The “Sir” conversation

Back from Agile India 2016. Most prestigious, India born international Agile Conference, a must go for everyone who really want to know real world Agile, and I must admit it was one of the best conferences so far. Why best – great talks, interactive talks, and all of them offer different flavors – some last for a month, others stretch to quarter or year, and a few even have potential to become flavor for a lifetime. Organizers know what it takes to pull the show, trading sleep for dreams. But one thing that always turns me off is that everyone is busy in those fake conversations where they are just trying to make an impact on others, make their presence felt and looking for quick fixes for their problems – new Job, consultant, and all sorts of AgileFAQs. People don’t really understand what these conferences are supposed to give them. You get everything in books and papers and videos, then why waste so much money and go to these conferences? Just to do that “Hello Sir, I am another brick in the wall, please use me as appropriate”. I call them sir conversations. Everyone is more or less busy in Sir Conversations. So what is it that I look forward for in these conferences, and how they help me in growing?

  1. Inspiration.

These conferences are like windows to the new world. The world which is already (doing so much), or trying to do, or struggling with. These are all opportunities. These conferences connect me to those opportunities and inspire me to do something more, live each day extraordinarily.

  1. Perspective.

So I could not have known why Adam and Eve shouldn’t have tasted that apple, and why ships can you beyond horizon without falling from the edge of the world. If I was not there, like many others, I would have invested in Church’s ticket to heaven. My perspective changed; I could see things, which within my box never existed.

  1. Connection.

We all thrive for connection; civilizations cease to exist if not up-to-date with world outside. Why do we want to connect, why the hell we can’t be just with assigned people, why can’t we just stick to script? But the fact is we can’t. I am sure we all have better friends outside our teams and work places, we can’t stay limited by our work boundaries nor for that matter manager’s instruction to build a better team, stay connected to assigned team.  I get depressed if I don’t get to meet and talk to people who bring some freshness in my life. I go to these conferences to meet such wonderful people, and not to those who can help me with a new assignment.  Opportunities automatically follow those who have right skill and attitude, and you can’t develop new skills, knowledge without seeing places and people around, without being open. (Don’t confuse this with collaboration, not going there).

I hate The Sir conversations, I am a social scientist, I love connecting with people like me and unlike me which inspire evolution inside me.

10 thoughts on “The “Sir” conversation”

  1. Hello Dipti,

    Read your note like others you have before. Let me ackn that you have been pushing Agile and all is well in that regard. I have a few points:

    1. SIR – Why would you use a noun which addresses Man of authority when he has nothing to do in your AGILE world?
    2. Sometimes what we push for becomes a trap that we believe, we want it to be adopted because its the best that there is. Why?
    3. Industry when ready will accommodate all new buzzwords into their SDLC if you will but I guess you will have to wait for it.

    Start publishing the ROI of every thing that you do in the context of AGILE and we will start listening. ROI should include additional resources, time, readiness, availability if skilled people and so forth………. Shy

    1. Shailesh I agree 200% with you. I will go on you comment from bottom to top. I agree if one can provide data around ROI, nothing like it. I am working with 2 of my clients, and I will be sharing report on those two clients. One is an India Startup, doing great for past 10 years and growing rapidly. Another is a Non-IT company, and I am super excited to explore this entirely new domain. So stay tuned, you will have case study and ROI figures from both IT as well as non-IT domains.

      About other 3 points I very much feel alike. It’s frustrating to see industries doing Agile instead of being Agile. Just because it’s a buzz word, companies are doing it. And you don’t even need to wait, you already have, Waterfall and other non-Agile SDLC approaches have gotten Agile references. People do all sorts of crap and call them Agile.

      And what is Agile, an approach for being hyper productive, customer focused, driven on customer’s feedback, allowing developers to know more and better about the product and letting them own it and suggest all possible value add ideas. Collective ownership, so no one is Sir here. And that’s why I love Agile. I work as equals, I want ownership, I am not your boss, but I am my boss.

      Btw the I was talking about Sir conversation that happens in Conferences, and not in Agile world 😉
      Anyways it was good exchanging thoughts with you. Hope to see more from you on AgileVirgin. Thanks!

  2. Tell me about it – either work in small company or the big one like TCS. The Sir conversation goes back to British Era. Everyone wants to hear sir word more than achieving anything.

    Otherwise, Facebook could have been an Indian, which is not possible under current attitude.

    1. I know, in big organization, that’s such a sad state. In my last consulting engagement, only problem was with Product Management group. Sir-ism had gotten to their heads. Team was great, Product was poor, and not at all coach-able, and management was just like busy parents, will to waste money on kids tuition, but not willing to work on correcting the issue. Most MNCs have this problem. Start-ups are great in this case.

  3. I agree entirely with your view of what conferences should be about (or should facilitate) and that there are a load of bad or pointless conversations.
    But how can we change that? How can we really create an environment for interesting conversations that make valuable connections above the level of “selling” yourself onto the next job?
    Conversations need at least 2 people and both need to be thinking and aiming at the same level.
    What can be done to make conferences more worthwhile???

    1. I know what you are saying, it all starts with individuals. People when raised with fear; tend to be weak and pleasers. This has also more to do with culture. That is one aspect about which I’ll not talk here. But individuals can really take care of themselves. And when individuals fail, it’s conference organizer’s responsibility. That’s why these conferences happen.
      About conferences, it’s organizer’s responsibility to create one such environment. An environment of abundance and value. I like Naresh Jain’s approach. First of all, he definitely hosts best conferences, best of the speakers, who talk about things less known, they are original. This naturally creates an environment that INSPIRES. Then in opening talks Naresh, kind of draws rules of a great game, he asks people to not get stuck in learning a new tool or technology here, instead just getting aware that they exist, and then do their homework themselves. And that’s how it is supposed to be. He would ensure that participants get to have fun, he will make participants them interact more, and so mostly it turns out to be a great experience for everyone.

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