about Agile.