Evolve: to come forth gradually into being; adapt into a new state or form.
We create ceremonies in our organizations to achieve a purpose, to accomplish an element of work, and hopefully to provide a positive return on our investment. If ceremonies are not performing as required, then they have to evolve or be eliminated.
As the world changes the context in which our ceremonies find themselves also changes. Our ceremonies must evolve and adapt to survive. Even ceremonies which have performed well over a long period of time may reach a point where they are no longer relevant. We must never stop collecting feedback on the effectiveness of our ceremonies. We gauge this effectiveness by asking the following three questions:Does the ceremony accomplish its purpose?
- Does the ceremony accomplish its purpose?
- Is the ceremony worth the sacrifice?
- Do the participants enjoy the ceremony?
Only if all three answers are yes do we consider the ceremony successful. If any of them are no, or become no over time, then the ceremony needs to evolve.
We ask the above questions in many different ways, for example after a ceremony we may ask just the following:
- If this ceremony went away would you miss it?
- If this ceremony went away is there something important which we would no longer be doing?
Sometimes ceremonies evolve by design, people actively think about ways to change a ceremony and test the change. Sometimes they evolve naturally, people simply stop doing old things and start doing new things. Both methods are acceptable.