Are OpenSpace Agility People Pushing The Idea of Pull?

Some folks say that OSA practitioners are using “push” to encourage “pull.”

They say that OSA people are doing the same thing they are trying to eliminate, namely the forcing of Agile practice on individuals and teams without their consent.

But wait, is that really true?

Push” is defined here as when you force someone to do something, because you are paying them, and because that’s the way it is. This is the common “best practice” in the world of so-called “Agile transformation.” Nearly every large-scale “corporate” adoption of Agile imposes Agile practices on teams without asking them what they think about it. That’s push.

And then, in theory, “transformation magic happens here.” Except it doesn’t.

Pull” here is defined as a request for more of something, for example “pulling” work into a workflow, from a queue. Like Kanban. And like Scrum, during the Sprint Planning meeting (Team “pulls” as much into the Sprint as they think they can complete.)

Pull” as applied to OSA is when executives invite participation and that invite results in a YES. That’s Pull. It’s the opposite of Push.

So here is the difference: if you do not like OSA, and someone is “pushing” it constantly on Twitter (for example,) you have options.

You have ‘outs.’ You can opt OUT. You can Unfollow. You can even Block.

The key difference is that employees have no outs. No opt-out options where Agile is concerned. Unless they quit.

They have no outs except to quit: a serious undertaking if there ever was one. Quitting a job and starting a new one is stressful. And time-consuming.

See the difference?

In the Twitter situation, you can opt-out. You can stop listening. Stop Following. You can even Block.

In the at-work “Agile transformation” situation, the employee has no outs. No options. Nothing.

Except to QUIT.

So, please stop pretending that spreading an idea like OSA, to an audience with options– with ‘outs’– is the same as executives employing coaches to push Agile practices on employees without their consent.

This not at all an apples-to-apples compare. Not by a long shot.

And actually very misleading (or even deceptive and manipulative) to say that it is. Because clearly, it’s not.

So stop it. Because while it sounds good on the surface, by logic, this argument makes no sense whatsoever.