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Agile saturday XV: Facilitating change through helping leaders grow

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In the face of digitalization and amidst risk of being disrupted by new products, companies, and business models, many companies have woken up to the need for change in company culture, management and the way of operation.

Whether the goal is business agility, the culture of experimentation, or agile company culture, the key challenge is how to foster change in a large organization. The big question is: what investments to actions help make the change stick in the organization while still providing a return bigger than the investment.

One approach to this that I have been a part of at Agile Company Culture Accelerator at Yle, as well as other companies, is creating coaching curriculums to grow leaders and change agents to enact and catalyze the change itself.

Change in organizations spreads like innovations in the population: in a network. You can reach the early adopters with a small change agent team, but to spread the meme of change wider in the organization network, you need other tactics.

In coaching curriculums such as Yle’s Culture of New Work Leadership Coaching, we offer coaching for the hub persons in the organization network (not necessarily the ones in management positions) to grow as and into leaders and change agents. This way, we foster the change in the organization at an arm’s length. This way, different parts of the organization can tailor the change according to their own context and take responsibility for the change themselves.

In this talk, I will share my experiences in designing and carrying out these kinds of coaching curriculums for the leaders. I will also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this way of fostering change.

This talk is targeted at coaches, change agents and managers who want new ideas on how to foster change in their organization and for their customers. The audience will walk away with tips on how to, and how not to, organize a coaching curriculum for leaders, as well as an idea how and in what context it makes sense to consider this way of fostering change.

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Agile saturday XV: Facilitating change through helping leaders grow

  1. 1. Facilitating Change Through Helping Leaders Grow Antti Kirjavainen @anttiki Agile Saturday XV #AgileSaturday
  2. 2. that’s me at ~20
  3. 3. Culture of New Work coaching curriculum – Why
  4. 4. Companies amidst change Broadcast Media (one->many) On-Demand Media (many->many) Personal Customer Experience (many->one) IT Consultancies Efficient supplier Wanted partner Expertise, vision Responsiveness Meaningful employer Product/ service companies
  5. 5. The dreaded “change is the new black” slide... Material: Niels Pflaeging Fortune SmartCEO
  6. 6. Turn to the person next to you and discuss: Organisations, organising around work, leadership and management: ● What are the old ways that are dying, going away? ● What is the new that is emerging, that helps us deal with complexity?
  7. 7. The new? Teal ● Wholeness ● Self-management ● Evolutionary purpose Niels Pflaeging Mirette Kangas F. Laloux Salim Ismail
  8. 8. Culture Mapping the Organisational Change Thinking Structures Behavior Results Everyone wants this to change This needs to change for a lasting effect Experiments here provide feedback to challenge thinking
  9. 9. Help people in organisations to develop their thinking to foster change
  10. 10. Culture of New Work coaching curriculum – What
  11. 11. Culture of New Work curriculum ● 12-week programme ● Support learning of new culture of work, organisations, and ways of organising ● For leaders, change agents, influencers, opinion leaders, experts ● Goal: help people in organisations to develop their thinking to foster change
  12. 12. The Cast Virpi Mattila- Manninen, Yle Maiju Niinivirta Milsa Malin Tero Kadenius Ari-Pekka Lappi Daniel Wellner
  13. 13. Some numbers ● 14 coaching curriculum groups + 1 on-going right now ● 7th semester (6 iterations done) ● Over 175 participants in total ● 250+ experiments carried out in every-day work and reflected in the workshops ● Participant Assessments: average 8,8 / 10 ● NPS: 50+ across the groups
  14. 14. Culture of New Work coaching curriculum – How
  15. 15. Design principle: Walk the talk, make the vision of future alive today
  16. 16. Themes, content and sources Core Protocols Reinventing Organizations Responsibility Process, TrustTemenos, Cynefin model, Turn the Ship Around, Lean Change Management etc. etc. “Many perspectives”
  17. 17. “Who pays the bills calls the shots, right?” “Well...”
  18. 18. Turn to the person next to you and share: ● Recall a moment when you were motivated to do something or ● Recall a moment where you lacked the motivation to do something. What made the difference in your motivation?
  19. 19. We treat participants as our primary customers
  20. 20. Invitation-based participation “We create commitment to trainings with invitation model and application process.”
  21. 21. Participant interviews
  22. 22. Participant interviews: learnings, experiments Questionnaires. Personal connection is more important than gathering data. Doing interviews with pairs of participants. More potential side-effects than advantages. One-on-one conversational interviews, face-to-face or online video (Zoom.us) Create online doc of challenges relevant to participants.
  23. 23. Participants bring their own challenges Challenge PitfallsThings to try
  24. 24. 2-day trainings are legacy learning tech. Photo CC-2.0-BY by wecometolearn
  25. 25. Squeezing the curriculum in to 2 or 3 days time Allowing 3 to 4 months calendar time to learn Half-day sessions for brain-friendly learning
  26. 26. Learning requires time, focus and energy
  27. 27. Learning requires practice in everyday work
  28. 28. Experiences to challenge thinking
  29. 29. Experiment templates Goal Expectations Commitment Measures Reflection What and how
  30. 30. Sharing, reflecting on experiments together
  31. 31. Our purpose Bright spots Improvement opportunities Your one wish Ask participants to interview their peers. Provide a simple handout to help with that.
  32. 32. Competence development focusing on individuals considered harmful.
  33. 33. Our goal is to grow a community of organisation radicals!
  34. 34. Organisation as a network Participants from many roles, positions and teams. Niels Pflaeging
  35. 35. Turn to the person next to you and share: Most of us have been in organisations where people do not learn together. Some of us have been in teams or organisations where that happens in a daily basis, too. What is the difference between those two, for you?
  36. 36. Fostering Mutual Trust Introductions Working agreements Having lunch together Appreciation Check-ins Feedback
  37. 37. Making sense of the new together
  38. 38. Sparring Partnerships Sparring partners help participants reflect on their own context Lots of variance in commitment to working with one’s sparring partner ?
  39. 39. How to foster learning and change ● Walk the talk, make the vision of future alive today ● Participants are your primary customers ● Hold the space for people to make sense together ● Learning takes time, focus and energy ● Learning takes practice in everyday work ● Building a learning community begins with fostering trust
  40. 40. What next?
  41. 41. Climate Change is real ● Challenge: Supporting learning in the age of climate change ● Online f2f learning encounters ● Building a learning community online
  42. 42. Want to continue the conversation? Talk to me during the day (or at the afterparty)! You can also contact me on Twitter or LinkedIn :) Thank you! WhatsApp +358 50 546 2465 antti@flowa.fi Linkedin, Slideshare anttikirjavainen Twitter @anttiki

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