I had the privilege of presenting to a group of potential interns from the Colorado School of Mines interested in agile project management. Action shot…
The slide shows what we can offer them as interns: Failure, chaos, and confusion. I unpacked that as follows…
It’s important interns have the opportunity to learn how to fail in small, deliberate and safe increments along with the opportunity to learn how to extract every possible lesson from failures and how those failures lead to eventual success. Much of our business is driven by experimentation and hypothesis testing. Most of those experiments will fail, at least initially.
We strive to be anti-fragile. One way to accomplish this is to be good at working under chaotic and ambiguous conditions. When involved with highly evolutionary design sessions, shifting sands can seem like the most solid ground around.
One of the values for bringing interns into the organization is the fresh perspective they offer. Why waste that on having them fetch coffee? However, interns can often be intimidated by working with people who have decades of experience under their belt. So it’s important they know they have the opportunity to work in an environment that expects questions and recognizes no one knows it all. They are in an environment that seeks alternative points of view. In this organization, everyone gets their own coffee.