Next Steps for the Stoos Movement

In little more than a year the Stoos movement has grown from the initial four founders, to the twenty-one present at the Stoos meeting and now to a network of thousands worldwide. But little has changed in how most organisations are run.

Even where approaches such as Scrum or Kanban have been introduced at department or business unit level, the involved firms themselves are still focussed on keeping shareholders happy rather than delighting customers and employees remain disillusioned.

In his passionate call to action during a talk as part of the Stoos Connect meeting in January 2013, Stephen Denning described   five challenges for the movement:

  1. There is a need to recognize the extent of the challenge. Throughout the twentieth century these ideas have been presented many time but have not stuck.

  2. The movement needs to think bigger by becoming part of a movement of movements. Organisations such as the management information exchange, Scrum Alliance and Agile Alliance are all concerned with the same or similar ideas. All of the organisations together represent perhaps 500000 people.

  3. We need to be bolder. We have truth on our side, but that is not enough. We have to insist on change, to get beyond tweaking.

  4. We need to work on the constraints preventing change by taking practical action that can lead to lasting, sustainable change. For example, by engaging with the 80% of business schools that do not yet subscribe officially to these ideas and by challenging business journals (e.g. HBR) by pointing out when their articles are not supporting new management ideas.

  5. By evangelizing the change. Rational argument is not enough, the movement needs to express itself with passion.

Stephen Denning quoted Margaret Mead (anthropologist) at the end of his talk:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, nothing ever else has.”

A video of Stephen’s talk is here.

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