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Leveraging Lean & Agile - Application in Mainstream Society

Increasingly I see articles about the application of Lean and Agile in large corporations. Lean became more widely acknowledge due to its impact in manufacturing, whereas Agile has its roots in software development.

Lean is now being applied outside its traditional areas and is finding its way into many other areas. Similarly Agile is also moving outside software and into other areas. They are also starting to be used together to bring about large corporate transformations.

If software is indeed eating the world, and children are increasingly being taught how to write software, then maybe (say in 15 years when the current crop of kids start to enter the adult world) there the masses will become increasingly familiar with lean and agile principles. They may even expect that all areas of life work in this way. Will this be the tipping point for wider society - and if so, should the Transhumanist movement be adopting Lean & Agile like principles as the root of its now manifesto?

I think Lean and Agile are merely parts of a larger transformation towards “Teal” organizations, presented in the book Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux. Lean and Agile may go towards the right direction, but a Lean and Agile company is not necessarily teal. The transformation towards Teal is a more radical shift in thinking than Lean and Agile combined, I think. One could also see Lean and Agile as components of Teal, since Lean and Agile already have the focus on purpose, and Agile emphasizes self-organized small teams. What still seems to be missing from Lean and Agile is the “wholeness” component of Teal, which means that humans should be “100% human” at work, rather than being reduced to “rational” agents or cogs in a machine. Though this wholeness thing seems to be the most optional aspect of Teal for me. Anyway, the Teal framework is still very new, so there’s no definite Teal manifesto, yet. It’s more a work in progress, which is of course both compatible with Agile and Teal philosophies.

I would sure hope so. People should start demanding Lean, Agile, and Teal principles being adopted in education and governance! That would mean a large holistic shift in thinking, perhaps comparable in its impact to that of Universal Basic Income or a Reputation Income Economy. Anyway, all of these transformations are probably synergistic pieces of a large puzzle that I call system X or system D that is characterized by decentralization and higher levels of interactivity.

This can mean two things:

  1. The Transhumanist movement to adopt Lean & Agile principles for its own operation.
  2. The Transhumanist movement wanting society at large to adopt Lean & Agile principles in all areas of society.

It would make sense to combine both. After all, Lean & Agile are parts of the larger transformation towards system X (system D), which is what transhumanists should aspire to, because it’s a more more efficient system enabling much higher levels of abundance than our current socioeconomic system.