Are You Overlooking Agile’s Best Kept Secret? Unleash the Power of Learning on the Fly with Jon Fazzaro


S03-E02 – Jon Fazzaro – Cannot Value the Work Until It Is Done and In Use

[00:00:00] Announcer Introduction

[00:00:31] Drew Podwal: Welcome to another episode of the agile for agile, this podcast, I’m super excited that you guys are listening today , Brad and I actually, we recorded this. I want to say. Towards the end of the summer. So it’s, it’s been on the shelves for a little bit now. but we got to sit down with an agile coach. Jon Fazzaro. Who coincidentally, overlaps our circles twice. I met him back about a year and a half ago. and Adam Weissbart’s agile mastery community group and i noticed that both Jon and brad were speaking at the same conferences often

[00:01:08] at the same exact time. And it turns out they didn’t actually know each other. And so I put them in touch and they wound up speaking at a conference and. So we carved out some time, put our heads together and came up with this great topic that you’ll be listening to in today’s episode.

[00:01:22] Jon’s got this great mantra that he’s been been using for awhile now. And it’s, we cannot value the work until it’s done and in use. And it’s a really great phrase, right? Because it’s true. We don’t actually know the value of the work until we finally finished it. It’s done. It’s been tested and customers are using it. So we’re going to revolve around that, topic today for a bit. I just want to call out, like later on in the conversation, we actually figure out not only does that apply to the work that our teams are doing in delivering value to customers. It also aligns pretty strongly with ethos that we as coaches. Need to have. In order to help our clients to see the pathway for their transformation, adoption of capabilities and an agile maturity. No two organizations are the same. And as a result, we don’t know the value of our coaching and our customers won’t realize the value of our coaching. Until we incrementally work with them. coach them through their agile maturity.

[00:02:24] So we’re glad you’re here.

[00:02:25] Pull up a chair, take a listen and let us know your thoughts.

[00:02:29] You can find us on the web at www dot Agile for Agilists dot com. Or you could email us at podcast at Agile for Agilists dot com.

[00:02:39] Also, we’ve got some pretty groovy looking new sparkly stickers that, that Brad. Created and designed using our logo. If you’d like some stickers, please reach out to us either by posting on LinkedIn or through email, and we’ll make sure to send you out some stickers.

[00:02:56] Jon Fazarro: I’ve been on teams that get being agile and on teams that don’t, and, you know, they’ll both tell you that they get agile and, you know, they’re, they’re the best at it or whatever, you know, their process is awesome. But, the ones that really get it, I was like, what is it about these teams?

[00:03:16] What’s different about these teams that’s not present on the ones that are struggling with this? And when I talk about struggling, I’m, I’m thinking of specifically the whole thing where, you know, this is, this is our process and, uh, it doesn’t say so in the good book of Scrum and so therefore we can’t do that other thing that you’re trying to get us to do.

[00:03:38] just the kind of rigid thinking that, everything stems from having the perfect process. and being inflexible in, in trying new things. What I find is, is missing there is that, that they, they have a faith in the work that’s not there in the teams that really get agility. And by faith, I mean, Well, the whole thing is we have to get as much work done in as little time as possible. And that’s how we succeed. Whereas, if you actually look at, the things spelled out in the Agile Manifesto, or even if you go back before then, to things that were being discussed in, , any of the lightweight processes, before that.

[00:04:19] really, there’s an underlying assumption. And I kind of got to this by asking, why? I would take an Agile practice and I would ask why. Why are we doing that? until I got to something that seemed to be common to all of, all of the practices that I tried it with.

