Imagine This

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Imagine an environment where standards are strictly enforced.
Where security is of paramount importance.

Now imagine that at the expense of productivity or rational reasoning.
Where compliance is dictated by the contents of a clipboard checklist.

Sandro Botticelli - La Carte de l'Enfer

Welcome to Hotel California.

South East Asian Babel

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Philippines is the prime example of a modern day Babel.

Pieter Brueghel de Jonge - De bouw van de toren van Babel

Calls for unity is a running and expensive gag. Political opinions are like assholes, 99.99% of the people have one; most of them different in varying degrees; and each group hell bent in believing that they are in the right. The best we can aspire for is a ruling majority as even consensus is too far fetched of a goal.

Make no mistake that I love my country. Its people, not as much. But the weird part is that we make good citizens but only if it is in a foreign land. I am still puzzled if it means those who have the qualities of being a good citizen tend to migrate out of frustration, or if the endemic political system in the country is really an engulfing viral machine immune to vaccinations. Maybe it is both?

Patriotic but tribalistic; the combination is a bitter sweet pill to swallow. It is like mixing oil and water which is possible with the right emulsifier. If only we can agree on what that is.

We welcome our new overlords

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I heard in a Technology training that “It is hard to comprehend that there will come a time that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will get smarter than us humans but it may still be about 50 more years.”

I find that preposterous. AI by definition isnt going to be smarter than human intelligence. It doesnt need to be. Humans on the other hand will just grow dumber. Technology helps.

Orchestrator vs. Leader

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I came across a leadership podcast a few weeks back wherein there was a description of leadership that seems to fit the type of leadership that a ScrumMaster or agile advcocate needs to exude. I lost my notes on which podcast it is for the necessary attribution but the notes that stuck with me contains the following (paraphrased) content:

During a performance show, an orchestrator (conductor) is somebody whom everybody in the group looks up to, following every flick of the wrist for the correct entry into the symphony. The choreographer on the other hand only teaches the vision of the dance, corrects any mistakes during the practice sessions, and then sits back in the audience to see the dance troupe interpret the visions, sometimes in ways that even exceeds what was practiced.

conductor-baton

Image courtesy of freerangestock.com

The choreographer aspect seems to fit what the agile advocate needs to do. This follows the mandate that in an agile team the scrum master is a servant-leader, a person who influences without any direct mandate. For those who finds that hard to comprehend, it is the same type of authority that friends form over their experiences, wherein a select few of the pack is looked upon for inputs on what to do next. That only comes with trust that the “choreographer” knows what they are saying and that they will not lead the pack into ruin.

The only resistance is the inherent inertia that most of the corporate organizations still pine for the command-and-control structure which gives the “feel good feeling” that everything can be boxed into a specific plan. This makes organizations make more open to the idea of putting seasoned managers as conductors of delivery in order to control every aspect and cadence of the team. They are not entirely wrong but the unpredictability of the human mind and real life means they are also not entirely right.

The conductor can still be a person of trust but normally the conductor’s authority is proportional to their perceived reputation. The reputation is a double edged sword as that can be the initial hump that the team needs to overcome to start being comfortable with having the “conductor” as part of the team.

On Memories

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Personal memories are biased. They are, whether consciously or otherwise, what we have chosen to preserve in our mind for later recall. There is a kind of satisfaction when traipsing down memory lane but beware that sometimes memories encase the reality with the best interpretation we wish to see. We often hear that truth has two sides (yours and mine) and this gets more pronounced when we factor in the dulling effect of time has on memory recall.
sign-post

But what fun is it to go down memory lane, to revisit friends and moments that have made an impact to who we are.

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