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Bend the Spoon

Mike Cottmeyer Chief Executive Officer
Reading: Bend the Spoon

Bend the spoon is a phrase we use quite a bit here at LeadingAgile. I don’t want to hear what’s happening, I want to hear what we need to make happen… and what we are doing to make it happen. I don’t want to hear why we can’t do something, I want to talk about what we are doing to make reality conform to our will.

If it’s impossible… bend the spoon.

Some people are wired to bend the spoon, some are not. When I walk down a busy sidewalk, I kinda expect traffic to flow around me. When my wife walks down the same sidewalk, she dodges the oncoming traffic. My wife sees the world as a set of rules that have to be followed. I think that rules are made to be broken.

If you believe you can bend the spoon in your organization, you are going to have a much greater chance of actually making change. If you see your organization as a set of immutable laws, laws set in motion by powers that are beyond your control, it’s going to be much more difficult.

Bending the spoon isn’t about imposing your will on the organization… it’s about believing that change is possible. That somehow, someway… all the crap that is getting in the way of really adopting agile can be changed. If you don’t believe you can change your organization and decide to change agile to accommodate dysfunction… you are going to fail.

Bend the spoon.

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Comments (4)

  1. Derek Huether

    I’d like to continue the Matrix metaphor with two quotes from Morpheus:

    “…But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system… …You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

    I would add that anyone has the ability to bend the spoon. They just have to realize it.

    “You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.”

    • Mike Smith

      Perfect metaphor Mr. Huether!

  2. Frank Olsen

    Awesome metaphor! I would add – and avoiding the rest of the cutlery….

  3. Jack Caine, SPC, CSM, CSPO

    Boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
    Neo: What truth?
    Boy: There is no spoon.
    Neo: There is no spoon?
    Boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

    The Matrix (1999)


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