Scrum Notes 2013-20

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Why I do what I do ▶️

I came to the realization some years ago that I don't care much about corporations. I don't care about any kind of businesses really, big, small, startup, whatever. Maybe some socially active .orgs, or a cafe, art gallery or market stall of a friend, but mostly no.

I have little interest in rescuing or fixing broken, failing companies—simply because the majority don't want this, don't actually want to change at all. Most really just want to keep doing what they are doing and somehow, magically, have someone like me make it work for them. Sorry, not interested.

And yet I continue in this line of work. So I must—frequently—reflect and ask myself why. Am I so inauthentic, so cynical, that I just want to take these people's money, and give nothing in return? Or is there something else going on?

I choose to believe the latter. I must. The former would be unbearable. I shall rewind to the beginning of this work journey, the moment I discovered the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. There was, and this remains true today, one value that leapt out at me, grabbed me by the shoulders and generated a spontaneous, enthusiastic "Yes!".

We value... individuals and interactions over processes and tools.

After a mere six years working as a software developer, I was done with the bullshit. I was done wasting time on meaningless process, crappy tools, nonsense predictions, and rewards and punishments based on nothing that mattered. People. They mattered. Their hopes, dreams, desires, their pain, fears, expectations, their potential for greatness. People mattered.

Even though I thought I was helping corporations, I truly never was. I was only loving the people, caring for the quirkiness of the individual, embracing the awakenings. It didn't, and it doesn't matter to me if the corporation prospers or falls. What matters is that the individual rises, through failure, learning, discovery, embracing a new way of seeing, developing a heartfelt approach to human interaction in the workplace. Such a person will go on to do great things for our society, for our world.

That I can have a hand in that, is probably one of the most rewarding things I could do. People tend to live longer than corporations, so as an investment in the future this makes good sense. Yes, the corporation pays me, but it is the wider society that benefits. Robin Hood taught us, in myth and possible truth, that this is how it should be. I'm happy to live that legacy.

And sometimes, by accident, a corporation will learn something, and culture will shift. It has happened. It is a wonderful by-product.

Idaho Falls, 22/09/2015   comment