[00:04:35] And it always came back to this one thing. Like, the work is not inherently valuable. We don’t know. And we, indeed, we can’t know. We cannot know how this is going to turn out ahead of time. And so the worst thing we could do is try to fit as much work into as short a time as possible, because what we’re doing every time we add more work is we’re adding more variables, more risk, more [00:05:00] unknown to the pile of things that are going to get validated when we hand them off to somebody who’s going to use

[00:05:08] Drew Podwal: What I’ve seen a lot of is that, that where teams falter on this is the value comes from the stakeholder is asking the work, This must be valuable because the stakeholder is asking us to do this. as opposed to recognizing that, all right, well, you know, we need to actually get some feedback from a customer, to understand how it’s valuable, why it’s valuable, what are the jobs to be done that are valuable here? and testing out that hypothesis. I often find though that it’s the tyranny of the urgent, , that gets in the way of… of being able to then slow the roll down on that and say, all right, we, we know that what the stakeholders are asking us to do is this big bohemoth thing, right?

[00:05:55] And we could trust them to say, well, they must know what it is that they’re asking for because they get paid more than us. You know, they’re, they come from the, the

[00:06:04] profit center side of the organization. what I’ve seen

[00:06:08] time and time again, and also my experience back before I was an Agilist, was that like, we would accept that mostly because we didn’t have a choice to not accept that, and that sure enough, three weeks in, a month in, another six months in, right? there’s new things that are being discovered about what it is that they want. And nobody’s ever paused for a second to say, well, what is our customer actually saying about this? Oh, they don’t have it yet? Well, how will we

[00:06:36] know, you know?

[00:06:37] Jon Fazarro: Yeah, I, I, um, and I forget where I heard it, but I heard it recently. It may have even been on a prior episode of this podcast, but it’s not scope creep. It’s, you know, it’s validated learning.

[00:06:48] Brad Nelson: I think the problem is we’re prioritizing work, not value. And it goes back to how stakeholders and leaders still have this mindset that work is inherently valuable and they have a productivity mindset as opposed to a value mindset, which is something I talk a lot about. Uh, but you also made me think of the cone of uncertainty, which is also something I teach almost every chance I can get where.

[00:07:17] You know, we know the least when it’s just an idea, we just throw it

[00:07:21] Jon Fazarro: Yeah. So how could you, how could you possibly do all of your planning when you know the least? How could you be successful that way? Yeah.

[00:07:27] Brad Nelson: Right. yeah, and furthermore, I teach, right, like the cone of uncertainty, it never touches. You never 100 percent know. Even in production, you don’t fully know, but there’s ways to try to figure it out. And as Marty Kagan says, it’s going to take several iterations. You’re not going to get it right the first time.

[00:07:46] Jon Fazarro: And that’s actually, that’s, uh, one of my mantras that I’ve started collecting is you’re not going to get it right the first time. And I find, I find that, that’s definitely, that is something I say maybe two or three times a week

[00:08:00] and there’s such a strong instinct, in all of us. Developers, uh, and, and There’s this

[00:08:12] There’s this instinct we have to get this right the first time. Then we’re not going to get a second chance. And it couldn’t be further from the truth in a medium like software.

[00:08:22] It’s right in the name that it’s soft,

[00:08:24] Drew Podwal: So I was listening to Alanis Morissette last night. I don’t, like, every now and then I get these really weird… like hankerings for musicians or songs And it usually gets triggered by something else, right? So I started on the pipeline because Sinead O’Connor died last week, right?

[00:08:45] and and so that kind of got me down this like rabbit hole But I was listening to the song you learn by Alanis Morissette Have you guys ever listened to that song and ever actually listened to the lyrics?

[00:08:57] Brad Nelson: I’m not sure. I don’t know all of Alanis

[00:09:00] Jon Fazarro: I remember it on

[00:09:01] Drew Podwal: straight up agile It’s straight up Agile, right? so let me read a couple of verses for you. I’m not

[00:09:08] going to sing it.

[00:09:09] yeah. you live, you learn. You love, you learn. You cry, you learn. You lose, you learn. You bleed, you learn. You scream, you learn. Right? It’s all about this

[00:09:17] learning process,

[00:09:19] and I, and I feel like that part of, learning the value of your work, right?

[00:09:24] They try to accelerate that by saying, don’t, don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain, all right, just focus on what we’re asking. you guys to get done and just get it done. the idea of, of learning, like we learn the value, we learn how to communicate with each other better, We learn, um, how to move code along the CICD pipeline better, And if we just focus on getting the work done because somebody else has defined that it’s valuable for us, we’re missing out on the opportunity to, have software team that’s singing an Alanis Morissette song.

