You and your 7 billion cousins are wizards.
And so are the billions who preceded you.
Human wizardry comes in many forms. Different responses to the challenges of the time.
The Aborigines were hugely peaceful and knew (know!) how to live symbiotically with nature.
The Polynesians sailed huge seas. On rafts.
The San tribe lived in, well, sand.
These are feats of huge ingenuity, creativity.
They didn’t require Monday morning meetings, time sheets and 360 degree reviews.
These successes, ‘innovations’, were the fruits of thousands upon thousands of tests, experiments.
People, working together in small teams in pursuit of small incremental improvements. Together these little steps amounted to huge leaps.
Today we might call it agile.
But that’s just corporate language appropriating timeless ideas. Like how nature works.
Agile has a manifesto describing how it works and why. Agile ideas are pulsing through the corporate world.
But the reason it works is because it describes how nature works.
Consider the principles.
1. Customer Satisfaction through continuous development
2. Accommodate changing requirements
3. Frequent delivery of working software
4. Collaboration between all stakeholders throughout the project.
5. Support, trust, motivate the people involved.
6. Enable face to face interactions.
7. Working software is a primary measure of progress.
8. Have a consistent delivery pace.
9. Right skills and design make the process better.
11. Self organising teams are best
12. Regular reflections are good.
We think we’re a highly civilised group. And we are. But these principles were captured and written in the last decades. The spirt they describe, of course, has been present for, well, ever.
These are human principles. They are natural principles. They are timeless principles.
Humans are social. We work best in llttle teams, small groups. We find meaning in connection, in solving problems, in seeing the fruits of our labours. Grandpa Caveman knew this. As do Ikea.
Nature is always testing, learning, refining. It’s always outputting into the world. It’s not working to a grand plan, as far as we know, but it is always working. Subtle shifts. Little improvements. Compounded. Try this, if it works, do more, if it doesn’t, stop. Nature makes the complex simple. Nature hates waste.
We are one of nature’s experiments. We’ve taken the journey onto new and ever more inspiring levels. We have the ability to think and learn and reflect. Oh yes, reflect. Check that. When we take time to pause, to reconnect, we refresh, we recharge. The Aborigines already knew that.
I wonder what they would make of the agile manifesto?
What further lessons are buried in nature’s plain sight about how we might better function, operate, do or be?