In retrospect, I consider it one of my biggest mistakes to have always categorically rejected metrics for the agile transformation. Although I still see the danger of an explosion of cargo cult if phenomena of agility are measured and rewarded instead of the essence, I would consciously take the risk today. For sooner or later, in every transformation, there comes a time when the question is raised very insistently as to what all this is meant to achieve and what it brings. And then you have to beat the system with its own weapons.
Every transformation entails friction with the status quo. Those who simply accept the practical constraints that are brought into play dilute the transformation. The new is then only somehow amalgamated with the collective without bringing about a significant change. The transformation itself is transformed and its protagonists are either assimilated or repelled.
Changing behavior and habits is often tedious. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, it is said. And that is exactly where the problem lies. Behavioral change is not only a question of will and motivation, but can be strategically better addressed with a differentiated understanding of human behavior. The behavioral model of B.J. Fogg provides the basis for this.
Entire organizations also suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect. After the first steps of transformation and the first insights, they are stuck at the peak of “Mount Stupid”, where they enjoy all kinds of cargo cult grossly overestimating what they have already achieved.
The credo of the start-up culture, “Fail fast, fail cheap”, still has the bland aftertaste of sloppiness for German engineers and their managers. This typical German fixation on gap sizes prevents agility and slows us down.
Court jesters or corporate rebels invite people to reflect, rethink and think differently and protect the organization and its rulers from hubris and inertia. But is this necessary in a crisis? Is this art or can it go away?