Episode 28 - Discussing Stoos

Bob and Josh tackle the recent movement in the Agile/Leadership community commonly referred to as "Stoos". What is it all about? Should you care? How will it affect you going forward? We cover all of these questions in this episode in an effort to get you up to speed on this growing initiative in our world.


  1. Good discussion guys. I have been following Jurgen and Steve for awhile, definitely since hearing Steve talk at the Agile2011 conference. The impression I have gotten from what I have read is more along the lines of what Josh mentioned, they are trying to FIX management, not completely get rid of it. There may be comments around the fact that, generally speaking a lot of companies have too much management and if you move towards Management 3.0 style you can probably get rid of some of it, but I don't think they are trying to get rid of all management.

    It is definitely possible that I have missed some of that though. I am only half way through both Management 3.0 and Radical Management (been switching back and forth between them). Bob, do you have examples of posts that you think are suggesting that companies should get rid of all management?


    1. Thanks for the feedback Matt!

      I didn't mean to imply that they were trying to *remove* all managers. What I am troubled by is the notion that outside forces know best and therefore can "fix" management from the outside in. Not by engaging with them or partnering with them or even directly coaching or mentoring them, but by re-framing and marginalizing their roles.

      Sure, managers can do a few things like sign off on training or report upwards in the hierarchy. But the really important bits and the leadership must all come from within the team.

      That's why I likened the Stoos movement to the early XP movement wrt/the testers. There are eery similarities between the mindsets.

      I'd recommend you read this post from Jurgen and tell me your reactions. It doesn't feel like a "partnered and respectful FIX" to me...but I might be overreacting. I've been known to do that on occasion.

      Don't get me wrong, as I said in the Meta-cast, most of today's leaders certainly need "help". But I lean away from what I perceive to be the extremeness of some of the Stoos folks...

    2. forgot the link ;-)


    3. Yeah, I can see where you are coming from with that post. He definitely seems to discount the fact that, as an organization you do need a strategy, a common vision. It is very difficult, darn near impossible, to get a common vision from a bottom-up approach. I also don't like how critical he is on coaching (which I already pointed out in another of his articles and a response on my blog http://bit.ly/MaE7to). I do think there is a lot of confusion on what coaching really is, and I definitely agree that often the manager is not the correct person to actually be training his/her directs. However, proper coaching is definitely something a good manager should be doing for all of his/her directs.

    4. Sounds like we have a topic for an upcoming cast!!!

    5. Next time you are in town, I think we need you to join the cast as a guest speaker...

    6. I agree on both counts Josh!

    7. Sounds great! I'm looking forward to it.

  2. It is an interesting time as we watch this movement evolve. I get a little worried because there seems to be some wandering about what it really is all about. I'll be very interested to see where Bob and I stand when we re-visit this in a couple of months...