What freedom?

At the Scrum gathering I had a tiny little conversation with Lorraine Steyn of Khanyisa Real Systems and Henrik Kniberg of Crisp about some of the values in our organisations.  At the top of Henrik’s value list was Freedom.  It seemed straight forward enough, until I started thinking about what freedom means to me.

My early perspective and experience on (the lack of) freedom is based purely on oppression of apartheid.  Ok, that’s over, so I am now free. Right?

Then John Lennon’s Imagine lyrics sang through my head.  If we’ve nothing to kill or die for, will we have universal freedom?

Hold on, what about when Janis Joplin sang Me and Bobby McGee – “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”?  That sounds too dreary for a concept that should make me happy.

Tonight I saw a quote by Maria Montessori on the wall next to my wife’s desk at home.  It’s been there forever and it says:

“The  essence of independence  is to be  able to do something for one’s self.”

I like this the most.  Be able to something for yourself and you will gain independence which sets you free.  It also reminds me of the self-organising mantra in Scrum-land.  Self organising implies that the team wants to be able to manage themselves so that they achieve independence (freedom).  But, there is a little spark of conflict in here.  As individuals we also have priorities and values, which is not necessarily aligned with that of the team.  Is it acceptable to compromise just to subscribe to the homogeneity of the team?

I think it’s a long walk to freedom.

2 thoughts on “What freedom?

  1. Teams will self organize whether you like it or not. Compromise is not collaboration.What it has taken a really long time for me to figure out is that for an effective self organizing team to emerge takes trust and most of all a goal or mission that the team believes in.
    With those two elements there isn’t sense of losing something by compromise so much as it is about being willing to sacrifice something of yourself in order to achieve something greater.
    The end of apartheid could not have happened without people being willing to give of themselves

  2. Amazing as we were talking about this a week ago. looking at kathy kolbe and her “success is freedom to be yourself”.
    Yesterday at the SCC. Prof Dave Beaty told us about a guy who was fired by Anderson for wearing yellow socks and refused to ware the black ones like other consultants. He said they guy went to work for MS and became really happy there.

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