"Everything is on a stickie for a reason."

For the recent second PragmaBirthday, the whole team was asked for their favourite quote on "change". Now, that's fairly broad ask and it's hard to pick out one - but I chose to go with this one:

“Everything is on a stickie for a reason”

First of all, it's what I say a lot (although admittedly, I stole it from Sarah).

I use it whenever I ask people in a workshop to take a sharpie and post its and share their ideas. I use it to make people comfortable to contribute. They may fear that, once their thought or statement is visible, it may be set in stone. I use it when a team member or participant presents the outcome of a session and receives feedback on it. I use it to explain that feedback is always welcomed, and expected. I use it when a plan, service map, user journey or story map changes because we learned something new.

Second, it reflects many of the values that I like to adhere to and talk about frequently:

  • Things will change
  • Don't be perfect from the get go and get going
  • Start small and iterate
  • Focus on the conversation with as little distraction as possible

And third, the quote keeps the barrier to participate really low. People used to different ways of working are often hesitant to write down their thoughts and ideas and share them visibly. When people know that everything is on a stickie for a reason, it means that we all acknowledge that things are likely to change. With that knowledge, it is much easier to contribute to anything and puts less pressure on participants.

It’s amazing to see how much you can learn from people if you ask them about one of their favourite quotes. There is so much goodness in these stories. Stay tuned for more!

Pragmateam photo from our second birthday celebration - our Pragma t-shirts with favourite quotes on the back

Pragmateam photo from our second birthday celebration - our Pragma t-shirts with favourite quotes on the back