The Evolution of Everything

darwin-bust-1204488Everyone interested in Agile must read Matt Ridley’s The Evolution of Everything.

Most people I know are creationists.

I’ve suspected it for a long time and finally appreciate it is true. Matt Ridley’s, The Evolution of Everything calls out the prevalent creationist mindset explicitly—it is time to admit he is right.

You may only be familiar with using the term creationism when talking about religious views on the origin of the species. I have a lot of good religious friends who believe in species creationism. But really, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the creationists around us.

Matt Ridley argues that if you support socialist ideals and candidates then you are an economic and social  creationist—believing most good things are centrally planned and designed from the top down, as opposed to emergent. Almost no socialist considers themselves a creationist but, Ridley argues convincingly, they have primarily a creationist mindset.

It certainly is NOT an agile mindset.

If you are a project manager, PMP certified, and a member of the Project Management Institute you likely have absorbed a strong creationist mindset too. You believe in planning, control, and intelligent design over emergent order.

I now realize I was taught software creationism in public college, “The best things come from Waterfall principles, top down design, centralized planning, and intelligent design.” I no longer have this software creationist mindset, nor a creationist biological, social, or organizational mindset. I have developed an agile mindset instead:

The best fit emerges through variation and selection pressures.

Unless you approach emergent order from fundamental principles, leaving one creationist mindsets does not necessarily give you great insight into leaving other creationist mindsets. I know a lot of atheists who are also socialists. They laugh at one form of creationism while embracing another.

NOBODY likes to have their mental models challenged. However, if you are one of the few who does, you may enjoy reading The Evolution of Everything by Matt Ridley.

Central planning and intelligent design are not the primary forces in the universe.

All agilists should develop a profound understanding of what is, and why it is so essential to true agile principles. The agilist must understand the true nature of variation, feedback, and selection pressure.

This is the true secret of agility… the power of emergent design… the evolution of everything.

By Tom (Thomas) Meloche –

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