Why of Agile

For many, Agile is an unknown concept. To explain it is to try to describe the taste of an exotic fruit that someone has never seen, much less eaten. They can kind of guess an experience, but not really fully appreciate it.

But people who have been practicing Agile knows its transformational potential for how people can work and create new value together.

The impact of Agile in the business community continues to grow. In some companies, it is crossing the firewall from software development teams to other areas within organizations. Steven Denning calls this new epoch the Age of Agile.

But for the Agile culture to jump the chasm between our business community and education communities is an even greater challenge.

Today, most practitioners of Agile start with the "What" and the "How", focusing on the introduction of Agile frameworks.

The "What" is what we do, the "How" is how we do it. The "Why" is why we do it. Our purpose. Our Audacious Aspiration. Our inspiration for greatness.

There are many methodological frameworks that provide the "What" and "How" of Agile. By far the most common one today is called Scrum. Scrum is a well defined series of practices that have been developed over the last twenty years.

Without the advocacy of these Scrum practitioners, Agile would likely never have entered into the corporate mainstream. But, by themselves, these frameworks cannot bridge Agile into education. The world of education is far more complex than business - simply introducing Agile frameworks will not work.

For the Agile movement to transform education, we had to Start with Why.

To understand the "Why" of Agile, we must go deep into the roots of Agile - the original experiences of those who founded the Agile Movement.

When we do that, we find a striking commonality. Agile was not birthed from the desire to increase operational efficiencies, but from something far deeper and more life giving.

The founders all came from transformational experiences that created dramatic new potential - joyful experiences that unleashed creative genius - Joyful Sandboxes. Empowering others to have these experiences became Agile's "Why".

That is the "Why" of Agile that I brought to Jami Fluke at Dayton. This "Why" - unleashing creative genius - married her "Why", a courageous commitment to re-imagine education in order to inspire greatness in each and every student.

And it all starts with Joy You now palpably feel it when you enter their building. It is real.

Greatness comes from unleashing Creative Genius. This greatness is not the privilege of the few. It is the right of all.