During the past couple months, 25Seven has been fairly quiet, to say the least. I have lots of reasons—as always. Fortunately, the primary reason for this radio silence is a positive one; recently I’ve been focused on another blog. That blog just went live a couple days ago—although I’ve been posting there since September. The blog is called the Seven Cycles Collaborative.
A few people have already been checking out the CoLab; we’ve received a lot of interest and enthusiasm about the Collaborative project, and some confusion about what we’re hoping to accomplish.
Outcome: Product or Process?
As with so many projects on which I participate, the product is rarely the only important focus. Often times, as is the case with the Seven Collaborative, the process is the point. The product’s primary purpose is to bring focus to the process, and to get our employees excited about the process; tactile items are often more fun and engaging than process charts and boring conversations with me. And as a great storyteller once said:
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” - Ursula LeGuin
The Collaborative’s focus on the process as our primary measure of success has been confusing for some. Spectator confusion is probably caused by a cursory glance at the CoLab blog, or from reading just one or two journal entries. Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult to get a complete picture of the Collaborative’s mission by a brief perusal because the project is large—probably too large, moving fast, and we’re making a couple posts a day recently—weekdays at least. Because of all this, I think it’s easy to lose sight of the overall project purpose. I’m here to try and explain:
The Seven Cycles Collaborative is large group of Seveneers focused on a project we designed to accomplish too many goals at once. If I had to pick the three most important goals for the CoLab, they would be:
- Learn about product development, research, engineering, cost accounting, and pretty much every aspect of Seven’s business
- Better understand each person’s role at Seven, why each is so important, and how Seven is more like an organism than a org-chart
- Share with our friends some of what is fairly unique about Seven—in the way we build bikes, do research, and work together
In addition, this project has a limited lifespan; we expect that the Collaborative project apex will occur in the next few months and will wrap-up within about six-months to one-year. After that we’ll see what happens. I’ve already had some conversations with people about next projects that might take what we’ve learned and do more—we might call the next project the Seven Cycles Sedition—or the Locomotion.
So, those are our primary desires for the Collaborative. We’ve already confused some people that are thinking we’re doing this project to introduce a production lugged steel bike into our line. While I never say never, this is not part of the mission for the Collaborative. The project’s product is a lugged steel frame—literally maybe just one—and as I mentioned, that product is simply a tool to bring focus to our work.
25Seven and the Collaborative
For the next few months I will be posting on the CoLab journal—at least once a day, sometimes more, as will others at Seven. And, I will be posting some of those journal entries on 25Seven—the ones that are most relevant to the purpose of 25Seven. So, if you’ve been visiting here, please continue; posts will be coming more frequently again—both new posts specific for 25Seven, and some entries culled from the Collaborative journal.