Should I respond to change or follow the plan?

I was having a fascinating discussion the other day about Agile (among many other things) and for me I kept seeing a universal principal.  It is however not easy to practice. As much as Americans love the idea of being independent, self reliant and ingenious I am not sure it is something we really live and practice as much as we think.

It reminds me of something I observed as a soccer coach.  The parents of my players were so enthusiastic and eager for their children to be successful they could not resist shouting instructions onto the field (read FOLLOW MY PLAN!).  I began to see players watching their parents, not the game, waiting for instructions.  Unfortunately, by the time the instructions were shouted and understood, the play had already moved on, resulting in an intercepted pass, or a collapsing defense.

I have had bosses do the same thing to me.  The more detailed instructions were shouted, the more dependence (and less confidence) emerged. The dependence and lack of confidence bred frustration and ended in anger recrimination and failure.

Yet we keep doing it everyday; following a “plan” that is clearly not working.

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Dan Clark

Dan Clark

Principal of Bowline Consulting, process designer/fixer, wireless telecom veteran, addicted pick up soccer player, fly fisher, backpacker, beer brewer, guitar player, choir singer, recovering bag piper

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