Lessons From an Unlikely Superhero

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Drupal, vision, and change management. Keynote presentation from DrupalSouth 2014 in Wellington, NZ.

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Lessons From an Unlikely Superhero

  1. 1. Lessons From an Unlikely Superhero Emma Jane Westby @emmajanehw www.drupalize.me
  2. 2. Open Twitter Now. #dsw2014 Pull out your phones. Turn on Twitter. Create a new tweet. Add the hashtag #dsw2014. Get ready to talk. The title of this talk is “The Unlikely Superhero”
  3. 3. The Hobbit An unexpected bit of research Our unlikely super hero is Bilbo the Hobbit. In the plane on the way to New Zealand I decided to re-watch The Hobbit. Ben, the airline attendant, asked what I was watching. I jokingly said I was doing research. We both had a chuckle and I went back to watching the movie. It was the beginning of the movie and the dwarves were descending on Bilbo's house. As I watched it all unfold, I realized that I might have been telling more of the truth than I'd realized when I said I was doing research. Let me set the scene for you.
  4. 4. Everything had its place and every place had its thing. Bilbo is at home, surrounded by the things he'd come to cherish. Mostly family heirlooms: things he'd inherited from his mother and generations before her. Everything had its place and every place had its thing.
  5. 5. “That’s not a dishcloth! It’s a doily.” Slowly at first, the dwarves barge into his house. Uninvited. They begin eating his food. All of his food. Piles and piles of food. Bilbo watches in growing horror as his beautiful home is invaded and destroyed. At the end of the meal the dwarves begin the cleanup process. "That's not a dishcloth, it's a doily!" Bilbo cries. He is barely able to contain himself as the dwarves begin throwing his mother's good dishes. The dishes are literally bounced from one dwarf to another as he watches in horror. Finally able to look into the dining room, Bilbo is greeted with a pile of washed, piled, and perfectly intact plates.
  6. 6. Bilbo chooses adventure. The next morning the dwarves are gone, and his house is in exactly the order it was before the dwarves arrived (minus some food, of course). Bilbo now must decide: should he follow the dwarves into a grand adventure, or stay at home, where there is more history than future? Bilbo chooses adventure. And hopefully you will too.
  7. 7. Change is business as usual. In today's business world, massive change is business as usual. Any time you build a new Drupal site you are effectively becoming a mini **change agent**. I'm going try to balance my remarks to include lessons that can be applied to: - the Drupal community as it undergoes the transformation from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8; - non-community projects you are working on.
  8. 8. Change Agent. I used a term just now, change agent, which you might not have heard previously. It's only recently that I've come to know there is an entire stream of business consultancy focused on change, called Change Management. To be honest: change fascinates me because transformations are difficult. Those who know me won't be surprised if I say that I'm a little bit addicted to stress. Implementing change in large organizations, or communities, is perhaps one of the most stressful things you can put employees through. I have watched, and been part of, several massive organizational transformations. None of them were without tension and staff anxiety.
  9. 9. Help someone transform their relationship with a piece of software. This interest in transformations is a big part of what draws me to adult education. Yes, I like to teach people things, but what I really love is helping someone transform their relationship with a piece of software from anger and frustration to acceptance and possibly mastery. I hate it when people feel enfeebled by the technology they are forced to use; I want people to feel in control and confident when they sit down to use their computer. Change management resonates with me because of the transformation element.
  10. 10. Change management is an approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations to a desired future state. wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_management Change management. It’s an actual thing. You can get an MBA in “leadership and change management”. Change management is an approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations to a desired future state.
  11. 11. Crux. Vision. Implementation. Review and Monitor. Transformations are a four-step process. Change management transformations generally are a four-step process: - identify the **crux of the problem**; - **create a new vision** for what the future looks like, and plan the steps needed to get there; - **implement the steps** necessary to reach the desired future state; - **review and monitor** progress, making refinements to the process as necessary.
  12. 12. By design, there is no single vision of Drupal. By design, Drupal does not have a single vision. Dries has road maps, names initiative leaders, and shares cat herding duties with core maintainers. We have core principles, but there is not a single definition of what the mission statement is for Drupal. Each initiative lead has a mini vision, but time and dependencies sometimes get in the way. Having an overarching mission would be almost counter to how our project is run. We don’t have a dictator leading the project; our lack of a single, unified, community-owned vision is by design.
  13. 13. Change requires vision. The problem is that change requires vision. We can have a goal to simply move away from things, but it’s difficult. Moving away from something looks a little like this: “Stop doing that.” “What shall I do instead?” “I don’t know; but not that.”
  14. 14. Change is hard. Change _is_ hard. And “hard” can often mean that emotions seep in.
