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Be Right About The Future, Create The Future


In 2013, Peter Biddle explored agility in software during his TED Talk: Plucky Rebels: Being Agile In An Un-agile Place. However, one of his points stuck with me when thinking about agility in business: Biddle said during his talk that his first tip for startup organisations in the tech industry was to “be right about the future”.


How can one do this, though? There is no tangible scientific evidence that divination works. You can have dozens of tarot readings a month and still not know whether you’ll make ends meet because the cards only see so much. You could weigh your pockets down with crystals to promote wealth and prosperity and still find yourself eating stale bread for breakfast a week before payday. The universe isn’t always kind. We are often dealt hands, that test us; test our strength, our morals, our sense of integrity, or pride. But, what Biddle suggested was that to be right about the future you have to “create the future because if you create it, you’ll get it right.”


I had never thought about the future in such a way, or, at least, not in a way that was as simple as that.


Without getting too philosophical, I have always believed in fate and destiny; people had aspects of their lives foretold. I have never been sure as to what this force was, but I have always been under the impression that I have been put on this earth to create, and tell stories. Everything else is secondary.


As Emily Philips explained in her own TED Talk: Agile Leadership: Preparing For An Unconventional Career Path, I, like her hadn’t thought about my career since I was a child. Although there were significant differences in our circumstances, what she found was that after being in Further Education, for seven years, regardless of how much she had wanted to be an attorney, she could not have handled returning to education after graduating from her undergraduate degree. Medical expenses, health insurance etc. had meant she had to stay in college for an extra three years, and by 2008, she was so burned out, law school was no longer for her.


For me, my career plan is still relatively on-track, with significantly more bumps in the road than I could have anticipated at the drawing table in primary school, but, I haven’t questioned the plan since childhood. The path I am on is right, it is just a matter of carving stairs into the mountain, without causing landslide.

To create your own future, and create the future, are, quite drastically different,of course. Its easy enough to make a singular choice: to understand that making a choice may impact your life significantly just as much as it could be an insignificant choice in the grander-scheme-of-things, such as choosing to walk to school versus taking the bus. However, other choices, such as where you go to study, what classes you take, etc. can make greater impacts on your life, but, compared to creating the future, it is significantly less important.

That said, of course, actively choosing to walk to school, as opposed to taking the bus, or driving, would make an impact on the environment, and that slight change in emissions can improve or further impair the state of the climate crisis, and contribute to the future.


But, even then, think of entrepreneurs. When Microsoft was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, did they know it was going to become a household name, the software being part of the education system, with children as young as four interacting with MS Word and Powerpoint during digital play, and that Microsoft Office would become a standard software in most corporations? This is unlikely, but, it may have been something they hoped to achieve. But, by launching Microsoft, Bill Gates and Paul Allen managed to make a significant change to society.


Every choice a person makes can influence something bigger, if you allow it to be so. Taking risks is an inherent part of human nature, we have been doing it throughout history. Did Jenner know with certainly that by injecting James Phipps with pus taken from a cowpox pustule, having realised that milkmaids, exposed to cowpox, never got smallpox, that he would have created a process that would still be used today? He, like Gates and Allen may have hoped that so, and that his hypothesis was correct, and that James Phipps wouldn’t get smallpox. But, I doubt he would have known his impact. Testing a hypothesis, taking risks and trying new things is the essence of agility!


And, as Philips said: “No matter what environment you work in, if you take the risk and you figure it out, all you need is your process, your tribe and to push yourself out of your comfort zone”.



Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.

He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.

The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.

To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: arvind@theagileworks.com


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