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The Future of Work - Morning Sessions from Agile People Sweden

| by Ben Linders Follow 12 Followers on Oct 24, 2017. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

The fifth Agile People Sweden Conference is being held on October 23 and 24 in Stockholm. The 2017 conference theme is: The Future of Work - Scaling Agile to Improve Worklife.

Agile People aims to be at the front line of organizational change:

There is a shift happening in the world of work. Organizations are becoming more inspiring, human and purposeful. Organizations that are fit for humans and the future. Businesses are becoming a force for good. People's potential is freed up to have a positive impact in people’s lives, the community and the world.

The conference is organized by the Agile People Association. With 210 attendees, the conference was sold out. InfoQ is covering this event with write-ups, interviews, and articles.

Jurgen Appelo gave the opening keynote where he talked about Agility Scales. He stated that redesign of organizations for agility is at the top of the list for the C-suite. Traditional change programs usually fail; changes that are implemented by these programs don’t stick and people fall back into the existing work patterns and habits. Appelo suggested using a game-based approach for organizational change. Organizations need to become shapeshifters, able to balance hierarchy and networking, efficiency and effectiveness, and execution and innovation. They can only achieve this by motivating people to change continuously, he stated.

Next James Priest talked about Enterprise Wide Agility with Sociocracy 3.0. We are mandating methods and structures and trying to fit people in, which makes people resist for good reasons, said Priest. The only thing that facilitates effective collaboration at scale is people. He explained the Sociocracy 3.0 principles and explored the menu of patterns for activities like co-creation and evolution, peer development, building organizations, defining agreements, and focused interactions. Sociocracy 3.0 defines governance as "Continuously deciding what to do to achieve objectives, and setting constraints on how and when things will be done." Governance and agility go together; good governance frees people up to decide and to do what’s best, argued Priest.

The last session in the morning was a keynote by Bonnitta Roy about How Self Organization Happens and Why You Can Trust It. People self organize to distribute the load of task demands. For knowledge workers in software development for example, most of the tasks are cognitive. According to Roy, self organization relies on simple protocols to generate rich complex environments. Patterns from Sociocracy 3.0 are an example of such simple protocols, she said. You can use sensemaking tools to find out about the state that you are in and then decide what to do.

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