On structures that last

Last year I read over 20 books. One of them was Antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. One of the ideas that I found intriguing, was the following statement (I’m quoting from memory): things, that have been here for some time, are much more likely to stay, than all the new and shiny.

Herds & ownership

This is my herd. You and me, we’re in the same herd. This person is from another herd. In herd we trust. We, the herd, share secrets, stories and fun. The herd lasts, building its strength over time. Support, knowing each other, help – you get it for free. No matter how you call this herd, a team, a group, people did not change that much. We need herds.

This is mine, that is yours. We own things. Collectively (we, the herd) or individually (“don’t you dare to touch MY phone”). We care about things we own. We care less about things we don’t. We need ownership.

Say Conway’s law, one more time

If you haven’t heard about this law, here it is:

organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations

This one sentence was a reason for never-ending debates, tooooo many presentations and many people nodding and murmuring “Yeah, this is because of the Conway’s law”.

Now, think again about structures, the Conway’s law and things that last. Is it a valid approach to organize things in different way? If it is, what things are included in the new order and what are excluded? Is there any chance that by designing a new approach, the proven approaches are being thrown away? Whatever you do, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.