The Agile Ice Bucket Challenge



Whether you like the ice bucket challenge or not isn’t the point. Although…how many of those who participated in the challenge actually gave to the ALS charity? How many were in it just for the video experience of SPLASH-WHOSH- OH! OMG, THAT’S COLD! Far too many. So the War on ALS loses. Then, we all lose. But Slacktivism isn’t the point, either. Seth Godin did an excellent job covering that.

From the hoopla, I do find inspiration to lead change. For example, when bringing Agile or any of its parts into your organization, you can participate on the peripheral, or you can get fully involved, fully committed. Team members and leaders alike have this choice. Stand on the peripheral and get that WHOOSH! OMG, I am so excited we are changing! feeling, and that will work fine. For a while. Slacktivism is easily hidden in the venues of social media and our homes; surely it has great places to hide in corporate America. Think of all those status meetings!



But when things go wrong, or when there is a grand opportunity to grow, organizations need to be bedrock-strong. During these moments, Slacktivism, or being on the peripheral, will fail you. With false commitment, you’ll be missing that foundational vision for why change has to happen, you know, the one that’s strong enough to withstand all obstacles? Your Agile transformation will be on shaky ground at best. Then begins the slippery slope of things falling through the cracks, and leaks causing long term damage.

The other choice, of course, is to be fully committed to change. A committed team member or leader steps past the glory of the ice bucket challenge limelight and asks “what needs to be done?” And…here’s the super hard part…that team member or leader actually does it! Sometimes it’s a simple thing, like leading the charge to discontinue a useless meeting so team members can have better focus on the work in progress. Maybe it’s a complete, painful shift in mindset, opening doors to different ways to fund innovation. The situations in transforming to an Agile organization really have no fence lines; you want your organization to be strong enough to weather all of them.

If you want the limelight, but from the safety of the peripheral, by all means grab your phone and a bucket of ice water, and make your statement. Gush about your excitement for the change, about how you like Agile. If you want honest transformation, you don’t need a nomination. Simply, bravely step past Slacktivism to ownership, and watch your Agile organization flourish.



2 thoughts on “The Agile Ice Bucket Challenge

  1. Pingback: Respect for People: Being all-in | Francie Van Wirkus

  2. Pingback: Kinda Sorta Agile | Francie Van Wirkus

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