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Scalable ecosystems - some learnings
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Scalable ecosystems - some learnings


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This presentation is about building self-managed teams. Self motivated and self managed teams are extremely effective once they are clear about their directions and require minimal management …

This presentation is about building self-managed teams. Self motivated and self managed teams are extremely effective once they are clear about their directions and require minimal management support. The interesting part is the surprises they are capable of. While most surprise on the upside, one can watch for and manage possible negative impacts.

Team members report an extremely positive experience and talk nostalgically about it through their lifetimes.

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  • 1. eco-systems that scale Self-managed ecosystems - A few thoughts Rinka Singh "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea" - Antoine de Saint Exupéry
  • 2. Who needs managers...
  • 3. How to create an Ant-hill • Pheromones in body waste • Wander but prefer direction of pheromone • At each step decide to deposit or carry • Full termite will drop waste • Will drop if high pheromone concentration
  • 4. Complex systems... • Video showed people acting without leadership. • Ants have no leader, minimal intelligence What's happening here... Emergence happens if... • Objects are committed to interacting • Have common rules and common goals...
  • 5. Complex systems – my favourite example... • Basic sub-atomic particles + forces • They come together form atoms, elements – limited number • Atoms form molecules. A similar set of atoms... • One combo. of organic molecules forms petrol • Another combo. makes a human being. • Basics same; end result completely different. • And Finally, we try to make sense of basic particles – recursion on the grandest scale!!!
  • 6. Starfish and the spider The Starfish and the Spider The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations Ori Brafman, Rod Beckstrom ISBN 1-591H4--143-7
  • 7. Starfish and the Spider – properties • Flexibility – mutates as needed • People want to contribute • Effectiveness improves over time – in fits & starts • Gift economy – pay forward • Key properties enabling such eco-systems • Circles – functionally independent • The catalyst • The ideology – goal, values, philosophy, rules • Leverage a pre-existing network • The Champion
  • 8. SPIN Bangalore • Formed in '92 as SQA Bangalore • Cofounders: Indradeb Pal, Haridas, Rama Rao • Goal: Improving quality of software out of Bangalore • Became SPIN to leverage the SEI-CMM work • I joined in '97 – 15 SPIN members • I left in '05 – 3000+ members (managers, VPs...) • Bangalore has largest concentration of SEI-5 Orgs. in the world. • Multiple SPINs across India.
  • 9. Stories from SPIN • 1990's: The early days – just talks • Early – 05 Growth – Special interest groups • 2005: Next steps – dissolved the core-group • SPIN Bangalore today • Multiple SPINs in India – most cities. • The NASSCOM perspective
  • 10. Lessons from SPIN - successes • Almost all of SPIN's events were free • Pay forward – huge emotional deposit • Contributions exploded • Clear model with common philosophy • Philosophy demonstrated in action • Ensured right people stayed, wrong people left • Over time impacted people behavior • Peoples' commitment was to attend and support. • Gave up control... • Multiple SPINlets across Bangalore – 5 today. • Many, many more become leaders – they all innovate • Growth much faster & sustainable.
  • 11. Lessons from SPIN - failures • Successful SIGs: Benchmarking, KM, Infrastructure • Failures: PM, SME... • Not aligned with SPIN members' skills • We didn't find a good problem worth solving • Successful SIGs were around best practices • SPINs not as successful – Delhi, Mumbai, Pune • Led by quality consultants: SPIN for business generation • We stayed led by our major stakeholder: the end consumer • Couldn't build deep relationships with NASSCOM, CII
  • 12. Center for Learning • 20 teachers left Valley school in '91 • Unhappy with how K's teachings followed • 65 students, 25 teachers. • No principal – decisions made in consensus • Major guiding principle – question everything Including Krishnamurthy – They explicitly state – they have no philosophy • The interesting part • if you can't align – extremely uncomfortable & painful. • If you do – very nurturing environment
  • 13. Other initiatives... These are actually pretty common • Alcoholics Anonymous • Anyone can set one up anywhere... • Just follow 12 rules • Completely peer to peer. • Discovery Hacking Circle – Rajan / Ram... • Amul: Milk co-operatives across India – “I too had a Dream – VK Kurien” • GNU: the open-source movement – Richard Stallman –
  • 14. 14 – Miyamoto Musashi (1548-1645) Go Rin No Sho Thank You The principle of strategy is having one thing, to know ten thousand things...
  • 15. Let's talk... How do we go about...• Defining such goals? • Defining such rules? • How to ensure they don't break rules... • Think game theory... • How would new teams form autonomously? • Core values stay the same yet innovate? • What does innovation mean in this context... What does this mean for us...
  • 16. References & Reading • Complex Adaptive Systems & Emergent Systems. • The Starfish and the Spider, The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations • Who needs managers • Ant hills and more on ant behavior (1) and (2) • Jim Zemin's TEDx video on the Linux ecosystem • SPIN Bangalore or BSPIN • Defining Rules: Game theory, Nash Equilibriums • Brad Feld at #NPC2013 • BBC podcast • From Kiran: – –