The Agile Canvas is a simple and powerful way to organize anything. We use it with any kind of meeting, collaboration, planning, problem solving, decision making, project, design and engagement. It is a question-based process rooted in four conversations that works with any number and diversity of people, agendas and uncertainties. The magic of the process is the synergy of questions and actions that engages 16 strengths people already have.
Questions create focus. We develop our questions by identifying what would love to see possible and what we need to research and decide. We translate each into a new question. What we want to see possible includes what matters to us. We create questions like: "What would it look like if...?" and "How could we...?" What we need to research and decide includes what seems unclear and a concern.
We organize all our questions in the logical order they need to be answered. Some need to be answered before others. We timestamp each question with estimated completion dates. We get the future right when we work on the right questions at the right time.
Actions create possibility. Every 2 weeks we map out the gifts we want to engage and invite and all the actions we will take to answer our questions in order. The gifts include any talents and resources available. The actions include anything we will start and get done. Acting on each question in order makes it more clear what our next most important questions and actions are. We create the best possible world one question and action at a time.
We do this together because we are smarter together and we support what we co-create. We assign ourselves to actions because we commit most to what we choose. This rhythm creates iterations of traction in the direction of the future we want to create together.
The process thrives in uncertainty and diversity of perspectives. It engages dreamers and worriers, connectors and doers. We make progress with what we have and the process leads us each step along the way. We always get the right things done at the right time because we get our questions right.
The latest research indicates that the core difference between flourishing and floundering groups is the quality of their conversations. Floundering groups struggle to focus, align and get things done because they are working from no questions, the wrong questions or the right questions at the wrong time.
Ironically, floundering groups have everything they need to succeed. Flourishing groups don't necessarily have more resources, time or certainty. They engage what they have completely differently. The Canvas makes a difference because it uses what we have to create what we would love to see possible.
Groups flourish when they work on the right questions at the right time. Questions inspire learning, lead to realistic action, engage everyone's passions and strengths and optimize open mindedness and resilience. They build trust which is vital because in any collaboration, we move at the speed of trust.
Something this simple shouldn't work. But it does. Every time.