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Resources: Agendashift True North

As featured in the book, our cheat sheet, and our transformation strategy workshops, our True North statement, released under a Creative Commons with-attribution (CC-BY-SA) licence to enable its adaptation and wider use:

As text (the "Imagine..." is optional):


Everyone able to work consistently at their ideal best:
  • Individuals, teams, between teams,
    across the organisation and beyond
  • Right conversations, right people, best possible moment
  • Needs anticipated, met at just the right time


The facilitation deck (see below) includes two sets of slides with setup questions, one set intended for workshop use, the other for meetups, conferences etc. For the workshop version, the questions are as follows:

  1. When that’s working at its ideal best for us, what’s that like?
  2. And when that’s happening, whose needs are we meeting? What new stories could they tell?
  3. What stops that? What gets in the way?

The two-part exercise True North: Ideal (questions 1 & 2) and True North: Obstacles (question 3) may be followed by:

  1. Good Obstacle, Bad Obstacle
  2. 15-minute FOTO

For workshop settings we recommend establishing some shared context first, preceding those exercises with Celebration-5W; see Discovery for an overview.


  • Agile and Lean – avoiding terms like “collaboration” and “just in time” (unhelpful in what is intended to be used as a generative image) but the concepts are there
  • Caitlin Walker’s “working at your best”
  • Russell L. Ackoff’s idealised design, but note that we are not so much designing the ideal here as enjoying it

See chapter 1 of Agendashift: Outcome-oriented change and continuous transformation (2nd edition 2021) for more on this True North’s design and usage, and note that the overall flow conforms to a pattern – Ideal, Obstacles, Outcomes (IdOO) – that is repeated elsewhere.

Blog posts:

Copyright © 2015-2023 Agendashift Ltd (formerly Positive Incline Ltd). All rights reserved. The Agendashift True North by Mike Burrows of Agendashift 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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About us

Agendashift™ is brought to you by Agendashift Ltd (formerly Positive Incline Ltd), UK-based specialists in leadership, engagement, strategy, and change. Founder Mike Burrows came to prominence in the Lean-Agile community as the originator of Kanban’s values model, out of which came his first book, Kanban from the Inside (2014). His more recent books Agendashift (2nd edition 2021) and Right to Left (2019, audiobook 2020) bring a resolutely needs-based and outcome-oriented perspective to change, transformation, and the Lean-Agile landscape as a whole, contributing meanwhile a number of popular tools, games, and other resources. He works as a consultant, facilitator, and trainer, and as a keynote speaker at events public and private around the world.

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