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Practical Wisdom of Agile

What is practical wisdom?

Have the moral will to make right by people.
Have the moral skill to figure out what doing right means.

Aristotle distinguished between two intellectual virtues (1):

[1] The ability to think well about the nature of the world, to discern why the world is the way it is; it involves deliberation concerning universal truths.  (Wisdom)

[2] The capability to consider the mode of action to deliver change, especially to enhance the quality of life.  Aristotle said it’s not simply a skill, however, as it involves not only the ability to decide how to achieve a certain end, but also the ability to reflect upon and determine that end.

If you combine these two virtues, you get practical wisdom.

What we as patrons of Agile need to do is have the moral will to make right by people and have the moral skill to figure out what doing right means.

A wise person knows when to make “the exception to every rule”.

A wise person knows when and how to improvise.

A wise person knows how to use these moral skills in pursuit of the right aims.  To serve other people, not to manipulate them.

A wise person is made not born. (2)

Next time you look at the bureaucracy of your organization or procesures,
ask yourself if there is a better way.
Ask yourself if it’s time to make that exception or to improvise.
Ask yourself if you’re ready for the practical wisdom of Agile.

(1) Wikipedia
(2) Barry Schwart, author of The Battle for Human Nature

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About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of Enterprise Engagements at LeadingAgile. I'm super focused on results. But I also take the hand waving out of organizational transformations. I come from a traditional PM background but I don't give points for stuff done behind the scenes. The only thing that counts is what you get done and delivered. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon)

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