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Heretics, High Priests, And Hagiolatry: A Pervert's Guide to Methodology

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WILL EVANS \\ @semanticwill \\ #LASCOT15 \\ Edinburgh, Scotland


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Twitter: #LASCOT15 Slideshare: http://buff.ly/1Q72pRP


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The Problem (Spaces) §  §  §  §  §  §  §  Organizational Debt Scale Agile Everywhere! Bi-Modal Asshattery Sprinkle me some DevOps But Deming said…(and other name-dropping) It’s about Culture (whatever the *fuck that is) Local Optima


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Žižek on Perversion “Perversion, at its most fundamental, resides in the formal structure of how the subject relates to truth and speech. The pervert claims direct access to some figure of the big Other (from God or history or a signer of the Agile Manifesto), so that, dispelling all the ambiguity of language, he is able to act directly as the instrument of the big Other's will.”


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Key Take-Aways §  §  §  §  §  §  §  Start with the context. Whole system(s), not local optima. Both value streams and value chains are important. Adapt processes & methods based on situational awareness inside of culture. Methods are methods, not religions. Consume uncertainty with small experiments to create more information. Change starts small through practice modulated by habitus with respect to culture.


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Ontological Design Ontological Design is the design of ways of being - not just the purposeful creation of mental scafolding, but rather facilitating the evolution of human capability within social systems. Social systems focussed on catalyzing, facilitating, and enabling situated and embodied human cognition and action.


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Definition of Design The intentional creation of purposeful systems. – Jabe Bloom


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Assumption 1 We all exist (beingness) with(in) system(s).


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Assumption 2 We are all responsible for the design, development, and maintence of systems that ideally* create value.


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Assumption 3 We are in this to create. Specifically we are in this to create value – that is to create things the solve problems for customers for which they are willing to exchange some value.


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Assumption 4 Agile (and) Lean(x), affords better ways of creating new things of value. Because: •  •  •  •  •  Tight feedback loops Small batches to ship value Customer interactions Experimentation Incremental and iterative


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Boundaries THERE was a wall. It did not look important. It was built of uncut rocks roughly mortared. An adult could look right over it, and even a child could climb it. Where it crossed the roadway, instead of having a gate it degenerated into mere geometry, a line, an idea of boundary. But the idea was real. It was important. For seven generations there had been nothing in the world more important than that wall. Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced. What was inside it and what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on. -Ursula Le Guin The Dispossessed


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ORGANIZATIONAL DEBT As organizations grow, scale, and mature, they develop structures, policies, rules, norms, and taboos most appropriate for their maturity and the exploitation of existing value streams. To become more resilient and capable of strategic play, exploration, and evolution, they will need to ‘refactor the code’ of the organization? Organizational debt becomes a context-free constraint on survivability.


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ORGANIZATIONAL DEBT


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But what is Culture? “A pattern of shared basic assumptions learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration (…) A product of joint learning.” – Edgar Schein Organizations are socio-technical systems in which the modalityof external adaptation and the solutioning of internal integration problems are interdependent, coevolving, and complex.


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Culture as Webs “Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun. I take culture to be those webs.” – Clifford Geertz


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Webs of Signification


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Sensemaking Semantics Meaning exists in the interactions between things, not in the things themselves. -Alicia Juarrero


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Sensemaking Systems “A system is not a sum of behaviors of its parts; it's a product of their interactions” - Russel Ackoff


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Foucault on Power


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STRUCTURING STRUCTURES Power is created and recreated culturally and symbolically, and re-legitimizes itself through the interactions between agents and structure.


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Forms of Power 4 Forms of Power •  Positional •  Structural •  Situational •  Dispositional


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Bourdieu’s Habitus The relation to ‘what is possible’ is ultimately a relation to power.” -Pierre Bourdieu


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PRACTICE


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PRACTICE Practice (or habit) isn't a matter of cultural conformity to structures of power - there is an interaction between agency and structure - it is adaptive (or some some cases maladaptive) but also strategic, reactive and active, as well as modulated by cultural signifiers whilst temporally influenced by them.


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Fields A field is a network, structure or set of relationships in which people express and reproduce their dispositionality, where they engage in practice, and where they compete for the distribution of different kinds of capital.


