|Happy New Year!|
Looking back and forward.
I got a few predictions right in 2018. The battle between Amazon and Google did get fiercer. I purchased smart lights and expanded the number of Google devices in the marketplace. It is also clear Google is starting to pull away with a better quality product. As of August 2018, Google was starting to pass Amazon in sales. I hope this forces more innovation and lowers prices. It would be nice if these smart speakers were the cost of a contemporary clock radio.
I was partially correct about politics in the last year. Democrats did make a comeback, but the GOP leveraged its structural advantages to retain the U.S. Senate and some state house governments. It was also clear the two parties are tragically unable to compromise. Authors pointed out these differences were not a question of ideology but epistemology. When Christine Blasey Ford, provided credible accusations of sexual assault against a Supreme Court nominee GOP senators saw someone who was “misremembering” a teenage event to destroy a career. Democratic senators saw it as behavior toward women which was disqualifying. In light of these events, it is clear the GOP, and the Democrats see women and sexual assault in different ways.
Last year was not just the spectacle of politics and commerce; I made some significant changes. I decided to concentrate more on my brand. I presented to the Agile 2018 conference, and I am working on my 2019 white paper for next year. I spent time at the London 2018 coaching retreat and have given more discussions on Healthy Ownership. It is a good start, but I have more work to do. I have to concentrate on my coaching certification with the Scrum Alliance. I am also returning to work, so I am looking forward to working with new people and challenges.
So what does 2019 look like? I have three predictions.
The Messy Repercussions of Oversight –With Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, oversight of the executive branch will begin. It will create numerous uncomfortable conflicts around the emoluments clause, nepotism and petty corruption from the executive branch. I feel this oversight is necessary to hold powerful people accountable. The aftermath of this oversight will be increase distrust in government and the deepening of the epistemic divide between the two major political parties.
Chubby Capitalism –The American economy is chugging along creating jobs and wealth. I suspect much of the growth is the result of low interest rates and mergers. Gross domestic product is increasing, but there are troubling signs the good times are going to slow down. I affectionately call the situation, “chubby capitalism,” as large companies bloated with market share and stock buy-backs struggle to adapt to the changing global market. Some of these “chubby” companies are going to get eaten alive by faster competitors. Others will be forced to shrink or face extinction. Caught in the middle will be workers facing more risk and insecurity caused by the binging and purging which will happen next year.
Agile Tribes –I have noticed serious disagreements among the members of the Agile community. The feud between the “No Estimates,” crowd and those who are skeptical is becoming bitter. Kanban is growing in popularity, and this creates friction with Scrum professionals. Finally, businesses are creating these quasi-roles for scrum coaches, senior scrum masters, and junior scrum masters. I want both the Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance to put down their collective feet and insist that scrum mastery and coaching are complementary skills.
So that is 2018 and a look ahead to 2019. I hope everyone has a safe and sane New Years.
Until Next time.