“Core or better”

“Core or better, right?“, Daniel Mezick kept saying, implying that “core or better” should be a familiar phrase. It wasn’t, and I had to ask; turns out it comes from the Core Protocols (Jim & Michele McCarthy). Now that I know that context, it comes across as even more delightfully humble and punny than I had already assumed:

I will use the Core Protocols (or better) when applicable

In that same spirit, let me list a draft set of exercises for the upcoming 3-day Agendashift + X-Matrix Masterclass that Karl Scotland and I are leading on the 9th-11th of October, just ahead of the inaugural Lean Agile Brighton conference:

  • Impromptu Networking
  • Celebration/5W
  • The Future Backwards*
  • True North/FOTO/Aspirations
  • TRIZ
  • Wardley Doctrine
  • Assessment/FOTO
  • Schein Pyramid
  • Even-Over Strategies
  • ODIM Evidence
  • Four Points
  • Story Map
  • X-Matrix* – Delphi Style
  • Wardley Map
  • Impact Mapping*
  • Changeban
  • Catchball
  • Improv
  • Backbriefing A3
  • Outside-In Review*
  • 15% Solutions
  • Experiment A3
  • Full circle

Items in bold are core in the sense that they’re well covered in the Agendashift book and feature in any Core Agendashift workshop. Here, “Core or better” translates to “alongside the ones we’ve documented, there’s a ton of great stuff out there that can be used as tools for outcome-oriented change, continuous transformation, and strategy deployment; here are some you might want to try”.  Some of these non-core but still great tools are already recommended in the book (the starred items above).

What makes a tool appropriate? For us, it’s easy: we’ll consider any tool that engages people in the real work of bringing about change in their own organisations, so long as its use is supportive of the core idea that agreement on outcomes beats prescription as the basis for change. Our five principles and basic workshop structure (both of which feature in the picture below) help us decide where and how a tool is likely to integrate effectively for maximum impact.

Screenshot 2018-09-17 09.15.08

Just so we’re clear about our goals, here’s just one possible expression of those, a conversation-starting true north statement:


A reminder again of some upcoming opportunities to try some of these tools for yourself:

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We are champions and enablers of outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation. Building from agreement on outcomes, Agendashift facilitates rapid, experiment-based emergence of process, practice, and organisation. Instead of Lean and Agile by imposition – contradictory and ultimately self-defeating – we help you keep your business vision and transformation strategy aligned with and energised by a culture of meaningful participation. More…

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