The Idea Monopoly? Why change fails.


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Why does change so often fail? We need to realise that organisations depend on people, and we should engage people as part of the change process - at the point of designing the change.

The original version of this slide pack was presented at the second Melbourne trampoline, 24 October 2009. This updated and extended version was presented at the Melbourne KMLF on 23 June 2010.

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The Idea Monopoly? Why change fails.

  1. 1. The Idea Monopoly? Keith De La Rue
  2. 2. Or… Orgsourcing?
  3. 3. Why does change fail? <ul><li>“ Nearly 60 percent of projects aimed at achieving business change do not fully meet their objectives” </li></ul><ul><li>2008 IBM study of more than 1,500 change management executives from 15 countries </li></ul>
  4. 4. A brief history of change <ul><li>Change by command… </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Change management… </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Change communication… </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Employee engagement… </li></ul>
  8. 8. But aren’t we forgetting something?
  9. 9. Organisations today are complex
  10. 10. Because they depend on people
  11. 11. Complexity theory? <ul><li>We need to understand how organisations work, before we can effectively change them </li></ul><ul><li>People are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complex, unpredictable, dynamic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resistant to engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Change is only made possible by people </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Cynefin Framework <ul><li>A way to look at the nature of organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to work with the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Developed by David Snowden, Cognitive Edge </li></ul><ul><li>Welsh: “habitat, place” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conveys the sense that we all have multiple pasts of which we are only partly aware: cultural, religious, geographic, tribal, etc </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Complex </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cause and effect coherent in retrospect, repeat accidentally – unpredictable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Complicated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cause and effect separated over time & space, but repeat – analysable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cause & effect relations repeatable & predictable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Known </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chaos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No cause and effect relationships generally perceivable </li></ul></ul> emergency/
  14. 14. <ul><li>Complex </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple small and diverse interventions to create options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Probe-sense-respond </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Complicated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analytical techniques to determine facts and option range </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sense-analyse-respond </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Standard processes with review cycles and clear measures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sense-categorise-respond </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chaos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single or multi actions to stabilise situations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Act-sense-respond </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Complex </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Complicated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Domain of experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20 th Century </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Business as usual” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>19 th Century </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Chaos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Novel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catastrophic change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ordered </li></ul></ul>Unordered Disorder
  16. 16. Organisations are complex <ul><li>Dynamic, with rich interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Different people operating at different levels </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Non-linear, unpredictable </li></ul><ul><li>Emergent characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole different to sum of parts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Small changes can have large impacts </li></ul><ul><li>History can make a difference </li></ul>
  17. 17. Emergence <ul><li>Fly to the centre </li></ul><ul><li>Match speed </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid collision </li></ul>
  18. 18. Simple wisdom doesn’t apply <ul><li>“ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In a complex environment, doing the same thing twice will give a different result </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ You can't fix what you can't measure” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can intervene in a complex environment, even though you can’t measure it reliably </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>In modern, complex, people-centric organisations, it is people and what they know that provide the only real competitive advantage </li></ul>
  20. 20. People create value <ul><li>I came to see in my time at IBM that culture isn't just one aspect of the game - it is the game! In the end, an organisation is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value. </li></ul><ul><li>- Lou Gerstner, IBM </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>There is no monopoly on ideas! </li></ul>
  22. 22. People need to be creative <ul><li>I believe that a focus on creativity is absolutely essential for current business success… I maintain that creativity is possible and desirable in all forms of work, no matter what people are doing. In particular, knowledge workers require creativity . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teresa Amabile, Harvard Business School </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. How to encourage creativity <ul><li>Support people emotionally </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor work in a positive way </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise good performance, in public </li></ul><ul><li>Consult with people on the team </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate –spend time with team on tasks </li></ul>
  24. 24. Cognitive rewards <ul><li>Monetary rewards don't work where more cognitive work required: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mastery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Self-directed = better engagement </li></ul><ul><li>eg Atlassian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan Pink, Drive </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. The myth of control <ul><li>Peter Drucker constantly advised businesses to give employees direct control over their own work and environment , with teams of “knowledge workers” responsible for work toward goals stated as broad business objectives rather than prescriptive plans. </li></ul><ul><li>Drucker stated that management could only achieve sustainable profits by treating people as an enterprise’s most valued resources , not as costs . </li></ul><ul><li>- Greg Lloyd </li></ul>
  26. 26. Everyone can contribute <ul><li>When leaders learn to creatively engage their subordinates in everyday decision making , they can make change happen . </li></ul><ul><li>- John Smythe, Engage for change </li></ul>
  27. 27. McKinsey Research <ul><li>2008 report </li></ul><ul><li>59 organisations researched globally </li></ul><ul><li>Single, most influential cause of more engaged employees: </li></ul><ul><li>The appetite and ability of leaders at every level to engage their subordinates in everyday decision making and bigger-ticket change </li></ul>
  28. 28. All of us are smarter than any of us <ul><li>The Wisdom of Crowds - James Surowiecki </li></ul><ul><li>Under certain conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Works for cognition problems </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Independence </li></ul>
  29. 29. Tools for complexity <ul><li>Anecdote circles </li></ul><ul><li>Safe-fail probes </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network Stimulation </li></ul><ul><li>The Future, Backwards </li></ul><ul><li>Sensemaking </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge cafés </li></ul><ul><li>Change Cards </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational Zoo </li></ul>
  30. 30. Build trust through social media
  31. 31. What is the result? <ul><li>Leaders who engage the right groups in everyday decisions and in designing and executing change will benefit both in terms of the quality of decisions and the speed of execution that derives from people who feel ownership of the outcome . </li></ul><ul><li>- John Smythe, Engage for change </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>What is your experience? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we make this work? </li></ul><ul><li>What can we do? </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s go and create our future… </li></ul>@kdelarue 0418 51 7676 [email_address]