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title: A Community of Thinkers url: https://www.rallydev.com/blog/agile/community-thinkers hash_url: 10187b57de

Community of ThinkersI had the fine fortune of spending a day with Liz Keogh and Eric Willeke in Boulder last week.

What a wonderful experience! The three of us gathered with the goal of producing something for the Lean and Kanban software community. We didn’t know what that would be. We just knew we felt strongly that we should give something to the community.

We were heavily influenced by past conversations with Chris Matts, his call for “fewer leaders, more leadership”, and a desire to see the Lean Software and Systems Consortium (LSSC) learn from some of the trials that other communities and community-leading organizations have undergone. Ryan Martens, the CTO and a founder of Rally, also provided thoughtful input to our discussions during the day.

As we talked, we discovered something. We were all keenly interested in the general notion of “community”. We became less convinced that the LSSC needed a challenge from us, and more convinced that it was applicable to software communities generally. For me, this was a deeply personal statement and commitment.  It played heavily into my recent blog posts on “Escalation”. And yet, together, Liz and Eric and I found the same deep conviction.  So as you look at the statement I provide below, if it’s exactly the same as the copies on Liz or Eric’s sites, it’s only because their arguments were equally sound and convincing.

Because of that personal nature, we wanted to avoid putting our statement up as some kind of manifesto that people can sign. If you feel strongly enough about this statement that you would want to sign up, copy it. Post it on your own site. Attribute it to wherever you got your copy from – the act of sharing is more important to us than the act of creation – and feel free to change it so that it reflects your own values. I don’t think that any statement like this can ever be perfect, nor will we perfectly live up to it.

I am a member of a community of thinkers. So are you.

“A Community of Thinkers”

I am a member of a community of thinkers.

I believe that communities exist as homes for professionals to learn, teach, and reflect on their work.

I challenge each community in the software industry to:

  • reflect and honor the practitioners who make its existence possible;
  • provide an excellent experience for its members;
  • support the excellent experience its members provide for their clients and colleagues in all aspects of their professional interactions;
  • exemplify, as a body, the professional and humane behavior of its members;
  • engage and collaborate within and across communities through respectful exploration of diverse and divergent insights;
  • embrace newcomers to the community openly and to celebrate ongoing journeys; and,
  • thrive on the sustained health of the community and its members through continual reflection and improvement.

I believe that leaders in each community have a responsibility to exhibit these behaviors, and that people who exhibit these behaviors will become leaders.

I am a member of a community of thinkers. If I should happen to be a catalyst more than others, I consider that a tribute to those who have inspired me.


”A Community of Thinkers” by Liz Keogh, Jean Tabaka and Eric Willeke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Please attribute to the distributor of your copy or derivative.