Resources: Principles

Distilled essence of Agendashift™ in five principles, now released under a Creative Commons with-attribution licence to enable its wider use and to encourage adaptations:

As text:


  1. Start with needs
  2. Agree on outcomes
  3. Keep the agenda for change visible
  4. Manage options, testing assumptions
  5. Organise for speed, clarity, and mutual accountability

agendashift.com/principles

The principles first saw the light of day in the blog post Agendashift in 5 principles. In chapter 5 of the book they are expanded as follows:

  1. Start with needs – get a sense of what’s needed, based on an appreciation of where we are now and our ambitions for where we’d like to get to
  2. Agree on outcomes – explore a landscape of obstacles and outcomes, using authentic agreement on outcomes as the basis for change
  3. Keep the agenda for change visible – use visual mapping to organise, prioritise, cross-check, and communicate
  4. Manage options, testing assumptions – generate and select options, frame hypotheses, and develop experiments that will validate or invalidate our assumptions
  5. Organise for clarity, speed, and mutual accountability – organise the conduct of experiments such that:
    • It is clear to all what is happening and why
    • Decisions are made quickly by the right people
    • Transparency and support are both given and received, with responsibility shared both for impact and for how results are achieved

Also in chapter 5, in the descriptive, outcome-oriented style of the Agendashift assessment prompts:

  1. Start with needs – We understand why the organisation should continue to exist, discovering and rediscovering the needs of customers, employees, and the stakeholders that it must serve
  2. Agree on outcomes – We maximise potential and minimise friction by deferring and delegating the ‘how’; by habit and deliberate practice we focus first on the intent of any change
  3. Keep the agenda for change visible – We maintain alignment on organisational themes, goals, and priorities, keeping them (and progress against them) visible and under regular review as they evolve
  4. Manage options, testing assumptions – We make progress by generating and prioritising options, surfacing their assumptions, testing them through experiments, and incorporating learning
  5. Organise for clarity, speed, and mutual accountability – Our organisation is designed and operated such that decisions about delivery or change can be made quickly and safely, close to where the real action takes place

Agendashift™ is copyright © 2015-2018 Positive Incline Ltd. All rights reserved. The Agendashift Principles by Mike Burrows of Positive Incline Ltd is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.


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Request the .pptx file for the Agendashift Principles and True North


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Agendashift™ is brought to you by Positive Incline Ltd, UK-based specialists in Lean-Agile transformation. Founder Mike Burrows pioneered the values model for the Kanban Method that led to his definitive book, Kanban from the Inside. His new book Agendashift: Outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation was published in April 2018.


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