The Agile Manifesto has been the basis of a shared identity for software developers for over 10 years. A diverse group of people – the thought leaders of the ‘lightweight project management’ movement – got together it the Snowbird Lodge in Utah, identified some common beliefs, gave themselves a name, and (inadvertently?) started a movement. At Stoos, we want to catalyze a change for the better in management. What would an ‘agile manifesto’ for business look like?
As Steve Denning and I prepared the Radical Management Gathering in Zurich, we felt that future radical managers would want training and recognition — they are doing something important! — but didn’t feel certifications was the right way to do.
The concept was simple: Recognized and Committed. A participant who attended the gathering and committed to the principles became a ‘Recognized and Committed Radical Manager’. Recognition came from attending the gathering – there could be other ways to become ‘Recognized’ in the future – and committed meant that the individual had signed an affirmation of his/her belief in and commitment to the principles.
We toyed with the idea of formulating the principles as a ‘Radical Management Manifesto’ but decided that a ‘me-too’ manifesto wouldn’t really help anyone. So although our text was inspired by the Agile Manifesto, they were ‘just’ principles and did not mimic the manifesto too closely:
The principles of Radical Management represent a process of ongoing discovery and include:
- Goal: A shift from the goal of making money for shareholders (“shareholder capitalism”) to delighting customers through continuous innovation (“customer capitalism”).
- Role: A shift in the role of managers from controlling individuals to enabling self-organizing teams.
- Accountability: A shift in the way work is coordinated from bureaucracy to dynamic linking, in which those doing the work have a clear line of sight to those for whom the work is being done and can see the impact of what they do.
- Values: A shift from a preoccupation with efficiency to a broader set of values that will foster continuous innovation.
- Communications: A shift from top-down commands to horizontal, peer-to-peer, adult-to-adult communications.
Radical managers espouse these principles and their supporting practices. They recognize that the principles are interlocking and need to be implemented in an integrated fashion.
Should we produce a manifesto at #Stoos? What are the alternatives? And what should we call ourselves? Unlike the lightweight methodologists, we don’t even have a collective name for what we do (AFAIK). And if not a manifesto, what is something simple that everybody can understand which will make it clear what we’re about?