  15. 15. Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. The five stages of grief. The discipline of change management acknowledges the role of emotion for the people undergoing a transformative process. Indeed, there are many references in change management literature referencing the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Perhaps some of these stages feel familiar to you. The model is contested, but my point is that emotions happen. Change management does not ask us to put away our emotions, but rather, asks us to provide the support necessary for those who are undergoing the transformation.
  16. 16. Why. Successful change management is more likely to occur if the following are included: - the change benefits the leaders - stakeholders understand **why** the change is necessary - training is included in the roll-out plan - resistance is acknowledged and countered to align employees with the overall strategic direction of the organization - personal counselling is provided to alleviate fears - monitoring and fine tuning is applied
  17. 17. Drupal is a friendly, supportive community. I think the Drupal community does a good job of many of these pieces. We are an incredibly welcoming and friendly community. We support one another. We talk through our differences in the issue queue, and on IRC. (Although if you're new, it is overwhelming.) I think we do a particularly good job of acknowledging resistance (the Developer Experience initiative); personal counselling (private conversations in IRC); monitoring and fine tuning the roll-out.
  18. 18. What’s missing? But as I've watched the anxiety around the Drupal 8 changes, there are pieces which change management tells us we must have, which I think are missing. Each of the pieces resolves around a single point.
  19. 19. A shared vision. For change to succeed, you must have a single, clear vision of the desired future state.
  20. 20. Modernization of the infrastructure. My mission statement for Drupal 8. There is so much stuff happening that I think it becomes easy to forget the vision for what Drupal 8 will be. To me: Drupal 8 is the modernization of our infrastructure. All of the work that I've seen is about bringing our product up-to-date by modern web standards and best practices. Others may have a different vision though. I went looking for a Mission Statement for Drupal and I couldn’t find it. (I could insert a joke here about how $mission was removed in Drupal 7, but I won’t.) I found core principles of Drupal; and the tag line “come for the code; stay for the community”. The mission statement should be our mantra. It should be the thing we all raleigh behind and believe in from the inside out.
  21. 21. Overcome resistance; fuel motivation. The single vision must answer the question "why?". “WHY” helps us to overcome resistance. “WHY” helps us to stay motivated.
  22. 22. I am proud of Drupal. We have done so much right in the creation of Drupal 8. - We have maintained transparency in our communication. - We have responded to resistance with the Developer Experience initiative. - We have moved our deadlines to accommodate our community, and to ensure the software is the best it can be. There is so much good, that I can can be only proud of the work that's been done to date.
  23. 23. Start odd; stay odd. But not everyone will make the leap instantly to Drupal 8. Indeed, the larger the site, the more likely it is that the site will skip a version of Drupal (start odd; stay odd). The roll-out will come with time, but to gain the greatest advantage, we must be ready for everyone. We would be wise to look at established processes on how to implement massive change.
  24. 24. Leading Change. Earlier I mentioned the phases of change management: crux; vision; implement; review and monitor. Those who are responsible for leading change have a few more things to consider. Kotter gives us the following steps for leaders: 1. Create urgency. 2. Form a powerful coalition. 3. Create a vision for change. 4. Communicate the vision. 5. Remove obstacles. 6. Create short-term wins. 7. Build on the change. 8. Anchor the change in corporate culture. Let’s take a look at each of these stages individually.
  25. 25. Create urgency. **Create urgency** I believe we've done this. People know that Drupal 8 is coming and they will need to skill up. As the rollout begins, implementors will need to decide if now is the right time to upgrade or switch to Drupal. The better prepared we are, the easier it will be for people to want to implement their own changes.
  26. 26. Form a powerful coalition. **Form a powerful coalition** I believe we've done this. We have a wonderful core development team. We have an amazing core mentoring program. We may not have all of the education pieces in place yet, but we do have our subject matter experts, and community leaders.
  27. 27. Create a vision for change. **Create a vision for change** I think this is where we start to drift. People are becoming fearful of the upcoming changes because they do not yet buy into the vision. Developers know they need to make changes to their code. They may even have started digging into **how** to upgrade their code. But the **why** is missing, and has left a void which is being filled with Denial and Anger. Their anxiety has spilled out into other areas, where it threatens to become FUD which spreads wider than the Drupal community into our users and implementors.
  28. 28. Communicate the vision. Until we have that single vision, we cannot proceed with the **communication of the vision**.
  29. 29. Remove obstacles for people. Interestingly though, the Drupal community already has experience **removing obstacles for people** through the Developer Experience Initiative. There may be more obstacles as we roll out the software to the larger community. Providing training will help to remove some of these obstacles, but we cannot provide training without a system to build the training for. It is a Catch-22, but it demonstrates we have a culture of iteration and constant improvement.
