Artful Agility

What is AIR?

Intention without action is useless.
— Caroline Myss

Action, Intention, and Result

Without Action, there is Nothing!
Without Intention to orient Action, there may be Nothing!
A Result is the outcome of Intention and Action!

Human nature and every human endeavor can generally be explored as a Meaningfully-Purposeful Enterprise relative to two dimensions, a system dimension and a socio-cultural dimension that form an ecosystem, with hundreds if not thousands of perspectives/paradigms, models, bodies of knowledge, etc.

Throughout our transformation practice in working with clients to achieve greater health (performance and well-being), we consistently return to a quintessential model or way of being which we call AIR — Artful Agile (that is, Agility)

AIR Distilled

(click figure to enlarge)

AIR involves Actions, Intentions, and Results:

  • What is there without Action? Nothing! Action and Acts/Actions express How. And Impacts in Reality!
  • What is there without Intention? Possibly Nothing! Intention and Intents/Intentions express What. And Impacts in Reality!
  • Result express Why. And Impacts in Reality!

AIR involves Owners:

  • An Action Owner expresses Who commits (an individual or collective) and is accountable for the Actions (which may be estimated and measured) concerning Results. The Action Owner pulls from the Intention Owner.
  • An Intention Owner expresses Who commits (an individual or collective) and is accountable for the Intentions (which may be prioritized, sized or estimated, and measured) concerning Results. The Intention Owner pulls from the Action Owner.
  • A Flow Owner (or Dynamics Owner) expresses Who commits (an individual or collective) and is accountable for Flow & Pull concerning Harmonization. The Flow Owner facilitates flow.

AIR involves Dynamics (Flow and Pull):

  • Actions & Intentions and Action Owners & Intention Owners are in an intertwining dance of engagement where Flow & Pull express When & Where.
  • Communication focuses on interchanging content to foster Collaboration and Co-creation.
  • Cooperation focuses on operating in parallel to foster Collaboration and Co-creation.
  • Coordination focuses on regular/rhythmic and irregular/intermittent points in time for synchronization (coordinating operating in parallel and interchanging content), which may be radiated as appropriate.
  • Collaboration fosters Owners working together toward a Result.
  • Co-creation fosters Owners creating together a Result that is the outcome of Intentions and Actions.
  • Collaboration and Co-creation focus on meaningfully purposeful contribution and confirmation using flow & pull. Contribution involves “investing” content (as in return-on-investment) based on another collaborator’s pull for content. Confirmation involves oversight and attaining a “return” on content (as in return-on-investment) based on one’s pull for content. Collaborators pull content from one another as needed, but don’t push content unnecessarily. Collaborators foster the flow of content as needed, but don’t batch content unnecessarily. Notice the paradigm shift from batch-and-push to flow-and-pull. Furthermore, collaborators are meaningfully purposeful toward a result.

AIR is real:

  • Community is about Love — Intimacy (awareness and connectedness), Passion (energy and drive), and Commitment (decisions).
  • Time is the universal currency — timeboxing and cadence are essential! Time cycles establish the context for collaboration and co-creation.
  • Harmonization focuses on adoptable, scalable, and sustainable Collaboration and Co-creation as everything emerges and reality unfolds.

AIR in Practice (and Social Business Design)

Consider the Dachis Group’s Social Business Design — “the intentional creation of dynamic and socially calibrated systems, process, and culture” — a framework of four mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive archetypes: Ecosystem, Hivemind, Dynamic Signal, and Metafilter.

How does the Dachis Group’s Social Business Design relate to AIR:

  • “Intentional” relates to AIR’s Intentions.
  • “Creation” relates to AIR’s Actions and Co-creation.
  • “Dynamic” relates to AIR’s Flow & Pull of Collaboration and Co-creation.
  • “Socially” relates to AIR’s Owners and Collaboration.
  • “Calibrated” relates to AIR’s Harmonization.

Likewise, AIR is congruent with Agile — an umbrella term for Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean Development, Kanban, etc. whose roots are in Agility or the “ability to be agile”.

Why AIR?

We consistently return to a quintessential model or way of being that is agnostic and does not force any particular system dimension or socio-cultural dimension on our clients — but — it empowers our clients to embrace their contextual nuances & adornments and transform & achieve greater health (performance and well-being).

Furthermore, AIR compliments and may be complemented by almost any Strategy, Leadership, Execution, Cultural, etc. model or approach — where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts! Any organization (enterprise) focused on value (result) generally includes Business, Technology, Governance, Operations, Program/Project Management, and Enterprise Architecture functions. While all organizations are unique, this merely serves as a general description — wherein AIR may be introduced…

  • Business areas generally include Marketing, Sales, Support, and Products/Services.
  • Technology areas generally include Engineering and Quality, Architecture, and Infrastructure.
  • Program/Project Management focuses on the human means to deliver value.
  • Enterprise Architecture focuses on the technology means to deliver value.
  • Governance focuses on oversight in the delivery of value.
  • Operations focuses on supporting the delivery of value.

Comparatively (considering other approaches), we are often told that such an approach is “a breath of fresh air“!

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