The Mediterranean Diet as a lifestyle…just like agile?

I recently spent some time in Valencia, Spain, and loved it! Whenever my wife and I travel together, we like to rent apartments instead of staying in hotels, as this makes us integrate a tiny bit more – we can buy and cook our own food, stay in or go our as we like, and adopt a little of the local approach to life.

While in Valencia, we shopped at the Mercado Central – the central market – a wonderful place of (I am told) over 1,000 vendors selling vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, coffee, nuts, olive oil, wine – all the basics you need to live (and thrive!). As a foodie and amateur cook, I loved this, choosing my own produce, looking for the freshest ingredients  as talking (in my very limited Spanish) with the local vendors. But I notice much more – I watched people of all ages walking to the market, doing their shopping, stopping for a coffee, carrying their bags laden with food, and walking, walking, walking. This made me think about what in the USA is called “The Mediterranean Diet”, as this is where it originated – and I was a little disappointed with what I found.

Even The Mayo Clinic talks about The Mediterranean Diet primarily as what to eat, how much of each ingredient, and how often. There is a single line – “Getting plenty of exercise” – that references the greater approach of this diet – it is NOT a diet referring to food, but a lifestyle, and entire approach to living in which what I eat and drink is but a single component. I can’t help but think this single-phase approach misses the larger influencers of the diet, and limits its benefits. What a shame.

“I though this was about agile?” I hear you saying to yourself. What, it is, in that it has made me resurrect some work I did a number of years ago around the entire infrastructure of agile, not as a series of events, techniques  and tools (s I see it implemented in most organizations), but rather as a “lifestyle”, a comprehensive set of tools, beliefs, practices, and attitudes in how the organization completes it work.

Think about where you work. Are you simply applying agile techniques, but these really only apply to the IT organization? Have you managed to go a little larger, where the business is involved in your projects frequently and regularly? What about the other functions – finance, HR, release management, etc. Do they approach everything they do in an agile manner? Or are we simply following the “agile diet”, using this approach in a sub-set of the organization, while the larger organization maintains its traditional (less effective?) approach?

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