Simon Powers

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If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change…

We’ve covered the basics of agility in the last chapter, and we now need to build on top of this and show what the building blocks are for exceptional organisations.

Later in the book, I will explore a step-by-step iterative approach to applying these building blocks. This is the AWA Strategy Playbook for Organisational Change.

The building blocks are:

  1. Use an iterative strategy combined with execution to enable change
  2. Align around a very clear motivating purpose
  3. Enable the right styles of leadership

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The Thinker — by Auguste Rodin

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.” — Albert Camus

At a certain stage in our development, it seemed ok to do whatever it took to succeed regardless of the cost to individuals, groups, or the environment. That stage has now passed.

The age of individualism is declining, and interdependent consciousness is required for nearly every collaboration and decision where more than a handful of people are involved. As we develop our systems awareness (our WE space), we need help to guide us on how to act in this new world.

A significant tool to…

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“The reasons why people believe that they need large numbers of bodies as though this was a ‘digging a ditch’ problem, are based upon a flawed understanding of the nature of software development and people as non-linear systems”

Craig Larman co-creator of Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) at an AWA meetup February 15th 2015

Back in 2013, I posed the question ‘how do we scale agility?’.

The answer to this question took me (and AWA) through a winding journey of discovery both about organisations and how people work together. …

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“It is absurd that a person should rule others, who cannot rule themself.”
— Latin Proverb

Writing about Leadership in a single chapter is a brave endeavour. It would be hard enough to encapsulate everything worth saying about Leadership in a single book, however I will condense the key factors that are needed by the greatest number of people to lead others working towards agility.


Leaders are defined as anyone in the organisation that has someone reporting to them or who leads an initiative or champions an idea. …

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This chapter provides a high-level overview of the AWA approach. In later chapters we go into more detail with examples.

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing” — Dale Carnegie

Do we need a playbook and is this another Agile framework?

This is not an agile framework. The reason I start this chapter with this statement is quite simply to differentiate this approach from the host of framework led approaches that is the prevalent method of trying to achieve some sort of agility.

If you have read the previous chapters, I hope you will understand that creating a centralised big narrative creates the…

The only problem I have with the Lord of the Rings Director’s Extended Edition is that it is too short.

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Introduction to the chapter

All my life I have loved epic stories that cover centuries of time with characters woven into the tapestry of the narrative. Perhaps that is why I was compelled to create this epic history of organisational change. A 600-year tale of how we have grown ourselves to cope with the ever-increasing complexity of our civilisations and inner thoughts.

Like many good epics, this is a trilogy. It is a story of the complexity of human consciousness and…

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Change. Chapter 3. Collective sense-making through stories

“The past changes a little every time we retell it.” — Hilary Mantel

Introduction to the chapter

Over the years many people have propositioned me to buy Adventures with Agile. In one of these discussions, the CEO of the other company told me that I would go far because I was able to express truth in the form of storytelling. I have thought about this a lot. Stories have been used for thousands of years and stories were once the primary way to convey truths from generation to generation.

One of the big ‘aha’ moments for any systems coach is the…

Simon Powers teaching an old model mapping frameworks to Laloux Reinventing organisations model circa 2017

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Change. Chapter two. by Simon Powers

There is no shortage of opportunity. There is only a shortage of those who will apply themselves to the basics that success requires. ~ Jim Rohn

The basics of agility.

It’s been a long and hard journey to write this book. I know every author says the same thing. I have had the additional challenge that the body of knowledge that we have about organisational change is growing so quickly it has been difficult to keep up and not have to rewrite the book every couple of months.

This rapid pace of change in our organisations is mirrored both in the…

Simon Powers

CEO and Founder of the community of practice, training, and coaching company: Adventures with Agile.

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