Category Archives: Policies

Edits to my Personal Manifesto

I documented my personal manifesto originally in this link.  It was useful to get it down on paper rather than a tacit understanding.  I think I should sharpen it up a bit.  It’s the same mostly – some wording has been modified.  I’m asking people to call me out when I err.

G(enuine) – Be honest, forthright and fair rather than vague, fake and invulnerable

R(espect) – Actively listen and respect (not necessarily agree with) the views of others rather than jump to hasty conclusions

I(ntegrity) – Uphold good human values and principles and avoid situations that are opposite to these

T(ransparency) – Be open about why, what and how rather than obfuscate, obscure or opaque

S(incere) –  Mean what we say via actions rather than being glib, hollow and lack of follow through.

Whilst we try and be all things on the left we sometimes recognize we fall into the poor behaviours on the right and seek to correct that.

Create your own Manifesto

This is a reproduction and completion of a post created last year on another website.  This is my manifesto. I attach to the other manifestos still but this is my own.  Try creating your own.  It would be nice to see what you really attach to.  No doubt they will be similar in theme.  If you can make an acronym that would be even better, easier to remember.  Below is version 2.  I expect to sharpen it up over time.

Got to have GRITS

In a world full of mnemonics which seem to be just for the sake of it (e.g. S.H.I.E.L.D), I’m unabashedly introducing a new one which encapsulates a number of values and principles I hold and uphold.

No doubt there are overlaps with other values and principle systems and I gladly welcome that.  Largely it’s inspired from the Agile Manifesto, XP Values, Declaration of Interdependence and this really excellent and detailed expression of values from acQuire Technology Solutions.

This is my own personal take for which I’d take ownership in.

Here goes – it’s called GRITS

G(enuine) – Be honest and forthright rather than vague and ‘faking it’

R(espect) – To listen to and respect (not necessarily agree with) the views of others rather than jump to hasty conclusions

I(ntegrity) – Hold true to good human values rather than seek to benefit from someone else’s misfortune

T(ransparency) – Be open about why, what and how rather than deliberately obfuscate and be obscure

S(incere) –  Mean what we say rather rather than be glib and hollow

Whilst we try and be all things on the left we sometimes recognize we fall into the poor behaviours on the right and seek to correct that.

I merely state …

I merely state my own opinions on the subject. Don’t take it as the “truth”

Had a conversation on twitter today and really liked this self effacing comment from Henrik Ebbskog.

It’s too easy to have comments come across as dogma.  That’s the feeling I get – rightly or wrongly.

Dogma being equated with truth.  Blow the straw man down if you can with reasonable discourse.

Some other ideas also captured here and here.  Humility touched on here.

Ask How (don’t say no)

Firstly this is intended as a reminder post as there is probably more to say about this in the future.

A response I’m still training myself to do is to ask How, instead of outright no when I’m presented with an idea.

I find by asking How, defensive constructs do not appear and the full story emerges and greater understanding emerges.  Untold benefits then emerge by themselves.  I want to give examples of myself exhibiting this incorrect response as well as me being on receiving end.  That will come later.

This is filed under Being Agile (not just Do Agile) and Conflict management.  I have other blog posts that deal with this in a related way – 1, 2, 3

Any comments welcome in the meantime.

You don’t need to Agree, You have to take Notice

Anyone had a good idea?  Tried to express it?  What happened?

Do you receive a positive response?  Did you get shouted down immediately?

Maybe the response was a bit more sinister and insidious manifesting itself in initial tepid enthusiasm and then degenerating into passive aggressive behaviour like the occasional snide remark.

In the world of software and solution delivery, I’ve learnt the hard way to take everyone’s opinion on board.  That is any idea is a good idea and up for grabs.

Any idea deserves patient and respectful discourse.  Why do we want to do this?

1.  They can save a lot of pain and heartache later.  On many occasions suggestions have been made (by myself and others) only to have more expensive mistakes occur because these ideas and suggestions were not heeded.

2. Being respectful will encourage more ideas so we can avoid point 1.  On the other hand discouragement of ideas will prevent ideas from coming forward.  We should be humble enough to accept any comment and treat it with dignity.  And don’t feign dignity, mean it, you will be found out if you aren’t and you will never attain respect for yourself.

3. And coming off point 2, you gain respect for yourself.  Your colleagues will see you as an equal and therefore feel more comfortable coming to you which in turn gives you trust;

4. Respect and Trust builds true collaboration and from collaboration we can really do great things together.

5. It’s good for your health and the health of others.  This comes from giving up the command and control mentality which creates the stresses on ourselves and on others.

6. Good health encourages more quality thinking.  You’ve accepted their suggestion they feel good.  You feel good for taking it on.  You’ve got past that feeling of lost control – others have control as well – a shared control.

7. It helps with the bottom line.  Point 1 illustrates what are real tangible examples.  Other examples are less sick days.  Improved productivity are quantifiable as well.

8. The most important thing, happiness is increased.  That 8 hours spent of the day at work should be a happy feeling.  No more Mondayitis, man flu etc.  Let’s enjoy all of it.


At any level we should accept ideas for improvement.  Try to mitigate our natural and human tendency to immediately disregard the opinions of others.  “you don’t need to agree, you have to take notice” is the mantra I live by.

For more – take a look at the Toyota Way,  Turn the Ship Around by David Marquet, Lean Software Development by the Poppendeicks, Peopleware by Tim Lister and Tom DeMarco, Slack by Tom DeMarco, Agile Coaching and works in Systems Thinking.  All of these are related and intertwined.

Hopefully I will write some more about this and similar topics and even update this post 🙂