[00:09:59] Jon Fazarro: Do you know,[00:10:00]

[00:10:00] Brad Nelson: Hopefully keeping their clothes on

[00:10:02] Jon Fazarro: what comes to mind when you say that is, I’m imagining like a hard nosed sort of, uh, maybe middle management, director of IT type saying, yeah, that’s nice, but learning isn’t what we’re here to do. That’s not what you get paid for. We get paid for shipping software.

[00:10:19] We get paid for writing code. And, You know, I have to say, like, there’s obvious evidence that learning is good for business and propels us forward and indeed helps us to, like, ship the next thing. But there’s this devaluing of it at a cultural gut level, and I think, that that comes from, 20th century attitude of learning is what you do when you’re a child, when you’re in school.

[00:10:42] And, it’s a lot like, sort of a phased approach to delivering something. It’s a phased approach to delivering a whole person. Like, first we have the phase where they go to school and they learn. Then they’re done learning and we have the phase where they go and do. And if they have to learn in the middle of doing, that’s seen as a failure.

[00:11:01] That’s seen as a remedial. Things. Something went wrong in phase one, and now we have to correct it in phase two. That’s broken. And that’s, you know, that’s kind of this industrial shadow that hangs over the work we’re doing in this century now. But it was so baked into our culture that we don’t even see when it sneaks up and, causes these logical fallacies.

[00:11:25] In the work of software, where learning is valuable.

[00:11:28] Drew Podwal: Well, it’s project based thinking, right? It’s, you know, we build software as a project as opposed to realizing it’s a product. And one of the things that I’ve been noticing lately is I’ll hear Masters or product owners refer to their features as projects, and, and I call their attention to like, okay, what you’re building is a product.

[00:11:49] And it’s wonderful that you’re incrementing and iterating on that by having different projects come through the pipeline. to then be able to deliver new enhanced functionality. what would it be like if we called that a feature instead? Right? And how could we slice that feature so that we get early learning involved in that?

[00:12:07] I, I still think that’s a remnant of, of this project way of delivering software that… I don’t know, I’ve never seen it work and people always argue that like, Oh, well, what if we know everything we’re supposed to do, right? Shouldn’t it be a project then? It’s like, all right, well, show me when that actually has ever been true.

[00:12:25] That you, you know, everything that you’re supposed to do.

[00:12:28] Jon Fazarro: Yeah, that’s never happened. I mean, people have felt like that. and I’m sure, well, okay, I can’t say never, that’s not very scientific of me, but I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen that happen, I’ve never heard of that happening, there’s always learning that, that explodes from the doing.

[00:12:46] Brad Nelson: Couldn’t agree more. but before we started, and you just touched on this now, your mantras. you have several mantras that you’ve kind of collected, created. can you explain to us, like, what is a mantra to you? And then is this like something that you

[00:13:02] promote other people doing? And then what are some of yours?

[00:13:05] Jon Fazarro: this is a, this is an idea I straight up stole from, uh, um, Joshua Kariefsky, his book that, came out earlier this year, Joy of Agility. He kind of organized, there’s, dozens of stories in, in this book, and he chose to organize them them into six, what he called mantras.

[00:13:25] one of the, you know, maybe one of them is, uh, be poised to adapt, or be quick but don’t hurry. And they weren’t, they weren’t necessarily things that he had come up with, but they were like, bits that he had collected and made sense in order to group the stories in his book. And I found, you know, not only just, you know, reading the book and, and learning his mantras that he had collected, but also realizing that I had a few of my own that I have been collecting kind of in the background.

[00:13:56] I didn’t think to call them mantras or anything yet. But I, I made a list of the things that I find myself saying a lot from, you know, from team to team or week to week. one of them that I mentioned earlier is stop trying to get it right the first time. You’re not going to. another one is, on the topic of, uh, working sustainably, take a break before you need a break.

