Agile IQ®

Self Organisation

Key Behaviour. Primary Factor.

David Marquette on self-organisation

David Marquette, author of Turn the Ship Around, reflects on self-organisation as an intent-based leadership style approach.

The captain of a US nuclear submarine, Marquette directed his crew not to ask for orders. Instead of asking permission, his crew would say “I intend to…”


This sounds like a subtle shift but it has a huge impact. In a permission based organisation (which is almost all organizations) an idea or initiative will NOT happen if anyone says no. In an intent based organization, the idea or initiative WILL happen unless the boss says no. It biases the organization toward action and engages everyone in thinking.

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