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Facilitating a Tipping Point - Stoos Network Event

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The Stoos Network event was held in Stoos, Switzerland last weekend. 

21 people with a wide variety of backgrounds including senior executives, business strategists, managers, academics, and lean/agile development practitioners from four continents met to discuss the state of leadership in organisations and the economy at large.

The event was organised by Steve Denning, Jurgen Appelo, Franz Röösli and Peter Stevens

Drawing on the principles of Agile development and thinking such as Denning's book Radical Management, Appelo's Management 3.0 and Röösli's The Leaders Dilema they invited a group of 20 people to join them to investigate and envison ways to find the "better way".

Their invitation explained the purpose of the event:

Ten years ago, a group of 17 thought leaders met in Utah with a simple idea: “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.” This collection of simple ideas became known as the “Agile Manifesto” and changed forever software development and the relationship between Business and IT.

This search also revealed the need for better ways to manage organizations and unfold human potential.

In general, we are trying to get a diverse group of people from many countries, who have substantial influence in their context and who understand agility and its relationship to business. Some are researchers and authors of books that are considered to be in the vanguard of their fields. Some are pioneering practitioners, i.e. active or former C-Level managers or coaches and trainers. Twelve countries are represented in the list of invitees at the moment. In general it will be a group that all of us will be proud to be associated with. 

The catchphrase for the event was "There's got to be a better way" and the participants worked together to try and find aspects of the better way.  They list a variety of topics that were discussed at the event and need to be examined further:

  • Who is our target audience?
  • Patterns of good management
  • What is the problem?
  • Expectations from this event
  • History of modern management (Taylor, Ford ..)
  • Power, Empowerment, Leadership
  • Axioms or fundamental ideas 
  • What is the leveraged opportunity?
  • Spiral Dynamics
  • Elastic Leadership
  • Designing one kind of viral event
  • Name and identity
  • Who are our potential allies? Who should we be sure to connect with?
  • Next Steps
  • Communiqué

They state on the website that

We believe that we uncovered some of the common characteristics of that better way. For example, that organizations can become learning networks of individuals creating value and that the role of leaders should include the stewardship of the living rather than the management of the machine.

After the event the participants issued a Communiqué explaining their motivation and intent.

The event certainly generated interest with a over 250 people joining the LinkedIn group within three days of the event, coupled with an active Twitter stream

The participants invite others to join them:

Most importantly, we committed to continue our work, both in-person and online. A problem this size will require many minds and hearts. We’d love to hear your voice and your experience.

InfoQ will be following what happens with this initiative and will follow this item with interviews and articles by the participants.


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