[00:14:19] You know, most people take a break after they need a break. When you need a break, it’s too late. You’re already broken.

[00:14:27] Brad Nelson: Guilty as charged.

[00:14:30] Jon Fazarro: So, yeah, yeah, I’ve got, you know, a good, a good handful of those going. I don’t think I’ve got a, uh, a book yet, but, you know, I’ll leave that to Josh for now.

[00:14:39] Drew Podwal: was it we were talking to who said, uh, uh, they opened up their hard drive one day and they found a book that they had written. So they decided to publish it.

[00:14:47] Brad Nelson: That was Jason

[00:14:48] Drew Podwal: Yeah.

[00:14:49] Jon Fazarro: I’m gonna go look at my hard

[00:14:50] drive now.

[00:14:50] Drew Podwal: Like,

[00:14:51] Jon Fazarro: Be right

[00:14:52] Drew Podwal: yeah. Yeah.

[00:14:53] Brad Nelson: Yeah.

[00:14:55] Drew Podwal: Back when I was in the Navy, right?

[00:14:58] I had a side [00:15:00] job when I was living in Puerto Rico as a tattoo artist and what happened was I met a woman who owned one of the tattoo studios and and so she was like, Drew, it seems like you really are interested in this.

[00:15:12] If you get your own equipment, I’ll, I’ll let you work here. And so all my friends chipped in to get me, my, my tattoo equipment and, skipping to the end real quick. I was a terrible tattoo artist. I call myself a tattooist, but, and so she gave me a job there and I, I, I gave my friends free tattoos in exchange for, you know, buying me the equipment, so the first tattoo that I ever gave was to a friend of mine, Robert Rooney from, uh, in Long Island, we’re still good friends. but he wanted this tattoo on his chest. And so I’m sitting there, he’s laying down in the chair and I’ve got the tattoo machine running, but my hand is like frozen and I can’t get it to actually touch his chest.

[00:15:53] I just. Don’t have the the nerve in me to actually start like start down this path that I was like super interested in doing And so he looked at me for a second and he said, all right, stop the machine And he said I want you to breathe in I want you to breathe out, or I want you to breathe in deeper now I want you to breathe out.

[00:16:12] He said, now, now start. Start the machine. He said, I want you to breathe in again. hold it. And then he grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled his chest into the running tattoo needle. And he goes, drew, you’ve now made your first mistake. Now give me the rest of the tattoo. And that was. Part of my necessary part of my learning, to be able to, get over my yips that I had about putting a fast moving needle into somebody’s skin. Um, the same thing is true in software, right? You’ve got to break a few eggs to figure out, you’re not going to get it perfect the first time around.

[00:16:48] And so, like, let’s not. Try to get it perfect the first time around. Let’s know that in the first sprint we’re going to be making some mistakes. Let’s learn from those mistakes. Let’s keep that mindset going incrementally over time, and get to a place where Drew finally gave a good tattoo, which never happened.

[00:17:05] But,

[00:17:06] um,

[00:17:06] Jon Fazarro: story about, like, having

[00:17:08] to, just having to do something, having to begin and commit and not, get it all right the first time, because that involves so much, you know how much work in progress there is involved to get something right the first time? You have to juggle all the things all at once.

[00:17:24] That’s bananas.

[00:17:25] You’d never start. You’d never get anything done.

[00:17:28] Drew Podwal: yeah, and I didn’t know the value until I started actually really giving a tattoo, right? I didn’t I still don’t really know the value, but the value was it was really fun It was enjoyable and now I have a great story But um, but we have this in so many areas of our lives Like I bet you guys can each come up with at least one or two Similar sort of stories where there was something that you weren’t sure of how to do You thought you knew how to do it exactly, but maybe you didn’t get started because you weren’t sure how to actually get over the hurdle and start.

[00:17:58] And then when you did get over the hurdle, you know, you realize it’s not as difficult because you learned something about that first go around. And now it’s just become like this part of your life and become part of your persona. It’s a hobby or something like that, that you do every weekend or whatever, and we often don’t treat ourselves with that level of kindness, but when we do, great things happen. Right. I know you have kids, Jon, do you have kids?

