This keynote explored how to cultivate a Mindshift — skills we need to deliver modern technology. There is no video available but you can view the Miro board here.

When building modern architectures, the hard part isn’t learning Kubernetes. The hard part is changing the way (almost) everyone thinks. In the world of digital information systems, the paradigm is shifting around us. We are adopting new technology tools yet failing to deliver transformation. We can’t transform systemic challenges with our usual thinking – rational, repeatable, procedural, top-down, concerned with control. When we don’t transform our mental models and communication patterns, we deliver the exact same system we already have.

Regardless of how performant our microservices are. 

To create new pattern and new mental models, we need to gain new perspectives through systemic reasoning. These perspectives are the building blocks we use to construct new pathways – collectively arriving at the best possible solution, under the circumstances, when conditions are uncertain.

(Conditions are always uncertain.)

Nowadays, the most valuable skill is the ability to synthesize knowledge, experience and good judgement into decisions based on valid reasons. As complexity increases, the knowledge and experience we need is rarely (exclusively) our own. We synthesize other people’s expertise, creating cohesion between ideas and the people who generate them. Specifically, we:

  • Think about thinking
  • Integrate thinking and experiences
    • Immerse in learning — design experiences that help address doubt (not just talk about it)
    • Get comfortable engaging uncertainty
    • Design and discuss capabilities of the system (not simply desired deliverables)
  • Create systems of supportive practices
    • Actively create feedback loops
    • Focus on delivering artifacts to structure thinking (together)
    • Architect patterns (and understand that they are always sociotechnical)

Everyone can develop confidence and trust in the thinking they facilitate. Everyone can cultivate a communication process that builds trust between people. We just need to practice. Within ourselves, with each other and as an organization.

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