The Psychology Behind The Agile Canvas

The simple structure of the Canvas empowers groups to collaborate in powerful ways as never before.  There is rich science and research to support the efficacy of the model.


The fact that people are invited to frame questions gives their thinking more natural breadth, depth, courage, sensitivity and alignment. Questions have more power than statements because their create more open mindedness and mindful consideration of what is unknown. Curiosity creates more creativity than declarations, no matter how true.  Curiosity is the highest form of happiness and happiness leads to more trust which leads to more alignment and velocity. We become more proactive than reactive.


People who dream together thrive together. Everyone enjoys higher levels of wellbeing and connectivity when they are connected by new possibilities that can make a positive difference for all. We dream out as far as we want because the clarity and depth of our passion is equal to the length and breadth of our vision. Dreaming creates meaning and significance. Our locus of control shifts from external to internal, making creativity, generosity, empathy and resilience mor possible.


People feel free to be optimistic and cautious in ways that add value to the conversations and more quickly moves everyone from talk to action than the opposite of assumption making. Doubt and dissent become gifts to engage rather than problems to solve and obstacles to avoid. Risks become assets rather than liabilities. Being question driven makes being data driven more possible, making the whole process more realistic. Expecting that questions will evolve with learning makes the group more learning abled, proactive and agile. Organizing questions means everyone is always working on the most important things at the right time. In any kind of success, timing is everything.


When our actions are based on our questions, we can act our way into the future we want to see even in a world rich in ambiguity and uncertainty. We don't have to wait for all the right answers before taking all the right actions because we're working from our questions. Meaningful action doesn't take energy; it creates energy that fuels our persistence and sustained commitment to what's most possible with what we have.


Because people are more focused on their strengths and passions, they show up with more honest and sustainable accountability to each other and the data. People are more committed to engagement than they would be just focusing on the activities that needs to get done. We sustain positive perspective because we focus more on what we have than on our deficiencies. We feel and act more supported and engage our talents and resources at higher levels. We don't have to postpone action until we get rid of our deficiencies. We can act on our most important questions with what we have.


Working in 2 week cycles creates more traction than just aiming for activities that have due dates. These cycles create urgency. When people assign and pair themselves in work, they are more committed to what they sign up to an if they were instead assigned to tasks. 2 week cycles of doing creates rhythm that results in a more calm energy. Only a calm mind accelerates our potential for learning from experience. Each action we take reveals better questions, which lead to better actions in a virtuous spiral toward the future we dream.


When people post their own notes, they are more engaged and creative. People are free to reflect and compose in their own words and at their own pace. This makes it possible for no one to dominate or disappear. People bring more of their best to the effort rather than wondering how they fit in. The act of writing itself stimulates more ideas than talking or just listening can. Everyone feels valued for their contributions. No one feels they have to be other than as they are. When people feel valued, they deliver more value. The whole process makes for more transparency and inclusion. Collaboration makes everyone smarter together. No one is expected to be smarter than everyone. We do together what none of us could do alone.