Agile, FOSS, people and the zone of turbulence in #LandscapeOfChange

Last weekend I was at Lime Wharf for Neo-Nomadism and the Lifestyle Hackers (BTW the link includes twitter handles for some people I admire). The five minute talks were mind-stirring, The afternoon workshops moved my thinking forward. I want to remind myself of the ideas that connected - hence this quick blog. It's not a clear explanation, more of a list.

The dots

These are some of  "the dots that joined up in my mind":

  • Developing software - agile versus waterfall
  • Collaboration - horizontal information flows in informal emergent networks and organisations versus top down (and possibly bottom up) flows in hierarchical organisations.
  • FOSS development - does this give models of self-organising collaboration, within tight structures and rules of software development?
  • Other self-organising collaborations, without the benefit of tightly defined "cellular" structures and rules everyone knows and applies 
  • Teams for collaboration - model of Belbin's team roles - need for diversity and the benefits of including  "people we wouldn't necessarily choose to spend our spare time with as friends".
  • All the stuff about top-down and bottom-up needing a neutral "area of confluence"
  • All the stuff about "the space between" and enabling collaborations that bring people out of their silos.
  • The culture of "How can we know what we're doing until we start?" versus the culture of "How can we start until we know what we're doing?" 
  • The challenge of "holding the space" where the two cultures are repeatedly touching and disconnecting (and have not yet co-created any area of confluence)
  • I call it the "zone of turbulence"
  • Our lack of appropriate language
  • Words that don't mean what we want them to - words that lose their specific meaning out of context - words with different meaning to people in different silos - words that cause chaos and misunderstandings in any "space between".
  • Our repeated need for pattern language to illustrate meaning through examples and to rescue us from misunderstandings
  • Experimenting with the language of agile and waterfall methodologies in order to gain insights into the currents and the clashes of culture in zones of turbulence

More connections

On Tuesday I was at a lunch time seminar on Open Education Resources and Open Access in Distance Education. I was intrigued to recognise how much the thought structures I'd been sorting in my mind at the weekend transferred to the culture of established academia, and its explorations of the development (and disruptions) of OERs and Open Access


I'm happy to provide references and links to ideas and topics mentioned above, but searching them all out before publishing the post is inappropriately time consuming. Please contact me if you want more details.

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