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FOUR CAPITAL(S) Habitus is constituted through the exchange of 4 kinds of capital between agents in a field modulated by habitus: •  Financial capital •  Social capital •  Cultural capital •  Symbolic capital


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FOUR CAPITAL(S)


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IDENTITY MANAGEMENT


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Addressing the Problem “Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche


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Mapping the Domain Wardley, Simon, “An introduction to Wardley (Value Chain) Mapping”


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Evolution Wardley, Simon, “An introduction to Wardley (Value Chain) Mapping”


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Evolution Wardley, Simon, “An introduction to Wardley (Value Chain) Mapping”


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Three Horizons View


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Methods to Context Wardley, Simon, “An introduction to Wardley (Value Chain) Mapping”


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Mapping the Domain Wardley, Simon, “An introduction to Wardley (Value Chain) Mapping”


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Dispositions to Domain Wardley, Simon, “On Pioneers, Settlers, Town Planners and Theft.”


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Situational Dynamics Wardley, Simon, “On Pioneers, Settlers, Town Planners and Theft.”


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Habitus Dynamics Wardley, Simon, “On Pioneers, Settlers, Town Planners and Theft.”


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Tribal Dynamics


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HERETICS Heretics are agents with(in) a system, characterized by a practical evaluation and mastery of the terrain to see new opportunities to create new knowledge outside the ortho(doxa).


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HIGH PRIESTS High Priests are agents acting within a system whose dispositionality allows them to evolve new knowledge from heretics into the system, integrating it with the power structure, extracting the value, enforcing behavioral norms, and maintaining the system of power flows through the gospel.


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HAGIOLOTRY Hagiolotry is simply the making of saints. Sometimes High Priests can become saints, but more often than not it’s the heretics that become saints after execution. Saints act as powerful attractors within a social system, and can reify unstated, tacit, or taboo stories to bind actions.


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CONTEXTUAL AWARENESS What are requisite variety of dispositions and practices for pioneers (heretics*), as well as the processes and methods deployed are different than in other domains? * Remember that heretics have a history of getting burned at the stake.


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CONTEXTUAL AWARENESS What are the requisite variety of dispositions and practices for pioneers (heretics*), as well as the processes and methods deployed are different than in other domains? It’s about the movement between domains, and the interactions between teams and across domains where novelty can turn into capability.


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CONTEXTUAL AWARENESS What are the requisite variety of dispositions and practices for pioneers (heretics*), as well as the processes and methods deployed are different than in other domains? It’s about the movement between domains, and the interactions between teams and across domains where novelty can turn into capability. Expertise (High Priests*) is important and valuable, but can also become a trap.


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CONTEXTUAL AWARENESS What are the requisite variety of dispositions and practices for pioneers (heretics*), as well as the processes and methods deployed are different than in other domains. It’s about the movement between domains, and the interactions between teams and across domains where novelty can turn into capability. Expertise (High Priests*) is important and valuable, but can also become a trap. Be pragmatic in your approach to the application of methods and practices. Thought leaders aren’t saints that should be followed blindly.


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Final Thoughts §  §  §  §  §  §  §  Start with the context. Whole system(s), not local optima. Both value streams and value chains are important. Adapt processes & methods based on situational awareness inside of culture. Methods are methods, not religions. Consume uncertainty with small experiments to create more information. Change starts small through practice modulated by habitus with respect to culture.


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REFERENCES Bourdieu, P. (1980). The Logic of Practice. Stanford, Stanford University Press. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. London, Routledge. Bourdieu, P. (1986). ‘The Forms of Capital’. Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Capital. J. G. Richardson. New York, Greenwood Press: 241-58. Foucault, M. (1991). Discipline and Punish: the birth of a prison. London, Penguin. Foucault, Michel. "The Subject and Power." In Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, edited by H. Dreyfus and P. Rabinow, pp. 208-226. 2nd ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983. Gaventa, J. (2003). Power after Lukes: a review of the literature, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies. Geertz, Clifford (1977), The Interpretation of Culture, Basic Books Classics Juarrero, Alicia (2002). Dynamics in Action, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusettes Moncrieffe, J. (2006). “The Power of Stigma: Encounters with ‘Street Children’ and ‘Restavecs’ in Haiti.” IDS Bulletin 37(6): 31-46. VeneKlasen, L. and V. Miller (2002). A New Weave of Power, People and Politics: The Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation. Oklahoma City, World Neighbors. Wardley, Simon, “On Pioneers, Settlers, Town Planners and Theft.” Wardley, Simon, “An introduction to Wardley (Value Chain) Mapping”


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COLOPHON This talk was designed based on conversations and work done with Jabe Bloom during the summer and fall of 2015. The blue activator colour C70 M15 Y0 K0 is inspired by the Lean Agile Scotland logo. All typefaces are from Heoffler & Jones. §  Header Text is in Vitesse Black §  Body Text is in Quarto Medium §  Labels are in Quarto Medium Italic


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WILL EVANS \\ @semanticwill \\ #LASCOT15 \\ Edinburgh, Scotland


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