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Agile Thought Leaders Create, They Don’t Copy-Paste

Create Don’t Copy-Paste You aren’t an agile expert by stealing ideas

Anthony Mersino

May 20, 2023

10:24 AM


With the introduction of ChatGPT and other AI tools, the ability to generate content is open to everyone. Is that a good thing, or does it simply encourage more copy-pasting and less original thought? Isn’t it more important to have true “creation” and be an agile thought leader than mindless copy-pasting?

I’ve written over 300 agile-related articles and two books in the last 10 years. Creating is something I enjoy, and it is something that I am good at. The inspiration for my writing comes from my work with Teams, other Coaches, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, and Leaders. I see what is working, and more importantly, I can see where things are not working. And what could be done to improve.

Often when things aren’t working, it is because someone has misunderstood or misapplied an agile principle or practice. I see that as an opportunity to explain the principle better or highlight the difference.

As an example, I drew this diagram in 2015 after sitting in on a Daily Scrum with a team I was coaching. I saw how the Scrum Master facilitated the session. I tried, via the diagram, to communicate the distinction between what they were doing and what might be effective as clearly as possible.

Illustration of SM participating in the daily scrum meeting

So what?

Well, I noticed that this same diagram recently popped up in my LinkedIn news feed. Not just from one person – I found it here and here. Neither had any attribution. It was as if the authors created the diagram out of thin air.

They didn’t. I did.

I am well aware of the 3,000-year-old adage that there is nothing new under the sun. Yet, it strikes me as offensive that people will copy and paste other people’s ideas without attribution.

ChatGPT is only going to make this worse. People can attain instant expert status by simply generating text from ChatGPT. ChatGPT won’t make you a creator. Nor will stealing the diagrams and thoughts of others.

There is a real difference between parroting what others say and creating new and unique content.

Don’t be a copycat. Display your unique talents, take a risk, and come up with something original. Be a true agile thought leader.

I really admire those who are out there putting themselves on the line by creating and sharing their original ideas. There are far too many to mention all of them here. Check out the hundred or so podcasters who I recently reviewed or the authors of the books included on my list of best agile books.

Here are a few thought leaders that I follow that routinely create new blogs or LinkedIn articles. They are true artists for having the courage to regularly post what they create:

These are just a few of the true experts artists that wake up every day intent on creating new and original ideas and adding to the body of agile knowledge. They take risks, and they share freely. I salute them.

If you think that you can copy-paste to create “insights” and establish your expertise, well, then those needing your services will likely just cut you out as the unnecessary connector to the source of that “expertise.”



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