In distrust of methods

Wendell Berry is a farmer and poet who has written an essay where he declares his distrust of movements. I think what Berry says about movements can be said about methods too.

  • Undoubtedly some people will want to develop methods.
  • The worst danger is that language loses its meaning through the use of fancy words.
  • The risk that methods provide piecemeal solutions is even higher than for movements.
  • The usage of a method doesn’t remove the need for the users to take responsibility, understand what they are doing, and why.
  • Methods are often accompanied by a profitable industry of training, certifications, and consulting.

In short, the risk is that methods start to live a life of their own, becoming goals in themselves, keeping consultants busy, dealing with effects while leaving causes in place. It’s not enough to change methods. Mindsets need to be changed too. That’s why I distrust methods.

Related posts:
Practices vs. mindset
Sociocracy requires a new mindset

Published by Jan Höglund

Jan Höglund has over 35 years of experience in different roles as software developer, project manager, line manager, consultant, and researcher. This is his personal blog where he shares his reading, book reviews, and learning.

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