[00:18:27] Jon Fazarro: I do.

[00:18:28] Drew Podwal: Yeah, like the idea of, helping your kids to make mistakes and make it feel comfortable for them to make mistakes as they grow and learn so that this way they can become better at things, as opposed to being so nervous to jump out onto the soccer field because their friends are going to

[00:18:46] laugh at them or whatever that might

[00:18:48] Jon Fazarro: Well, and I, you know, it’s funny you mentioned the

[00:18:49] parenting thing. The, that’s kind of what I consider my job as a parent to be. Is not to create a child. Not to shape and mold a person. You know, in this sort of, again, this industrial kind of Taylorist way, um, I can’t do any of those things. What I can do is create an environment where my child is going to make mistakes in a safe way, where they’re not going to get killed or sick or maimed, you know, before they’re done being in my care, and so that they can, you know, Make those mistakes, learn, and become

[00:19:24] better people for them.

[00:19:26] They’ve got to do the job of making the mistakes. I’m, I’m just responsible for the container.

[00:19:31] Drew Podwal: when you talked about having faith earlier, admittedly, I didn’t fully, you know, grok what you were getting at. But now that I’m thinking about it, the parenting perspective, if you provide your child with the right opportunities, , the light guidance and some boundaries and whatnot, you have faith that they will then Pick those things up and go forth into the world to then develop the interests that they want to develop, And some people have that level of faith in their kids and [00:20:00] trust, To be able to give them that freedom of space to go make a bunch of mistakes as they learn how to become better painters, better, Musicians or whatever that is, and other parents don’t have that faith. They have to be the helicopter parent that says, this is what you need to learn, how you need to learn it and where you need to be by any given point in time.

[00:20:22] And I think that that’s that project based waterfall mindset in the world that we’re talking about. uh, am I on track with how you were

[00:20:30] talking about faith before now that I put it that

[00:20:32] Jon Fazarro: It’s interesting, because it almost sounds like the opposite, but what I’m really talking about with faith is not, um, it, it, it can sound like the argument that I’m making that they have too much faith in the work. It almost sounds like it’s, it’s sort of a, almost an atheism argument about work, like you shouldn’t have faith.

[00:20:52] Right? But what I’m saying is the faith is misplaced. Um, when you’re talking about, like, they have these people, parents who have faith in their children to, you know, make mistakes and work it out and, you know, do their thing. That, I think, is appropriately placed faith. Even, you know, whether you say it’s the faith is in the child themselves or in just the process of humanity.

[00:21:18] Like, you have, you have faith that this thing is going to work itself out and you just have to keep people from dying. Um. Where the helicopter parent part of the analogy comes in, is that they have faith in a different thing. They have faith that they know what’s right. They know the next thing the child

[00:21:37] should do, and so it becomes this command and control, project based arrangement, where the child merely has to follow instructions, and the right result will come of that.

[00:21:45] They have faith in the work, not in the child.

[00:21:49] Drew Podwal: Oh,

[00:21:50] Jon Fazarro: And similarly,

[00:21:51] in an… In an Agile team, company, whatever, any kind of venture that’s truly Agile, you have faith, not in the work, not in the plan, but in the people that you’re asking it of.

[00:22:05] Drew Podwal: Got it. Yeah, that’s wild. I hadn’t considered it from that perspective. So I feel like,

[00:22:11] yeah.

[00:22:12] Jon Fazarro: Fantastic. Well, I

[00:22:13] better go home now, quit while I’m ahead.

[00:22:18] Brad Nelson: Yeah, I like that. I like that a lot. And I do think it’s true, focusing on the wrong thing. And, I reflected on this a lot. Like, why is this the case? Why is it seems so prevalent? because you don’t see that in startups, like startups inherently have to be more agile to survive, to make it.

