September 2, 2015

5 internal tools for large scale organisational change

Abundance

Living in abundance is a choice. Abundance is a state of mind. When you live in abundance or have the feeling of living in an abundant world, something changes in your output such that the very decisions you make create harmony and optimism in those around you. This is very much likely to bring about more abundance.

 

This is especially true in developed countries but can be equally true for those elsewhere.

 

Living in a world of abundance has a profound effect on many aspects of decision making. For example, feeling that you have enough tends to allow you focus on strategic aims and take longer to get to the right place rather than short term tactical thinking.

Living in abundance helps us to be generous with our thoughts, words and material gifts. This is builds networks, friendships, better working relationships and customer loyalty. Generosity breeds wealth.

 

Compassion

IMG_0001If we are thankful for the abundance in which we find ourselves, this leads to compassion for those around us and a deep love for the world and its inhabitants. This is very much likely to bring out more compassion and love in others.

 

When we reach a place where we know that we all on this planet together, and we all different images of the same consciousness, then we are much more able to listen to each other, find balance across stakeholders, respond to customers’ needs much more evenly.

 

This again breeds better relationships, better and more fulfilling engagements and better business.

 

Identity

When you come to a point in your journey where you realise that the identity that describes you is not actually you, but a crafted exterior that allows you to operate in the world, then you are able to objectively adapt that identity to one that better fits the changing world in which we live. This is very much more likely to allow others to be more flexible in their identity and roles they play and allow them to adapt appropriately too.

 

Identity is everything from ego. One’s attachment to the job role, the status based on salary of the new car, the seeking of respect and acknowledgement from others to feel good, the professional social mask that one wears to appear that we know what we are doing and that we don’t make mistakes. Identity is thinking you are a particular name, or even that you are really just your body. Identity is part of creating a reality that we feel safe in, that we can control.

 

Letting go of these things, creates a new identity. One of fluidity and flexibility where we interface with the world.

 

Organisational change means new job roles. New skills, and new beginnings. Much of large organisational planning is based around reduction of risk of scaring people. If we follow the LeSS principle of ‘Job security but not role security’ (1), we need to tread carefully around people’s identity of themselves. Addressing these issues head on makes life a lot simpler.

 

Higher purpose

Through higher purpose and selflessness with focus, we can tap vast stores of previously unreachable energy and direct that energy to make huge changes. This cultivates the belief that anything is possible. Pouring oneself into a purpose that is greater than oneself for the sake of others instead of looking for the immediate reward of your work detaches the need for speedy results from tasks that lay ahead of you. Without the need for short term gains over long term strategy it is possible to lay the foundations for continuous and long lasting happiness.

 

The Agile process has this at its core. From vision, to epics, to stories, we see a clear disassembly of value describing the reason why you are doing what you are doing. Purpose is built into the Agile as a core concept. If you are missing the ‘So that’ part of stories then you have missed the point.

 

Suboptimal thinkingWe know that there are 3 suboptimal approaches to achieving goals (2).

These are:

 

  • Lowering goals
  • Generating motivation through fear by elaborating on what will happen in we don’t reach the goal.
  • By shear will power. Unleveraged will power, just self-generating the intense focus to get something done leads to narrow focus and an unbalanced life.

The only way to transcend these types of strategy is through a higher purpose motivation.

Dan Pink details Purpose as one of the three motivators for knowledge workers (3). Simon Sinek clearly articulates that the reason WHY we do business is far more important that what or how we do it (4).

Understanding and aligning around the organisations true purpose is vital to unlock the true potential of the organisation.

Community

Community has been the basis of human life for last 15,000 years (5). Connections and relationships allow us to achieve things greater than ourselves. Imposing a hierarchical communication pattern over working relationships forces us to create formal communication processes that are sub optimal.

To transcend hierarchy and build networks that allow us to efficiently execute strategies aligned to our purpose is the key to moving forwards. In any knowledge worker role, we have multiple areas of expertise and alignment that are required to succeed. Belonging to multiple communities of practice provides this input and alignment to balance the complexity and different knowledge streams in an organisation.

Community is a necessary step on the journey of organisational change and improvement.

References

  1. Tikka, Ari. Comparing LeSS and SAFe part 2 – Scaling Agility or Bureaucracy. Less.Works. [Online] Aug 2015. http://less.works/blog/2015/08/01/less-safe-scaling-ogility-or-bureaucracy.html.
  2. Senge, Peter. The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization. s.l. : Century business. Random House. Kindle Edition., 2010.
  3. Pink, Dan. Drive. YouTube. [Online] www.youtube.com/watch?v=avnHUxSVfVM.
  4. Sinek, Simon. Start with Why. Ted Talks. [Online] www.youtube.com/watch?v=sioZd3AxmnE.
  5. Laloux, Frederic. Reinventing Organisations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Powers
Simon Powers is an Agile Coach specialising in large scale transformations and agile adoption. He has a background in very large enterprise architecture which has led on to organisational design and agile process refinement. Simon is the founder of Adventures with Agile.