The gem in this Forbes post focusing on reconciling disciplined execution with innovation is that it concludes with how much it IS about control when collaborative group methods, Agile included, are used.
The solutions that the experts have offered to the problem of reconciling disciplined execution with innovation have all tended to be various ways of increasing or modifying control over an increasing number of ideas:
- chief innovation officers (Debra Amidon),
- innovation “factories” (P&G),
- the innovation marketplace (Alpheus Bingham and Dwayne Spradlin),
- separate business units (Clayton Christensen),
- open source innovation (Henry Chesbrough) and
- shared value (Michael Porter and Mark Kramer).
What’s annoying about Agile to control-minded management practitioners and theorists is that it recognizes that the problem lies in control itself.
...[It IS about] giving greater freedom to those people doing the work to exercise their talents and creativity, but doing so within short cycles so that those doing the work can themselves see whether they are making progress or not.
...Agile thrives on transparency.
...control thrives on non-transparency.
...introducing (real) Agile means exposing all of the non-transparent tricks that hierarchical managers play on their subordinates to maintain power. Is it any wonder that Agile isn’t naturally popular with the command-and-control gang?
Photo credit: Agile Boston event, by IT Event Photography Boston