Tuesday, 19 November 2019

3 WAYS TO SECURE CHANGE




I was recently talking with a client about the importance of leadership in change and it reminded me of a story about teaching.

About 20 years ago I was asked “If you didn’t understand something at school who did you ask, the person next to you, a friend or the teacher?” I said I’d ask my friend before I troubled the teacher.

In that moment I realised that leadership is important (it would not be a successful class without a teacher) but perhaps it was not the most important factor, or indeed greatest motivator for my progress. Peer groups, colleagues and intrinsic (motivated by internal desire) and extrinsic (motivated by external reward or recognition) motivators are perhaps more important and the role of the teacher is as much to create the right environment as to give the right answer.

All this is part of the messiness of culture. I believe above Adrian Moorehouse’s Olympic Pool there is a banner that says “We create the environments in which success is inevitable”. So it is worth exploring some of the elements that help change stick.


ANCHORING THE CHANGE THROUGH ORGANIZATION’S STRUCTURE

Changing the structure and reporting can embed change. It immediately highlights where the problems are occurring, where there is resistance, and this allows management to focus their effort precisely on the point where it is needed. However, not all change can be managed through structure. Moreover structural change is complex and costly and often creates anxiety and unhelpful politics.


ANCHORING THE CHANGE THROUGH RECOGNITION AND REWARD SYSTEM

One of the main reasons why change initiatives do not stick is because the support systems are not aligned with the change. When a change is implemented, the support systems, including incentives, recognition, reward and performance measures, should support, encourage and reward successful change.

ANCHORING THE CHANGE IN THE ORGANIZATION’S CULTURE

The third method of anchoring the change is to combine hard change with a change in the organization’s culture. This is by far the most difficult type of change to achieve–creating organization culture is a book in itself–but when it does occur, the change can be most profound and widely owned and accepted.

The third method of anchoring the change is to combine hard change with a change in the organization’s culture. This is by far the most difficult type of change to achieve–creating organization culture is a book in itself–but when it does occur, the change can be most profound and widely owned and accepted.

To achieve this, you’ll need to
1.    Change all the symbols and stories of the old culture and create new ones. See Cultural Web https://www.leadershipcentre.org.uk/artofchangemaking/theory/cultural-web/
2.    Make a bold statement about the new culture and both communicate and demonstrate it.
3.    Ensure all management and ,leadership model the new culture
4.    Systematically remove any people or impediments to new culture
5.    Align with organization’s recognition and reward system
6.    Regularly review using evidence from customers, staff, other stakeholders

I look forward to comments which are always welcome and am always grateful for recommended books, videos or research.

@TimHJRogers +447797762051
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
MBA (Management Consulting) Projects & Change Practitioner,
http://www.timhjrogers.com

#LEADERSHIP #CHANGE #PROJECTS


Friday, 15 November 2019

USING A HOW DIAGRAM TO DISCUSS PROBLEMS AND POSSIBILITIES





I have recently been running some workshops using a very simple technique. It’s not new, and it is not particularly clever. But it is simple and it does work.

The “How Diagram” is a simple concept. For each agreed objective you list all the possible “how can we do this”. The result is a long list of possible tasks which individually or cumulatively will explain “how we will do this” and ostensibly provide a menu of “how this can be done”.

A simple example:

Objective: I want to run a marathon in 4 hours

How? Get used to running distance.
            How? Run every day.
                        How? Wake early and go for a run, no matter how short or long
                                    How? Set alarm clock for 5:30am to wake and be ready
                                                How? Prepare the night before and go to bed early

The above forms a logical chain of tasks: A, then B, then C, then D etc

Of course, there may be many, many chains that cumulatively and incrementally help achieve a marathon in 4 hours from flexibility, fitness, diet, time, commitment, training buddies, good shoes, a training plan.  For each of these there may be a logical chain of tasks: A, then B, then C, then D etc.

Every one of these can be broken into simple “how would I do this” steps. With this type of simple easy-to-do approach success is as simple as following a recipe.  Whilst this is not a guarantee, such an approach significantly improves the probability of success.

I have been using this as a tool for industry consultation and it is rewarding to see the wide variety of different means to achieving the shared objectives.

