Agreements vs rules
The word rule comes from Latin meaning straight stick, ruler, to measure. To impose a rule is to impose an order that has linearity to it. There is a sequence of events that should occur as the outcome of imposing the rule.
An agreement is a mutual understanding, and has at its source, to please together.
We need both.
Rules create order. They rule out the unexpected. Rules desire conformity and defined sequence.
If we did not have road rules there would be chaos.
Too many rules squeeze out creativity, optionality, innovation.
Rules have a permanence to them. They are open to be changed but are harder to change as they are usually imposed by authority. Choosing a rule is an act of clearly knowing the sequence of behaviour you are seeking, and the effects of that behaviour.
Agreements invite conversation. Agreements enable mutuality towards a shared purpose. We agree to do this. We agree to act towards each other in this way.
Agreements are best when applied with both commitment and the willingness to adapt so they work for all involved.
In designing enterprise architecture to enable a synergistic team choose few rules and more agreements.
One of the very few rules I ever hold as a non-negotiable is the commitment to clean communication. This simple rule enables me to live in the present and to tread the earth lightly.
August 28th 2019
Photo taken August 23rd, 2016