Srinath Ramakrishnan - Managing change is hard. Would developing trusted relationships with key personnel help in accelerating change?

What is the background situation/context for your probe?

 As an Agile Coach / Consultant for the last few years, I find each coaching engagement different.  The common thread across these engagements has been that if Coaches are able to “connect” with the leadership and the teams -  the ability to accept change becomes that much  easier.

What is (or has been) your hypothesis?

It is said people do not resist change as much as they resist being changed.    This is applicable to members who feel they do not have a voice in some of the changes taking place in the organization. When big changes are thrust on to the teams,  we sense a lack of commitment to the change initiative.
I firmly believe that to make effective changes in an organization – we need to start from where they are now – understanding their current processes, respecting their roles and responsibilities,   borrowing from Kanban Change Management principle.     And then go on to make small evolutionary changes. 
An important aspect which would help in accelerating change is to develop trusted relationships with  key members and address some of their issues in a timely manner.  I feel building trust is the foundation to any successful transformation.

What is the experiment you would like to run (or you have run) and how can this experiment validate or invalidate your hypothesis?

In one of my  Coaching engagements, I found that  there was a lot of resistance to Agile in one of the divisions of a large organization. Members felt Agile was thrust on them from the top – with the result there was a lot of reluctance on the part of  the leaders/managers to transform.  A rather unsuccessful  Agile transformation exercise earlier could also have been one of the reasons for their resistance. 

I spent a good amount of time in the initial stages to understand their current situation, what aspects can be continued and what needs to be changed.  I  tried to build rapport with four key members of the division using practices such as active listening, powerful questions and clear communication.   Over time they could the benefits of implementing Agile.

Is there a specific skill/technique you would like to learn/explore at this coach camp?

Just keen to meet and learn from others, ways to accelerate change in organizations.

Call for Papers CLOSED
Ended on Jan 25 '20 05:29 AM IST

Interested in attending the Agile Coach Camp on Oct 11th in Bengaluru? Read on...

It's been 12 Years and almost 110 viral Agile Coach Camps since our very first coach camp experiment. This year, Coach Camp co-creator Naresh Jain along with Jutta Eckstein and John Buck will lead participants in this Coach Camp in Bangalore, organized as part of the Agile India 2020 Conference.

Coach Camp Theme

As a coach, you're often the one who needs to drive and sustain change. Yet, how do you do this? What has helped and hindered you doing so and how can you best pass your experience on to other coaches or how can you best learn from other coaches?

This is the theme for this year's coach camp. To tackle this challenge, we invite you to try something new:

  • Currently, we face the following situation: Constantly driving change is getting more and more important for companies to survive in this VUCA world. At the same time, it is (or should be) the core skill of every coach – no matter if you coach individuals, teams, or organisations. However, sometimes it seems every coach has to come up with her own experience on how to drive change successfully.
  • Our hypothesis is that for driving change, every coach uses so-called probes, that are defined by small, safe-to-fail experiments based on hypotheses derived from reflection on the current situation as well as on theory. So, probing allows discovering (based on the hypothesis) what's working and what is not through one or several experiments. This allows to make sense of both the current situation but even more important of the situation we are aiming for. And if we create a knowledge base of our collective wisdom on probes we used (or intend to use) we can learn from each other.
  • Therefore, as an experiment we want to invite this year's coach camp participants to jointly discover, share, create, improve, and finally publish probes that help(ed) driving and sustaining change. As in a typical coach camp, we will use the Open Space format to explore different topics for driving change and we invite you to use probes to focus the discussions on these different topics. We anticipate as a result that the discovered and created probes will provide a foundation for such a knowledge base.

Registering for the Coach Camp

The coach camp is free of charge (financially) yet, for registration we ask you for the following:

  • Please click on the Add Paper button and submit your position paper. In your position paper, you will be asked to share an idea for a probe, consisting of a background situation (context), a hypothesis, and an experiment. This can be a probe you've implemented before, one you've discovered/heard of others implementing it, or you intend to implement. The probe should focus on the coach camp's theme: Driving Change.
  • The discussed probes provide a basis for a free and publicly accessible knowledge base.

Final Note

Please note, we want to invite you to use probes for the discussion and recording of the Open Space sessions. This is by no means an enforcement. We are well aware that there might be situations where probes are not the right means for discussing or/and recording a particular topic - and that is of course fine. After all, using probes for this coach camp is a probe in itself (and we are open to possibly invalidate our hypothesis.)