[00:22:37] And I think that’s where like Eric Ries came up with the Lean Startup and where that became like, uh, like these major companies are now like trying to copy the startup mindset. the conclusion I’ve come to, and I’m curious if you have a different one, Jon, is that… These organizations have been this way for a very, sorry, my dog is very barky today.

[00:22:58] It’s been one of those days, so I’m rolling with it. Uh, I’m getting smiles

[00:23:02] Drew Podwal: Good for you, man. Go with

[00:23:04] Brad Nelson: Um, the conclusion that I’ve come to is that these organizations have been around so long that people are indoctrinated into these environments. And so all they’ve known is this system. And so they have belief in what they know. And so you, and you don’t have the owners anymore of these companies. You don’t really have anyone that is like, Hey, this is why I created this company, this is what I’m trying to do. So you just have this faith in this hierarchy and this system. And so you could have someone who’s worked their full life in this environment, never experienced Agile.

[00:23:41] And so they think Agile is new when in reality, it’s not. And so that’s kind of the conclusion I’ve come to is just like, we’re all products of our environment when it comes to this kind of mindset and the struggle,

[00:23:52] Drew Podwal: Well, I feel like it’s been since the eighties where we’ve had this, principle of how can we, drive up profits by doing more work with less people, and I think that that’s definitely a part of where it stems from as well. the people with the most money are the ones who make the strategy and make the plan.

[00:24:10] and then we give it to the people who make less money and, they. Should just follow our plan because we smarter And so why can’t you follow our plan?

[00:24:22] Jon Fazarro: Well, and this is, that’s played

[00:24:24] out right down to the way we visualize the organization. when I say visualize the organization, what image pops into your mind?

[00:24:31] Brad Nelson: a hierarchy.

[00:24:32] Jon Fazarro: Yeah,

[00:24:33] an org chart that is specifically an upside down tree, that splits as it goes down. What does that picture mean? That picture means the person at the top, they know everything there is to know about the work being done at this organization. but they don’t have enough hands.

[00:24:50] And so they have… Basically, they take their job and they split it in two or three pieces, like you do the finance, you do the operations, you do the whatever, and, and they hand [00:25:00] those jobs down to those people. Those people also don’t have enough hands, although they’re very good at, they know that area of that work, and then they split that job.

[00:25:07] And then those people split their jobs, and so on, until you get down to the, the bottom rung of, the employees, the leaf nodes. and those people simply, their job, in that picture. Their job is to come in, on time, and follow instructions given to them. Because the job has been broken down so finely that they don’t need any expertise to carry it out.

[00:25:30] They just need to follow the instructions of all the breakdown that happened above them. That, that’s what that picture means. And it’s bananas to me that, a modern, uh, reactive knowledge work organization would even think that that’s a good way to… Visualize themselves.

[00:25:49] Brad Nelson: that reminds me of a quote by Henry Ford and I love a lot of Ford’s quotes, but one of them is why is it every time I asked for a pair of hands, a brain comes

[00:25:57] attached.

[00:25:58] Jon Fazarro: Uh huh. Which was appropriate! That was appropriate for Henry Ford. Henry Ford was a genius who took, you know, Taylor’s ideas and applied them the right way for, I think, I believe, the first, he was the first person to do it. At scale, at least. And that’s what the

[00:26:13] world needed at that point. They needed a giant machine made out of people.

[00:26:18] And he was right to complain that the brain was attached because that fouled up his whole plan. And that was brilliant. But now, like that’s that we look at that quote a hundred years later and go, what an asshole, right? It’s like what why does he want to strip the humanity out of out of people? Well, of course he wanted to strip that he was true.

[00:26:35] He was building a machine. He wasn’t building an organism.

[00:26:39] Drew Podwal: Yeah, well, you know I just was at a conference a couple of months back where they were talking about like one of the things that really set Henry Ford aside was His vision for what he was trying to create and I’m gonna butcher it was something about like, you know every Household in America should have a vehicle, should be able to afford a vehicle to be able to drive the great parkways of the United States and so on and so forth, and then at the end he said as long as it’s black, um,

[00:27:08] but um,

[00:27:09] Jon Fazarro: Talk about an MVP.

