I first read “A Community of Thinkers” that Liz, Jean and Eric published late last year. I remember thinking that I felt strongly aligned to it, yet slightly uncomfortable with the exact wording. I toyed around with some words and now, a couple of months later, I am much more comfortable with a slightly abridged version.
It isn’t enough to be a member of a community of thinkers. We can philosophise and think ourselves to death. The world continues to operate in complex ways (yes, as in this, and this sort of complexity). It is not enough to sit back and only think. We need to experiment. We need to apply. We need to practise, then reflect and feed those learnings back into our thinking. This is the essence I respect the most about certain people in the agile community. This is what I want to keep alive. Remind yourself the Do is an important part of PDCA just as much as Check (Reflect) is.
For me, I am not just a member of a community of thinkers. I am a member of a community of thinking practitioners. If you’re not practicing and actively thinking, you’re not part of my community.
A Community of Thinking Practitioners
I am a member of a community of thinking practitioners.
I believe that communities exist as homes for professionals to learn, teach, and reflect on their work.
I challenge each community in the software industry to:
- reflect and honor respect the practitioners who make its existence possible;
- provide an excellent experience for its members;
- support the excellent experience its members provide for their clients and colleagues in all aspects of their professional interactions;
- exemplify, as a body, the professional and humane behavior of its members;
- engage and collaborate within and across communities through respectful exploration of diverse and divergent insights;
- embrace newcomers to the community openly and to celebrate ongoing journeys; and
- thrive on the sustained health of the community and its members through continual practice, reflection and improvement.
I believe that leaders in each community have a responsibility to exhibit these behaviors, and that people who exhibit these behaviors will become leaders.
I am a member of a community of thinking practitioners. If I should happen to be a catalyst more than others, I consider that a tribute to those who have inspired me.