  30. 30. I am hopeful. The final three stages - Create short-term wins. - Build on the change. - Anchor the change in corporate culture. will come with time for the public roll-out, but we have already shown the capacity for them. I am hopeful.
  31. 31. Why should you stick around? Let's circle back around to the most difficult piece, which I think is missing: the reason why. The "why" is important because the more clearly you tell me where you are going, the easier it is for us to figure out how to get there. In other words: the vision must come before you pick the direction to travel. (If you know you want hot beaches, don't head to Wellington in June.) The small wins are necessary for change management to succeed are impossible if you cannot recognize them as wins. And without small wins, you are unlikely to retain your volunteers. If, every time you sit down to work with Drupal, you feel like you're losing, why *would* you stick around? Why would you? Because ... it’s rewarding to work towards something.
  32. 32. " Average companies give their people something to work on. In contrast, the most innovative organizations give their people something to work toward." Simon Sinek "Average companies give their people something to work on. In contrast, the most innovative organizations give their people something to work toward." Simon Sinek
  33. 33. The Golden Circle What How Why Simon Sinek has a great TED talk, and book, about discovering your Why. He calls it The Golden Circle. Why => the cause How => the value proposition What => products and services
  34. 34. What How Why My **why** is to understand, transform, and remove obstacles to achieve a state of flow.
  35. 35. What How Why **How** I do this when I teach: I put the learner first by asking them what their obstacles are. I focus on outcome-based lessons, and adult education best practices.
  36. 36. What How Why **What** you can buy from me: My products and services are related to Drupal education, and the creation of exceptional experiences for adult learners. My topic is Drupal because there are a lot of "easy" obstacles I can help people to overcome.
  37. 37. What’s your WHY? #dsw2014 What is your "why" for being involved? Why were you motivated to attend this conference? #dsw2014 If you're feeling shy about participating because you're new to the community, let me remind you of a lesson from our superhero Hobbit, Bilbo.
  38. 38. Bilbo's WHY is “home”. “You don’t belong anywhere.” Bilbo's why ... the reason he stays on the quest is his commitment to home. "You don't belong anywhere," he says to one of the dwarves. Bilbo first sees where the dwarves live now, and realizes they don't belong "anywhere" because they have lost their home, something Bilbo cherishes. This is both an observation of the group, and of himself.
  39. 39. What do you need to do to be happy? By discovering your own **why** it becomes easier to see how you might help others on their quest. It becomes not just "what would you _like_ to do" but rather a much more powerful "what do you **need** to do to be happy".
  40. 40. Drupal’s WHY What How Why Now that you've started to think about your why, let's come back to Drupal and our change management challenge. https://drupal.org/principles Modular & extensible; quality coding; standards-based; low resource demands; open source; ease of use; collaboration. “Come for the software, stay for the community.” If I were to create a Golden Circle for Drupal the community, it might look like this: **Why** => ??? In Drupal 7, I'd say the "why" had to do with the community and participation; but in Drupal 8, I feel like the modernization of the infrastructure came before the community...and the community pushed back. To grow the capacity of web developers. My **why** is to understand, transform, and remove obstacles to achieve a state of flow. **How** => Drupal attracts new developers and users by providing modern web developers with an open, easy-to-use, scaleable framework. **What** => mobile-first, standards-compliant, programming best practices If we cannot define the why, how can we effectively create a vision for the future, and a
  41. 41. This is what my notes for the WHY slide look like. To be honest, I still don’t think I have it figured out. ... but let’s give it a try. You can disagree with me on Twitter if you like.
  42. 42. Drupal’s WHY What How Why If I were to create a Golden Circle for Drupal the community, it might look like this: **Why** => Drupal believes that growth is good, and must be supported. **How** => The Drupal community supports growth by creating an infrastructure which can scale for its users needs. Drupal grows its own community by soliciting help in developing a modern web framework. **What** => We release new versions of Drupal to attract new interest, and especially new developers. But what if my “why” for Drupal isn’t your why for Drupal? If we cannot define Drupal’s WHY as a community, how can we effectively create a vision for the future, and a corresponding implementation plan? How can we roll-out success, when we can't even define it for ourselves. Why are you here. Why are you giving up your weekend to be part of this thing called Drupal?
  43. 43. “People who come to work with a clear sense of WHY are less prone to giving up after a few failures because they understand the higher cause.” Simon Sinek Don't tell me what Drupal does, tell me why Drupal 8 is being created.
