Patty Aluskewicz

On Shaky Ground: What Plate Tectonics Can Teach Us about Resistance to Agile

Alfred Wegener.

Not a household name in the Agile community, but he should be. This turn-of-the 20th Century German scientist knew a thing or two about resistance to change.

Over 100 years ago, Wegener made a startling discovery, and like anyone who challenges “the way we’ve always done things,” he was met with extreme resistance from the scientific community.

Like Galileo who boldly turned the entire understanding of the universe upside down, Wegner proposed the idea that the Earth’s crust was broken up into huge plates that moved and interacted with each other, producing incredible, and sometimes catastrophic, results.

Only 50 years later, with the advent of WW2 technology, the pushback subsided, and scientists realized his value. Since then, they have pooled together their research to create a full understanding of what produces huge shifts, changes, friction, and yes, sometimes explosions, when plates interact.

So what can we learn from Alfred Wegener and the scientific community’s subsequent discoveries that relate to an organization’s journey of agility? It turns out, quite a bit.

In this talk, we will:

  • revisit Wegener’s story and the eventual acceptance of his controversial ideas
  • discover the different types of interactions the shifting of Earth’s plates produce and link each one directly to a scenario in the organization’s journey toward agility
  • discuss what we can learn from this about human interaction and organizational change
  • how to best prepare for the quakes and shifts that result to find more success.

About the Speaker:

Patty Aluskewicz, founder of Agile Mindset Consulting, is a Scrum Master Career Coach, Agile Coach, and Professional Educator. With over 15 years of experience, she assists businesses and their employees in building fundamental Agile and Scrum skills and successfully implementing them into their teams.

Her science background in Geology brings a unique perspective to Agile and she is delighted to share the connections between Plate Tectonics and the challenges of organizational change with you.

Her recent speaking experience includes the Serious Scrum Conference, the TriAgile Conference, the Project Management Innovation Conference, the Scrum Masters of the Universe, and Stanford University. She also facilitates her own meetup, Agile Conversations, bringing other Agile practitioners' inspirational career journeys to light.