Each separate chain of tasks (A, then B, then C, then D etc.) is evaluated for time, cost, resource, risk, feasibility, suitability and acceptability.

We also separate “quick wins” from “big -slower- wins” and the urgent (time critical) from important (strategically critical). So we can see which sequences of tasks are easy or hard, cheap or expensive, easy or hard to deploy and examine which are likely to have the best effect.

None of this is new, but I had such good feedback I thought I would share.

Comments and suggestions (including other tools, approaches and experiences) are always welcome.


@TimHJRogers +447797762051
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
MBA (Management Consulting) Projects & Change Practitioner,
http://www.timhjrogers.com

Sunday, 10 November 2019

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR - PERMISSION OR FAILURE?



This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

Source
https://www.lollydaskal.com/leadership/story-everybody-somebody-anybody-nobody/

REFLECTIONS ON COMMUNICATION



1.      Have a plan: think ahead, about (hard) facts and figures, and (soft) thoughts and feelings
2.      Know your audience (their interests, bias, fears) and who or what influences them
3.      Be clear about your role, and their role: who plays what parts in this performance
4.      Plan what you say (substance),how you say it (style) and here you say it (location)
5.      Repeat the same message for consistency, tailored to each audience for their understanding
6.      Listen, watch and learn from feedback, if necessary revise, adapt and adopt changes
7.      Appeal to the majority, don’t try to convert the extreme
8.      Acknowledge and manage dissent, don’t deny, defend or denigrate opposition


Original Source
https://projectspeoplechange.blogspot.com/2015/01/some-thoughts-on-communication-and.html

Thursday, 7 November 2019

WHAT IS THE LADDER OF INFERENCE?


WHAT IS THE LADDER OF INFERENCE?

People are often lead by jumping to conclusions. These can be correct, but also wrong conclusions and can lead to conflicts with other people. The Ladder of Inference can help you to no longer jump to premature conclusions and to reason on the basis of facts.

This so-called Ladder of Inference was developed by the American Chris Argyris, a former professor at Harvard Business School, in 1970. In 1992, The Ladder of Inference became popular after being described in the bestseller The fifth discipline, which Argyris wrote in collaboration with the American scientist Peter M. Senge.

Unconscious
The Ladder of Inference provides insight into the mental processes that occur within the human brain. It describes the perception starting from senses to the series of mental steps that need to be taken to work towards an action. This human thought process only takes a fraction of a second. That is why people do not realise how they developed a certain action or response; it is done unconsciously. The Ladder of Inference shows how mental models are formed unconsciously. They determine what and how you see and how your thought process and behaviour is led. Every person gives meaning to observations and bases their actions on them.

From bottom to top
The Ladder of Inference consists of seven steps and the reasoning process starts at the bottom of the ladder. People select facts from events, which they translate from prior experiences. These interpreted facts form the basis for assumptions, which in turn lead to certain conclusions. Then a person proceeds to (inter)act. All the steps are listed below, starting from the bottom level:


1. Reality and facts
This level identifies what is directly perceptible. You observe all information from the real world.

2. Selecting facts
From this level, the facts are selected based on convictions and prior experiences. The frame of reference plays a role in this.

3. Interpreting facts
The facts are interpreted and given a personal meaning.

4. Assumptions
At this level, assumptions are made based on the meaning you give to your observations. These assumptions are personal and are different for every individual.

5. Conclusions
At this level, conclusions are drawn based on prior beliefs.

6. Beliefs
At this level, conclusions are drawn based on interpreted facts and prior assumptions.

7. Actions
This is the highest level. Actions are now taken based on prior beliefs and conclusions. The actions that are taken seem to be the best at that particular moment.

Source
https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_91.htm
https://www.toolshero.com/decision-making/ladder-of-inference/


Wednesday, 6 November 2019

ANCHORING CHANGE




It is important to consider anchoring change through one of three perspectives:

Anchoring the change in the organization’s structure
Anchoring the change in the organization’s recognition and reward system
Anchoring the change in the organization’s culture

Each has strengths and weaknesses

Anchoring the change in the organization’s structure

Changing the structure and reporting can embed change. It immediately highlights where the problems are occurring, where there is resistance, and this allows management to focus their effort precisely on the point where it is needed. However, not all change can be managed through structure. Moreover structural change is complex and costly and often creates anxiety and unhelpful politics.