[00:27:10] Drew Podwal: Yeah,

[00:27:12] Jon Fazarro: That’s how

[00:27:12] you limit scope.

[00:27:13] Drew Podwal: well, you know, I’m not against the idea of hierarchy, right?

[00:27:17] I’m just against the idea of management principles like if you have hierarchy that’s based upon leadership principles like actual true Leadership principles not not corporate America modern, you know, I’m a leader principles, then I think that’s okay, right? Because, you have to respect that there’s a brain on either side of the hierarchy, and as a leader, you, honor that there’s a brain on the, the leaf nodes, and you ask the leaf nodes, like, what do you need? what can I do to help you out? so I’m not against the idea of hierarchies so much as long as it’s, Got bi directional communication, bi directional trust, bi directional respect, and things like that.

[00:28:05] being handed, a project to work on, even if somebody write, writes an epic and breaks it down into features and then hands you features, say here that they’re, if they’re all written, do this, In this order. that’s the management principle getting in the way of innovation, quality, faster cycles of learning. and so that to me is, one of the key distinctions, not specifically the hierarchy, right? Because you can have hierarchies, In a healthy way, the other side of that coin is things like, holocracies, right?

[00:28:38] Which there’s like no hierarchies at all. And I think that that’s a wonderful thing if your company can adopt those kinds of ways of working with one another. I don’t see too many companies that I’ve been with in the United States that’s ready to take that plunge to say, you know, we’re all at the same level in this

[00:28:57] company.

[00:28:58] Jon Fazarro: it’s interesting when you, there are so many different ways than upside down trees to organize a group of people, and I think part of the hesitancy of, you know, embracing something like a holacracy or some other, you know, non upside down tree type organizational structure is that, this is the, the top down structure was so So inculcated into how we were taught to think about work. It’s, it’s how a school is organized, right? There’s a one teacher at the front of the classroom and everybody faces that person and follows their instructions and that teacher reports to an administrator or a principal of some kind and then that, you know, it’s a factory all the way up. And so those, those, it’s like there’s, it’s the water and we’re fish.

[00:29:49] There’s, there is no to where companies that try alternative structures to that just say, they say things like, we’re a flat [00:30:00] organization, we don’t have an org chart, but really there totally is a hierarchy, there totally is an org chart, nobody’s just, they just haven’t written it down, and it’s secret, and it’s different in everybody’s head, and then It’s It’s chaotic. I’m not saying that nobody’s made a holacracy work, but I’m saying that that’s probably the reason there’s either hesitancy or failure in implementing some, you know, a structure like that

[00:30:23] Drew Podwal: yeah, we had,

[00:30:24] Jon Fazarro: hard to break free

[00:30:25] of the default.

[00:30:26] Drew Podwal: we had a guest on an Agile coach who was a former, teacher I think the public school systems, if I recall correctly, her name is Patty Eluskowitz. I her whole thing that she was talking about is that, you know, we learn these hierarchies from grade school and elementary school and, you know, and it makes sense that that carries on into the working world as a result of that.

[00:30:48] It’s interesting that you bring that up as well because that was her that was her whole platform on this episode Which I thought was really cool, and I’d never thought about it from that perspective

[00:30:58] Brad Nelson: Yeah. I, I can’t help but call out the human side of it as well. Thinking back to even myself when I first became a scrum master and I was no longer responsible for the work. I was no longer responsible for sharing my fantastic ideas of how we’re going to accomplish this that no one else could possibly have.

[00:31:20] And I think that there is a bit of that. Human nature is like, I’ve worked really hard to get this executive position. I deserve it. And so I’m going to keep it. If you get rid of it, then I’ve worked for nothing.

[00:31:35] Jon Fazarro: Yeah, there’s so, so many, you know, the logical fallacies, a good handful of them come to mind in, in this whole discussion. We’ve got, um, appeal to authority in, in terms of having faith in the work or faith in what somebody tells you is the work. Um, and that one is definitely, there’s a bit of sunk cost fallacy.

More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu