At the beginning of this year, in collaboration with the publisher, Dymaxicon, I embarked on a new project designed to engage and foster creativity within the software community: 113 Crickets.
“113 Crickets is a Silicon Valley-based literary journal published quarterly. Each issue contains a selection of prose, poetry, and short stories by new and established writers. 113 Crickets embraces its Silicon Valley roots by especially seeking writers from the tech world, and featuring published authors and poets with connections to the Bay Area.”
If Agile is a design for creativity in the workplace—and I strongly believe it is—then it seems vital to encourage this creativity in any form we can. 113 Crickets is my offering to the software community, to showcase its own writing talent, and pique an interest in the literary arts.
During my travels as an Agilist, to different countries, companies, and conferences I have met many people who are striving for something greater than the day to day drudgery of work, people who are seeking to weave love, faith, art into their lives in a holistic, all-encompassing way. Gone are the days when we talk about work/life balance. It is all life. And today we strive for joy within the workplace, not only outside of it.
The Agile community offers a home to many artists, writers, musicians and philosophers. We are attracted by the spirit of community, the collaboration, the daring, the risk-taking. We share ideas about work, for sure, but we also share ideas about living well, about striving for excellence. We seek beauty and passion in the workplace, and we seek engagement—a quest far greater than the old-think, patriarchal approach of imposing “fun” at work through embarrassing team-building exercises, foosball tables, and company picnics.
This is the age of art, the new renaissance. It is a time for building loving relationships, for seeking collaboration over competition, for exploring outside the narrow confines of job titles and career paths—seeking greatness, and embracing the core human values of community, love, and purpose.
Music, painting, poetry, philosophy are integral elements of Agile software development and workplace democracy. We find we can be engineers /and/ artists, businessmen /and/ craftsmen. Our talents and passions need not be pigeonholed, our minds not bifurcated. Indeed, the apparently disparate elements of our lives can inspire and serve one another, creating a wholeness, a congruity, and a truth that will shine and serve as awakening to others.
The first issue of 113 Crickets featured the inspirational poetry of the Agile coach, Siraj Sirajuddin, and the forthcoming summer 2012 issue includes an interview with poet-coder, Liz Keogh, along with a collection of her work. We are always seeking new writers within the software and business worlds to contribute, as we move forward with this project, gathering the patronage of many innovative and creative companies along the way.
Please check out our blog at 113crickets.tumblr.com — and buy the books!