  44. 44. The WHY has changed. When I stopped working with any other CMS, around 2007 this is why: I believed in the companies I was build web sites for. I believed in their ability and capacity to scale, and with Drupal's ecosystem of contributed modules, I believed that Drupal was the only platform which could support the speed and breadth of a company's ability to scale for small businesses. I don't believe this is the right "why" for Drupal leading into D8. I think the infrastructure requirements will be greater, and the learning curve steeper. I don't think that makes it a good or bad product, I simply think the why has changed. But maybe the WHY is right. I said the WHY was: Drupal believes that growth is good, and must be supported. - The infrastructure requirements have grown. - We are modernizing the framework to attract more developers. Growth before stability. Growth does not mean standing still. (Limits to growth is a completely different rabbit hole that I’m not going to go into now.)
  45. 45. Are you the dwarf? or the hobbit? Let's come back around to The Hobbit example that I started with. The scene where the dwarves are throwing dishes is the perfect analogy to me. The heirlooms are being thrown around. We know they are brittle. What is happening to our history? - Ask yourself: are you a dwarf, or are you a hobbit? Are you looking for your home? Is your WHY transparent to the hobbits? And if you are a hobbit, do you know your own WHY? How can you use your WHY to help the dwarves to achieve theirs? Time for a little bit of radical imagination.
  46. 46. Radical imagining is a skill. If all of this seems a little bit exciting, but also hard, I don't blame you. To be honest, I'm more of a HOW person, myself. I'm good at micro changes, and processes to get from a defined state to a desired future state. But I'm not very good at radical imagining.
  47. 47. Let me show you how. If you're struggling with radical imagining, and discovering your WHY too, let me show you HOW.
  48. 48. Discovering your WHY. I’m going to ask you a series of questions. You can tweet the answers, or email them to me, or just write them down for yourselves.
  49. 49. What makes you smile?
  50. 50. When you lose track of time, what are you doing?
  51. 51. What are your favourite things to do?
  52. 52. Is there anything you don’t feel gifted at, but love doing anyway?
  53. 53. When people ask for your help, what do they want help with?
  54. 54. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
  55. 55. Who would your students be?
  56. 56. When you quit, what’s typically your “last straw”?
  57. 57. Accountability Contentment Efficiency Goodness Leadership Restraint Support Accuracy Continuous Improvement Elegance Grace Legacy Results-oriented Teamwork Empathy Growth Love Rigor Temperance Enjoyment Happiness Loyalty Security Thankfulness Enthusiasm Hard Work Making a difference Selfactualization Thoroughness Equality Excellence Health Achievement Adventurousness Altruism Ambition Assertiveness Balance Being the best Belonging Boldness Calmness Carefulness Challenge Cheerfulness Clearmindedness Commitment Contribution Control Cooperation Correctness Courtesy Creativity Curiosity Decisiveness Excitement Expertise Exploration Helping Society Holiness Honesty Honor Mastery Merit Obedience Openness Order Self-control Selflessness Self-reliance Sensitivity Serenity What Are Your Values? Democraticness Dependability Determination Devoutness Diligence Discipline Discretion Expressiveness Fairness Faith Familyorientedness Fidelity Fitness Fluency Humility Independence Originality Ingenuity Patriotism Perfection Inner Harmony Positivity Inquisitiveness Practicality Insightfulness Preparedness Intelligence Professionalism Intellectual Status Prudence Service Shrewdness Simplicity Soundness Speed Spontaneity Stability Community Diversity Focus Compassion Dynamism Freedom Intuition Qualityorientation Competitiveness Economy Fun Joy Reliability Structure Consistency Effectiveness Generosity Justice Resourcefulness Success Accountability Accuracy Achievement Adventurousness Altruism Ambition Assertiveness Balance Being the best Belonging Boldness Calmness Carefulness Challenge Cheerfulness Clear-mindedness Commitment Community Compassion Competitiveness Consistency Contentment Continuous Improvement Contribution Control Cooperation Correctness Courtesy Creativity Strategic Strength Thoughtfulness Timeliness Tolerance Traditionalism Trustworthiness Truth-seeking Understanding Uniqueness Unity Usefulness Vision Vitality
  58. 58. Tweet out five of your values. #dsw2014
  59. 59. What do we have in common? As a group, are we lacking in some areas?
  60. 60. Share your WHY to serve the Drupal community and its code. Your task for the rest of the conference is to find out how you can share your WHY to serve the Drupal community and its code.
  61. 61. Push for a shared vision of Drupal 8. And through your discussions, to think about, and push towards a definition for a vision of Drupal 8 which we can share with others.
  62. 62. “Thank goodness!” said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco jar.
  63. 63. Tweet Questions With: #dsw2014
  64. 64. Stay in touch, eh? @emmajanehw www.drupalize.me
  65. 65. Resources Change Management http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_management Books Leading Change, John Kotter On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Start With Why, Simon Sinek http://www.startwithwhy.com/

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