Scaling a way of working

Emergn - scaling a way of working - model of a city

There’s much talk in the world of methodology today on the topic of scaling. Scaling Scrum. Scaling Agile. Scaling Design Thinking. In an enterprise, it’s tempting to think that everything needs to be scaled, but it can lead to a standardized approach that is easy to govern, but not necessarily deliver the right answers.

Scaling a way of working across 1000 people who are all working on the same product/service/system is a different problem to scaling a way of working across 1000 people who are working on 100 different products/services/systems. Is this a difference that matters in your context?

Processes, governance, procedures and standards are important when considering how new ways of working scale. But, these things are not sufficient and should not be the start point of a change. In any meaningful change one thing exists above all overs: Engaged and motivated people.

Above all else, the magic of scaling comes from connecting motivated people who are engaged in creating a way of working that fits the need of the conditions. This typically comes from creating the right conditions, developing leaders and trusting people to execute.


If you’re engaged in developing a new way of working, a new business model or trying to improve your work environment, consider who you might engage and trust to help bring it to life. Remember one volunteer is worth ten pressed men.