Sunday, November 27, 2016

About the importance of the space

One more in the Tao series...

This weekend, we had a great meetup in Bangkok.

A full day that started with a Lean-Coffee, and ended in an Open-Space.

These two are events that are designed as a shell, an empty space to draw a discussion.

These formats are meant to be a perfect vessel to contain the right sort of content from the participants.

Hence, what's more appropriate than to continue the Tao thread by talking about...


The Void (verse 11)
Thirty spokes unite,
At a wheel's center
Except the spokes -
The wheel consists Just of Emptiness

A Pitcher’s
Main use
Is its empty space

The void has a function,
And emptiness
Has a valid

A house
Is just squares of air.

A door between two rooms
Simply connects
Empty spaces,

A window
Connects a square space
With the big void

the form
a cover
and an excuse

While the void
the real


And what about Agile?

- The way I understand Agility, the vessels we use, the frameworks we put in place, are crucial for a successful journey.

- When you put in place a new team, when you try to create 'Agility', the process may be delicate, and the smallest of details matters.

For example: 
- If you do a daily meeting sitting down, its form may not suit its purpose.
- But the form should also not be too rigid, if a team member can't stand up, the form should accommodate her.

- Scrum or Kanban are just empty vessels, they are a modest support to the growing of a new team, or of a new process.

However, the right environment is sometimes more crucial than the seed quality. 
And the wrong sort of vessel will fail even the best of seeds.

- Same for the meetings (/ceremonies) we do: Planning, Stand-up, Demo, Retrospective. they give structure to a discussion, and the structure stands out and gives form to the content. 
- That's why it is important to keep a taste of 'ceremony' (or 'ritual') in them, so we don't lose the right form along the way.

Trying to force the content may do harm, it is better to take care of the right space and nourish the content that grows from it.


  1. This translation, as the previous ones, as based on the wonderful translation of Nissim Amon, which I tweaked a tiny bit... with hope to be forgiven...)
  2. In this series I try to clumsily touch (and connect) the two doctrines I hold most dear to my heart, please treat this post lightly, I by no means mean to preach, just to amuse...
  3. As a bonus, here is a post about the void in a more 'artistic' context. 

- 'till Nextime!

No comments:

Post a Comment