The Science of Successful Organizational Change

The Science of Successful Organizational Change

This week Steven starts on the numbered chapters of  (the introduction was content rich) Paul Gibbons’ book The Science of Successful Organizational Change.  Remember to use the link to buy a copy to support the author, the podcast, and the blog!

This wee k Steven sent me a note indicating he now understood that the re-read process really causes the person leading the process to gets much deeper into a book leading to a need to write!   As usual, I will add my comments in the comments of for this entry. – Tom

Chapter 1: “Failed Change:  The Greatest Preventable Cost to Business?” (more…)

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SPaMCAST 451 features our interview with Askhat Urazbaev.  Askhat brings a very pragmatic view of Agile in all of its many forms to the Software Process and Measurement Cast.  This interview covers a lot of ground, ranging from defining Agile to the impact of corporate and national cultures on what works and what doesn’t work.  We dove directly into the interview with very little preamble! 

Askhat’s bio:

Askhat Urazbaev made a typical career moving from junior developer to project manager in different software companies. Later on, in Luxoft, Askhat as a process architect was he was engaged in adopting “heavyweight” methodologies in different departments of the company. Happily, thanks to one of the customers, Askhatwas exposed to some knowledge of Agile. The new way of development looked very effective. Askhat has participated in several Agile projects in different roles.

In 2006 Askhat started to help teams and departments to adopt Agile methodologies in Luxoft. In March, he has started Russian Agile Community ( In 2008 Askhat founded company ScrumTrek which consults, trains and helps companies in their transition to Agile. Among the customers of ScrumTrek such companies as Skype, Yandex, Rambler, Alfa-Bank, Sberbank and many others.


Twitter: zibsun


Re-Read Saturday News

Today we continue re-reading The Science of Successful Organizational Change. Steven Adams (SPaMCAST 437, SPaMCAST 412 and nearly every entry in the Re-read Saturday series) is doing a great job leading this re-read.   Remember to use the link to buy a copy to support the podcast and blog.

This week, Steven discusses the introduction to “The Science of Successful Organizational Change” (get your copy).  Gibbons dives directly into the meat of the book in the introduction.  If you typically jump over the introduction to get to chapter one I would urge you to change your pattern at least for this book!   (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!


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


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…)

Book Cover


Next week we will begin the next book, The Science of Successful Organizational Change. Remember to use the link to buy a copy to support the podcast and blog. Remember, the reread will be led by Steven Adams. I will be posting follow-on comments as we go!

Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World presents a mechanism to redistribute authority and improve decision-making processes.  Holacracy is very different from the common hierarchical corporate management structure currently in use.  That difference means that we have to read this book with the knowledge that unless we are working at Zappos or a few other avant-garde companies, many of these concepts are something in our future.  Four comments about the book and Holacracy in general that need to be made in closing: (more…)

Book Cover



In approximately three weeks we will begin the next book is The Science of Successful Organizational Change. Remember to use the link to buy a copy in order to support the podcast and blog. The reread will be led by Steven Adams.   I am looking forward to sitting on the other side of the table during the next re-read!

Chapter 9 continues the third section of Holacracy, Evolution Installed: Living Holacracy.  This week’s chapter is titled If You’re Not Ready To Adopt: Moving Toward Holacracy.  In this chapter Robertson softens his if-you-can’t-do-it-all,-don’t-do-anything approach.   (more…)