Avoid False Narratives

“To survive you must tell stories.” – Umberto Eco

Narrative Fallacy

I admit I am a sucker for a good story. Spin me a good one, and I will buy it. At times I have been drawn to a less desirable outcome simply because it had a better narrative. If the narrative pulls on emotional chords, it gets me all the sooner. In some cases, the trade-off was not too bad; the story was simply that good.

After all, who has not read a book or watched a movie and not imagined a little? It is a welcome escape.

But the narrative can be dangerous when we wrap our identity around a story. Works great for the storyteller, who can frame your involvement within their construct. For the longest time, I was wrapped around the axle in false dichotomies promoted by the Agile “brand” wars.

  • Waterfall vs. agile vs hybrid-agile
  • doing agile vs. being agile
  • Scrum vs Kanban vs Scrumban
  • Scrum master vs. project manager
  • Product owner vs. product manager

And This vs. That, so on and so forth

Watching these narratives unfold has been entertaining, at least. But it does get tiring.

I founded Evolve Agility to kickstart a new beginning with the spirit of experimentation and improvement. What matters most is the improvement you, your team, and your organization can benefit from.

So with our clients and leaders, we are writing our own story. It is a lot more fun than following someone else’s script.

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an excellent book on the dangers of falling prey to the Narrative Fallacy.


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