“It was the perfect storm.” “That’s just the way things are here.” “That won’t work for us; we’re too different.” “It’s a catch-22.” “There’s too much history.” If you are hearing these phrases at your organization, chances are it may be suffering from learned helplessness. What is learned helplessness you ask? It’s basically when we have difficulty both identifying and unlearning bad habits. We can no longer see anything as an opportunity for change. We come up with reasons for why something can’t or isn’t working instead of coming up with ways it could work. We (sometimes) unknowingly derail any true progress because of the intrinsic helplessness we feel after being shut down so many times. We just cannot see a way out of this vicious spiral.
Coming up on Agile2015 is hitting me right in the feels. This will be my fourth Agile Alliance conference, my fourth job in as many years (actually fifth), my second time presenting at an Agile Alliance conference, my second time presenting in Washington D.C., and my first time really feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing.