I love communities, hanging around smart people that have their main interests of which they are really passionate and also often very good at. Personally I prefer blending into different communities, getting some of many different things rather than to delve very deep into something in particular. I think its my curiosity and kind of systems thinking mind that wants to stay up to date with a lot of things. I also like to keep my spectrum broad with regards to the knowledge I take in, and then I can filter the good parts myself.
Some communities overlap more than others. Some of the communities in my professional life include Context driven testing globally where CAST and Lets Test has become a natural gathering points and on the local level there is SWET and soon ConTest. The other Swedish test communities SAST and Testzonen also get some share of my time. Then there is the Agile (Agile conference) and Agile testing global communities and Agile Skåne locally. Our own conference Öredev has its community surrounding it with the very open motto “Sharing knowledge” as well as my company Jayway, not only with the employees but also the networks surrounding with events like breakfast seminars. Through different connections I spent time with the Entrepreneurial community of south Sweden and Startup Weekends and experienced crazy ideas coming true. Also I have worked on my facilitation and leadership through Innovation Games, Gamestorming and PMI Sweden communities.
Then I could also mention some from my non-professional life that quite a lot influence how I think and act, The Swedish Scout Association and Value Based leadership network InSpirea greatly inspire me to do good work and think of the leadership from other standpoints than in my job.
Of course, there are plenty more I did not mention. They all have it in common that I have some time been active in debate, meetups or engaged other members of those communities in some way.
So where do I want to go with this? Well, what I am seeing way too often is that the people that are involved in all of these communities (and of course there are plenty that are not involved at all), are trying to solve the same problems as the others. But they way too often don’t know or care about each other.
I really think people from different communities need to reach out to other similar communities, at least every once in a while, to see if the similarities in ideas can complement each other and create bigger things than in isolation. Because “Innovation happens when two ideas have sex”, a lovely quote from Jurgen Appelo.
People are just not bothered about leaving their comfort zone in their community, solving the problems of those in isolation instead of trying to solve bigger problems together with unknown people. I hope to publish more on this topic the next couple of days, in regards to agile testing and how this concept has taken very different forms when it comes to different communities and people. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, did you consider your own context and how your thinking is affected by your communities?