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Happy Independence Day, America!

It’s Independence Day in the United States. A day to celebrate our national unity and light off fireworks in celebration of the war we won. Our National Anthem reflects our violent past. Does that mean our future must be built on violence?

Or could we choose to learn from the past and build a better future together?

I spent the afternoon listening to someone who has a completely different viewpoint than mine. Someone who has led teams to succeed in challenging conditions. Who l chose to invite to a conversation, a real, difficult conversation, as a result of my invitation. Someone who was sitting nearby jumped in and disrupted our connection, but I held it closely. I redirected when appropriate and invited them to stop out, and they did. We continued, and I learned, while allowing myself to unlearn anything that contradicted with the new thoughts. Because what I already know might prevent me from learning the new information.

So I listened, then asked for verifiable sources of information. Because until I can do that it’s just hearsay. And I can take it in, but I don't have to really allow it to influence my position.

I think #AgileCosching is like that. We can drop nuggets of information, but until the person receiving the nugget can validate it, we have no influence. I can tell managers not to use data to punish or manipulate, but until they see evidence that’s going to make a difference, I might as well save my breath.

So I wish you freedom today. True freedom to choose. If you think agile have helped you build better software, comment how.

If not, let me know that too. Perhaps I can help you think of a few possibilities to see what might make a difference in your team.

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