Anchoring the change in the organization’s recognition and reward system

One of the main reasons why change initiatives do not stick is because the support systems are not aligned with the change. When a change is implemented, the support systems, including incentives, recognition, reward and performance measures, should support, encourage and reward successful change.

Anchoring the change in the organization’s culture

The third method of anchoring the change is to combine hard change with a change in the organization’s culture. This is by far the most difficult type of change to achieve–creating organization culture is a book in itself–but when it does occur, the change can be most profound and widely owned and accepted.

The third method of anchoring the change is to combine hard change with a change in the organization’s culture. This is by far the most difficult type of change to achieve–creating organization culture is a book in itself–but when it does occur, the change can be most profound and widely owned and accepted.

To achieve this, you’ll need to
1. Change all the symbols and stories of the old culture and create new ones. See Cultural Web https://www.leadershipcentre.org.uk/artofchangemaking/theory/cultural-web/
2. Make a bold statement about the new culture and both communicate and demonstrate it.
3. Ensure all management and ,leadership model the new culture
4. Systematically remove any people or impediments to new culture
5. Align with organization’s recognition and reward system
6. Regularly review using evidence from customers, staff, other stakeholders

Saturday, 19 October 2019

SHOULD WE ABANDON IT REQUIREMENTS AND FOCUS ON CURRENT NEEDS

The problem with REQUIREMENTS is that they represent what we think might be useful some time in the future and are written in anticipation of needs rather than on the basis of lived experience.

When we add up all those REQUIREMENTS the project becomes large, costly and time consuming. Inevitably delivery (which may take years) often reveals that what we thought we wanted and what we actually need are different.

Maybe we anticipated wrong, or maybe circumstances changed, or maybe new better ideas emerged.

The solution is to ADD to the project scope, cost and time with CHANGES.

CHANGE is not a bad thing. It is learning. There is no point in slavishly delivering the original requirements if they are out-of-date or not fit-for-purpose.

The problem however is that it often takes until the project is almost finished to actually see the gap between what we thought we wanted and what we actually need.

Perhaps a better way is to abandon the long wish list of REQUIREMENTS and focus on CURRENT NEEDS and just deliver those. One at a time, not as part of a long project (a marathon), but as part of short experiment (a sprint).

The advantage is that the accumulation of sprints may well deliver a marathon outcome, but each and every effort is short, focused and flexible to a change in direction, change of tools or change of approach.

This is not new to anyone familiar with Agile, LEAN or DevOps. But how do we persuade the Board or the Exec Team that abandoning their marathon goal, significant time-table and huge budget is a good idea. How do we stop huge, expensive, Digital Transformations in favour of building an Enterprise Asset of incremental improvements in people, process and technology.

Perhaps the answer lies outside the IT Team. Sales and Marketing for example do something every day that advances the cause of the organisation. And it does this as a revenue cost. Sometimes campaigns will be successful. Sometimes not. But all the experience is learning and none is so large that it puts the organisation at risk.

What if we run IT like Sales and Marketing?

What if IT improvements were like short campaigns with incremental improvements to people, process and technology which could be measured in reduced costs or increased revenues at the end of each campaign.

FEEDBACK

I am interested in your thoughts and experiences. Maybe you agree. Maybe you do not. Maybe you can recommend some other books, blogs or videos. Do not hesitate to get in touch, and if you are in Jersey I will happily buy you a coffee if you would like to talk about your experience.

RELATED READING

War and Peace and IT: Business Leadership, Technology, and Success in the Digital Age By: Mark Schwartz
A Seat at the Table IT Leadership in the Age of Agility By: Mark Schwartz
The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations
The Toyota Way to Lean Leadership: Achieving and Sustaining Excellence Through Leadership Development
Thinking in Systems: A Primer
Critical Chain: Project Management and the Theory of Constraints
The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win 5th


AUTHOR

@TimHJRogers +447797762051
https://www.linkedin.com/in/timhjrogers/
http://www.timhjrogers.com
MBA (Management Consulting) Projects & Change Practitioner,
TEDx & Jersey Policy Forum, Public Accounts Committee,