The Game Without Thrones – how to work the same way as real First Nations tribes

The Iroquois Confederacy is the world's most successful tribal society, Never mind Spotify, these guys ran an agile civilization of up to a million people with no command and control – no managers, no owners, no masters – an international confederacy of tribes working and living together sustainably for over five hundred years.

Including two hundred years of peaceful interoperation with the European powers. And what do they have to show for it today? Well, their ideas directly generated the American, French and Russian revolutions, as well as Female Suffrage and Feminism too. Yet no modern society possesses the rich social weave and deep learning flows of the original #Haudenosaunee culture.

In this workshop we'll see how these time-honoured patterns apply in modern #BusinessAgility and #DevOps contexts to generate autonomy and alignment over command and control. Self-directing portfolios of self-managing streams of self-organizing teams ... that's the Game Without Thrones!

Check out a detailed description of the game mechanics here ... but since we're not certain how many folk we'll have playing this, we're going to use something different to Lego: construction paper! We've already been experimenting with this stuff for teaching games in XSCALE Alliance and it works great - see for Masa Maeda's "Papyrus City". Adapting that to the GWoT gives us a way to play at any scale.

Plus ... we're going to add a couple of twists for this one from the upcoming Hackathon Without Thrones ... consider it a sneak peek!


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

Attendees split into 6-person squads in 3-squad streams. If the numbers support it, we combine these into 3-stream portfolios.

We'll run 3 20 minute release cycles each consisting of:

  • 5 minute sprint (squads build castle features from simple non-toxic home-made clay)
  • 5 minute chapter meetings (chapters run across squads per stream and generate features and treaties)
  • 5 minute council meetings + mob refactoring (each chapter picks a council rep to prioritise features)
  • 5 minute squad retros (a rapid retro combined with ratification of treaties between squads)

Then one final release sprint to integrate and refactor across the streams. Watch out for the dragons!

With a bit of luck we'll have time for Q&A too, but the main learning comes from playing.

Learning Outcome

Attendees will learn:

  1. The Leadership-as-a-Service practice for consensus decision-making
  2. How to replace command and control with chapters, mobs and clockwork councils
  3. How to generate features and stories collaboratively from metrics and bottlenecks
  4. How to de-scale large organisations using small teams, fast feedback and rotating representation.

Target Audience

Business, Design and Technical Leaders, Managers, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, RTEs, VSEs ...

Prerequisites for Attendees

This will be a stand-alone event but participants will get more out of it if they first view the XSCALE Principles webinars here.



schedule Submitted 2 years ago