Schlagwort-Archive: Revolutionary

Overthrower throw over

We try to use factual language nowadays. However, there is even in such profane things as a glass containing 250 ml of water more than the determined amount. The colloquial description also reveals our sensitivities – do we speak at 125 ml of a half-full or half-empty glass? Our mental state always resonates in the choice of words. Consider the following two examples: (1) We fear that the annoyance can be settled rather bad than good. (2) We are convinced that the matter can be settled adequately. If we fear something, we have a higher level of uncertainty than if we are convinced. When an occurring problem is described as an annoyance, there is more behind than just a matter that can be solved. Whether the solution then turns out to be rather bad than good or can be adequately realized greatly influences the resistance of those involved. Although both sentences differ in only three positions, (2) is the more practical version. The surrounding aura of a word is determined by our culture and the world knowledge it contains. Expert word jugglers use these backgrounds to evoke certain moods.

As an example, consider the protagonists of political and social shifts. Depending on the evaluation of an overthrow, reporters use different words for the people who overthrow.

  • Supporter
    Sympathetic observers’ side with the bunch moving through the streets. Participants of marches
    are played down as supporters – regardless of whether cars on the side of the road get burned, windows are broken, or police officers and reporters are threatened. That way, recipients are subliminally provided with a frame for interpreting the events – just as during the storming of the Capitol, commentators talked about supporters until they switched to the term
  • Demonstrator
    Journalists walk with registered demonstrations where thousands move through the streets. Peaceful citizens exercising their right to freedom of expression are initially referred to as Even if a few rioters disrupt the event on the sidelines. The downplaying of the collateral damage that occurs is done by describing the event as peaceful for the majority – just like the Arab Spring or the activists in Hong Kong.
  • Bully
    When reporters focus on the activists who deliberately riot visibly through the streets, it is no longer considered a demonstration but a rampage. It then becomes a disturbance of the free democratic basic order by political activists, right-wing radicals, hooligans, and rioters. Their only goals are the dissolution of the existing order, disconcertion of society, and the senseless destruction of property, as observed every year on May 1 in Kreuzberg (Berlin).
  • Revolutionary
    The view into history glorifies the reporting. After the fact, it becomes apparent who won. Let us imagine what we would have seen in France after 1789 if the internet had already been available. A mob dissolved the existing order by storming public institutions with violence. We would have seen images similar to those of the attack on the Capitol. In retrospect, however, we are talking about revolutionaries. As long as a change of power has not yet taken place, this designation is only used when the overthrow is seen as desirable. Revolutions always want to overthrow an existing system in favor of a better one – at least from the protagonists’ point of view. The commemorative cultures in Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, or Germany celebrate their revolutionaries as heroes or traitors, depending on the current political situation (Think about the resistance fighters of July 20, who were not rehabilitated until 1952).

Even in the most ‘serious’ media, there are more and more judgmental reports. Examples in Germany are reports about officially unwanted events of Querdenker (lateral thinkers) or coverages from North Korea. These reports are constantly enriched with personal, emotional remarks. ‘Random’ conversations take place with stereotypical personalities. If a journalist then adds the comment that he feels safe while casting an uncertain glance at a scene that is invisible to the viewer, then we have already left the level of neutral reportage.

Bottom line: Crowds that hit the roads for a cause always look similar. The difference is made by the signs, signal colors, and symbols – “We are against …” or “We are for …”; Ukraine’s orange revolution or red in Myanmar; or the umbrella revolution in Hong Kong. When participants are alternately referred to as supporters, demonstrators, bullies, or revolutionaries, we sense the insinuating judgmental undertone. A pendulum of power always swings from one side to the other – and back again after a specific time. And in all cases, crowds gather to demonstrate against the current system. The flood of reports on all available channels and the information bubble, which give us the same messages repeatedly, have pushed neutral reports out of the information market. Even individuals can influence the opinion of large groups – as can be seen in German-speaking countries, for example, with “Frank der Reisende.” To what extent there is an independent, true core, and whether we ever find it, is always in the eye of the beholder. And for all, it is always true that overthrowers throw over.

Becoming agile! But how?

After years of productivity increase through standardization, we now arrived in a dead end. The formal requirements pollute the actual work more and more. The creation of a plan became the central task of project management. Thus, the fulfillment of the standards increases the work load. The introduction of agile actions promises a way out. Based on the agile manifesto work is deregulated. The following values put the emphasis on the left side of the table, even if the right side remains important.

Individuals and interactions
Working solutions
Customer collaboration
Responding to change


processes and tools
comprehensive documentation
contract negotiation
following a plan

Most people already understood the need of dusting off the currently overwhelming formal requirements. We will become more agile. But how?


Let’s look at four alternative ways.

  1. Revolutionary
    Either one of the other is carried away by the conclusive perspective. These zealots dream about the possibility of introducing the agile values by shifting a lever from today to tomorrow. Since in a running company initiatives are continuously accomplished and the employees are not able to simply change their work style, this approach creates stress and a high risk for the fulfillment of the initiatives. Eventually the current and newly started projects are shaken by incompetency. They fail thereby.
  2. Evolutionary
    Less decisive people desire a smooth transition from classical to agile methods. However, employees work in different projects. If one takes place in a classical and the other in an agile way, the load of the change has the individual employee. Beyond that, the responsible people of the overall portfolio can only manage parts, since agile projects do not provide the relevant information any longer due to a lack of an appropriate planning. To what extent agility could be slowly implemented that way remains to be seen.
  3. Need orientation
    Pragmatics expect the possibility to install the one or the other procedure punctually, the way it appears most useful. Individual building blocks of a venture are selected for using agile mechanisms. A team of agile experts could take care of these tasks and exploit the advantages in the context of classical projects. The challenge is the interface to the classical activities and their bureaucratic needs – the clear direction, specific components and results.
  4. Separatist
    Some enterprises create a parallel playing field for the new ideas. On the one side projects are classically completed and on the other side accomplished agilely. In the long run the better one may win. Those parallel universes mean to the employees that sometimes they are included in the classical, bureaucratic environment and sometimes they have to cooperate agilely. The good news is that the employees can participate easily in the agile world. To what extent the classical projects are thereby contaminated in the short and medium term should be observed.

Bottom line: The introduction of agility is an extensive cut into the established practices of an enterprise. The roles of the employees, the reporting duty and the planning of individual and cross-functional projects are changed in the core – off taut clarity, towards flexible, trustfully cooperation. The solution is again the focal point of work, any more the formal administration. No matter how you decide, you should make clear, how to cooperate as well as to provide corresponding training courses for the employees.