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Reblogged with permission from Tushar Paunikar, the original author of this content, as a contributor to blogagility.com. Originally published on LinkedIn August 3, 2017.
You always have a choice! If you think about it, you always have a choice. No matter how hard it is to accept, but you always have a choice.
The alarm goes off at 5 AM! You have a choice.
Not feeling too upbeat to go to work? You have a choice.
Bored with the daily mundane tasks you are required to perform at work? You have a choice.
Disillusioned with the state of affairs of the current government? You had a choice. Rather you will again have a choice.
Kids misbehaving and not heeding your words? You have a choice.
Blame games at every “Lessons Learnt” meeting? You have a choice.
Programmers and testers not on talking terms? You have a choice.
What to prioritize first – implementing business functionality or removing technical debt? You have a choice.
To be or not to be Agile? You have a choice.
Why do I always link arbitrary topics to Agile? I have a choice. (To fully comprehend what I meant, you have a choice to read some of my previous articles here.)
Every day, every week, month on month, year on year, we choose one option over another, in almost every aspect of life, work or otherwise. And I feel, making decisions has become a second nature of us humans. Just pause for a moment and think about it.
So what goes in our minds when we take these decisions. Let’s drill a little bit deeper. Humans are intelligent lazy beings. Yes, intelligent and lazy. When faced with a dilemma, we think about all the possible options (that’s the intelligent half) and choose an option which has the least path of resistance (and that’s the lazy part). You may argue that not all humans behave this way. You are right; the others have made a choice to be intelligent and not lazy.
We almost always think of short-term wins and conveniently ignore the long-term objectives. Does it help? Of course, but obviously only in the short-term. And then we repent those short-term decisions. What happens when a similar situation occurs again? The same old thinking. We again choose a tactical short-term solution. After a while, we repent again. But we hardly change.
Why don’t we change? Why can’t we change? There’s a lot of comfort in the existing cozy status quo. We also have quite a bit fun in the current state. We keep on enjoying, till it becomes a habit. And you know, shaking off any habit is hard. Real hard! So hard, that it takes days and months of coaxing to even think about a change; even when you see clear benefits of making the “other” choice.
I think this is what plagues most of the organizations today. Organizations are structures of human minds working at multiple different levels. Even if one mind decides to change even a small bit, other minds will prevent that change. It really takes a collection of minds to effect a change; a change for the better. And how do we know that the choice we make is for the better? We don’t; at least when we make that choice. We need to frequently assess the outcome of our choices, and then make further choices based on previous learning.
Not again! Somehow, whatever I write, invariably ends at something related to Agile. Believe me, it is not by choice! 🙂
Thanks for making a choice to read this piece. I hope it has benefited you in some way. In any case, you have a choice to leave a comment and/or like it or just dump it somewhere (I’d prefer you share your feelings in the comments section before dumping this).
I’ll leave you with a hard-hitting quote by Ray N. Kuili, the author of “Awakening”.
No matter what they say, you always have a choice. You just don’t always have the guts to make it.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s current or previous employers.