Change


The Science of Successful Organizational Change

The Science of Successful Organizational Change

This week Steven dives into Chapter 8 of Paul Gibbons’ book The Science of Successful Organizational Change.  Change is a central activity of every organization.  Three more weeks are left Steven intends to spend two weeks on Chapter 9 and then we will have a grand finale.  Remember to use the link in the essay to buy a copy of the book to support the author, the podcast, and the blog!

Special note – I will publish a poll for the next book early next week soon.  Are there other suggestions?

The current list of suggestions are:

Peter Senge – The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization
Daniel S. Vacanti – Actionable Agile Metrics for Predictability (An Introduction)
Kahneman – Thinking fast and slow
Burrows – Kanban from the inside
Kruse – 15 secrets successful people know about time management
– Tom

 

This week’s chapter concludes Part III Change Tactics of “Paul Gibbons book “The Science of Successful Organizational Change” (get your copy).

Chapter 8 – The Science of Changing Hearts and Minds (more…)

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You Better Ask Questions!

The role of a coach often centers on diagnosing problems and helping people come to an understanding of how their behavior or feelings are affecting their team and organization. Rarely is an issue so obvious that simply observing behavior and then sharing observations generate organizational or self-awareness. Questions are an important tool in any coach’s data gathering arsenal. Some questions are useful to expose management or leadership behaviors while others are targeted to generate knowledge at the individual and group level.  A sample of questions useful when working with individuals or groups (outside the earshot of their managers).

  1. Is it harder to get out of bed to come to work than it used to be?

This is a fairly blunt question that can be used once you have established a rapport with a team or group.  It establishes an admission that something has changed and that the respondent is less motivated. (more…)

A significant amount of transformation and leadership literature centers on establishing or changing the culture centered on values. Instant problem.  According to the Harvard Business Review online article on organizational culture (May 2013)  “there is little consensus on what organizational culture actually is.” There are two common threads in the definition of organizational culture; definitions that center on value, and definitions that center on behaviors. Many change leaders espouse value-centric definitions.  This decision causes them to focus their efforts on changing values in order to change the culture. These change programs are immediately starting in a difficult position. Values are amorphous.  Every individual interprets specific values differently.  For example, I asked several friends to define creativity.  Each person had a different definition.  Some of the differences were more than mere nuances.  Our individual interpretations would make the outcome of embracing the value of creativity unpredictable.  The variability of how we interpret values make it difficult create a common vision and then elicit a common outcome. Diversity makes this issue even more problematic.   As someone schooled in the need for measurement and feedback, the lack of a clear definition makes monitoring and measuring a change in the values at best difficult and often outside of the expertise of most internal measurement groups.  Without a clear definition and without a mechanism for monitoring change, talking about values is merely window dressing. (more…)

The Science of Successful Organizational Change

The Science of Successful Organizational Change

 

This week Steven dives into Chapter 4 of Paul Gibbons’ book The Science of Successful Organizational Change.  This chapter has provided me several sleepless nights considering the difference complicated and complex systems.  Understanding the difference is important making change happen, stick and work!  Remember to use the link in the essay to buy a copy of the book to support the author, the podcast, and the blog!   – Tom

 

Week 6 —

Welcome to week-6 of the re-read of Paul Gibbons book “The Science of Successful Organizational Change” (get your copy).  We tackle the C and A in VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) this week.

Chapter 4 – Decision Making in Complex and Ambiguous Environments

Complex environments require different decision-making tools than complicated environments.

Gibbons references David Snowden (Welsh scholar) classification of systems … (more…)

The Science of Successful Organizational Change

The Science of Successful Organizational Change

The Science of Successful Organizational Change: Re-read Week 2 Led by Steven Adams: Introduction

This week we begin to get into the meat Paul Gibbons’ book The Science of Successful Organizational Change “The Science of Successful Organizational Change” (Remember to use the link to buy a copy to support the podcast and blog).  In this book, the meat starts in the introduction!

Introduction

Gibbons begins by alerting readers to “Mind the gap,” (p. 2) this is not referring to the London subway, but that gap between people’s intentions (agreeing with something) and people’s actions (doing it).

Gibbon uses two stories to illustrate this “gap”.  A 3 million dollar change study and report that failed to generate action, despite it critical acclaim.  And a personal story about smoking, even though the evidence of the health consequences were (and are) well known. (more…)

A Stack of Business Books

Books

The beginning of July is a good point to take a step back and consider the path of you are on, 2017 is just over half over.  A retrospective of sorts is in order.  Just like any other retrospective, the goal is to change the trajectory of the path you are on.  Changing the path you are on is important even if 2017 has been the best year ever.  As leaders, we often exhort those around us to embrace continuous process improvement as a path to improve our teams or organizations.  Just as important as process improvement is the need for continuous personal improvement.  As a first step towards continuous process improvement, every person should identify the goal they are working toward.  The next step toward that goal needs to be the most important task (MIT) you address every day.  One of my primary personal goals is to not get stuck in a rut and to continue learning.  My most important task, every day is to take a step on the path towards continuous learning.  Planning my day begins with identifying my MIT for the day, whether that is researching and writing a blog entry, recording and editing an interview for the Software Process and Measurement Cast or reading a few pages in a book one of my first tasks begins by checking my MIT off the list. (more…)

Travel outside of your comfort zone helps to establish your beginner’s mindset.

Audio Version:  SPaMCAST 177

Why is it easier for some organizations to innovate? Why do some organizations become less flexible after a new idea is successfully implemented? I believe that the concept of the beginner’s mind holds a substantial clue about why some people and organizations either embrace or resist change.

The beginner’s mind is a concept from Zen Buddhism known as Shoshin.  It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject.  The beginner’s mind can be present even when studying at an advanced level.  Quoting the Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”  The beginner’s mind embodies the emotional qualities of enthusiasm, creativity and optimism.  These qualities are critical for tackling tough problems and for innovation.  The beginner’s mind is just one framework for understanding why some organizations and individuals seems to embrace the boundlessness of the environment around them but nevertheless it is a powerful tool for self-reflection or judging change readiness.

I would like to address the idea of change willingness through the filter of the beginner’s mind from two perspectives: The first is from the point of view of the constraints we accept or create for ourselves and our organizations, and the second would be to reflect on attributes that help us accelerate embracing change. (more…)

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