Continuous Participatory Change: Bringing Agility to Fortune 500 Companies
While a tumultuous environment has made agility increasingly important, the sad truth is most organizations struggle to change. This is true for traditional organizational development projects, as well as for “Agile” transformations.
All too often organizations roll out ambitious technological transformations that fail to actually impact meaningful results. New terms and processes (pilots, retrospectives, or kanban boards) are adopted while the underlying ways of working don’t change, netting little success for the tremendous time and energy invested.
At The Ready, Yehudi and Tim help Fortune 500 companies like GE, Citi, and Charles Schwab to develop the capacity to continuously change. Leveraging agile principles of iteration, reflection, and co-creation, they have helped organizations create lasting transformation at scale.
In this talk, they will highlight the limitations of traditional change management and share a new approach to agile transformation. Using stories from their work, they will share examples of this new approach and suggest practices for getting started.
Outline/structure of the Session
- We are living in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world.
- We talk about how traditional change models (like Kotter’s Eight Steps, Kubler-Ross’s Organizational Change Management model, Virginia Satir’s Change Model) have several things in common:
- Change is a linear process
- Change has a beginning and end
- Change is planned and plotted
- You’ll only change if you follow the process
- This is also how many organizations approach their “Agile” transformation. It’s approached linearly (i.e., waterfall), it’s perceived to have an end state, and it takes a matter of “following a process” to get there.
- These models persist, because they’ve served us in the past and validate an essential human need. We, as people and organizations, have a deep psychological need for certainty.
- Unfortunately, in our world, certainty is rare. Because of this, the challenges organizations face are often complex — not complicated. Understanding the difference between complex and complicated systems is critical when thinking about organizational change.
- To create change in a complex system, organizations must adopt new principles: sensing and responding over predicting, leveraging self-organization, developing a capacity to continuously adapt over following a static strategy, and more.
- For us as change agents, this means we must coach continuous participatory change (over grand re-orgs), conduct small experiments over grand reveals, promote learning over efficiency, embrace innovation from the bottom-up, and be relentlessly focused on customer needs.
- We’ll introduce The Ready’s Transformation Loop -- a process we use with Fortune 500 companies to support continuous participatory change.
- We’ll share stories from our work that illustrate these principles and provide guidance for how to get started.
- We will close by asking the audience, “What must we let go of to embrace this new approach?” (Annual plans, fixed budgeting processes, “top-down” Agile, and Gantt Charts.)
- There is no end state. Transformation is achieved when it is holding space for continuous, participatory change.
Understand the limitations of a traditional change management/agile approach
Learn a new approach to organizational change and agile transformation
Connect to real world application through client stories and examples
Take away principles and practices for adopting this new approach
Agile coaches, executives, internal change champions, and organizational development practitioners looking to bring lasting transformation to their organizations.
Participants should have tried to implement change in their organizations!