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Changing Culture v9 RDU


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This is my presentation at the TriAgile Conference in Raleigh on May 2, 2014.

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Changing Culture v9 RDU

  1. 1. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Culture & Agile & Change “Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast” “Could you please get those morons out of the road!” ! TriAgile Conference May 2014 ! Joseph Little 1
  2. 2. copyright Joseph Little 2014 About Joe Little • An Agile Coach, a CST (Scrum Trainer) [CSM, CSPO, CSP], MBA. Former English major. Southerner and New Yorker. • More business-oriented than most agile guys. More into Lean and Business Value Engineering. 8 courses with Jeff Sutherland. • Find me at: • • • Blog: • Twitter: jhlittle • 2
  3. 3. copyright Joseph Little 2014 A ‘useful’ slide deck • Because I don’t trust pretty slide decks. So, I made this one useful (to me at least). • “We’re talking here!” • What I have learned so far.... • But jam packed with friends. And resources. ! • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” H.D. Thoreau 3
  4. 4. copyright Joseph Little 2014 4
  5. 5. copyright Joseph Little 2014 The nutshell • Summary of key ideas • Some basics (Kotter) • Why is it hard? • My suggestions • Some friends and guides (Satir, Vodde, Hofstede, Pink, Manns & Rising, Denning, Apello, Kotter, Gat, Ohno, Drucker, Takeuchi, Nonaka, Mezick) • Some fun quotes (useful?) • A question. And your questions (and some responses) • You can do it! (a pat on the back) Vaya con Dios! 5
  6. 6. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Here’s the test question I will ask later — !!! • What one thing do you want to act on immediately? ! • BE READY. 6
  7. 7. copyright Joseph Little 2014 My dream • “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. ” • Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Social Contract. • “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set her free.” Michelangelo ! • But: You must dream your own dream. • Second sentence (J-J R): “Those who think themselves the masters of others are indeed greater slaves than they.” 7
  8. 8. copyright Joseph Little 2014 The Problem (practical & concrete) Take one relatively small group & get them to understand & do Lean-Agile-Scrum better 8
  9. 9. copyright Joseph Little 2014 The Summary 1. It is easy to 'work hard' at changing the culture and get nowhere. 2. It is easy to change the culture a little bit. 3. Change will happen; your only job is to influence it. And you can. 4. Actions speak louder than words. 5. "Become the change you want to see in the world." (Gandhi) 6. "Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you." 7. "When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends." Mark Twain 8. "Just dance." Lady Gaga. Ride the wave. 9
  10. 10. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Just Dance Red One Konvict Gaga (oh, yeah) ! I've had a little bit too much, much All of the people start to rush. Start to rush by. A dizzy twister dance Can't find my drink or man. Where are my keys, I lost my phone. What's going on on the floor? I love this record baby, but I can't see straight anymore. Keep it cool what's the name of this club? I can't remember but it's alright, I'm alright. ! [Chorus:] Just dance. Gonna be okay. Da-doo-doo-doo Just dance. Spin that record babe. Da-doo-doo-doo Just dance. Gonna be okay. Duh-duh-duh-duh Dance. Dance. Dance. Just dance. 10
  11. 11. copyright Joseph Little 2014 King Canute and the waves 11
  12. 12. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Why is this culture thing so hard? • We don’t know what we are talking about. • We don’t know what to do. • Our expectations for speed of success are unrealistic. • We don’t describe success well. • It is big. And feels amorphous. • It’s an instinctive / emotional 
 thing more than a rational thing. 12
  13. 13. copyright Joseph Little 2014 There is no magic. • Not in 1215 (Magna Carta) • Not in 1776 (or 1781) (the Declaration of Independence, the Battle of Yorktown) • Not on June 6, 1944 (D-Day) • Not in 1989 (the fall of the Iron Curtain) • But ‘impossible’ things happen daily. • Note to self: These events involved multiple people. 13
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  15. 15. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Some basics - 1 • Culture defined. “Culture consists of group norms of behavior and the underlying shared [tacit] values that help keep those norms in place.” Ex: 9am. • Culture starts where? “It usually comes from the founders of the group. For whatever reason, they value certain things and behave in ways that seem to help the group succeed. Success is key. So it seeps into the group’s DNA.” • How change? “A powerful person at the top, or a large enough group from anywhere in the organization, decides the old ways are not working...” • organizational-culture/ • “Everything changes, nothing remains the same.” Buddha, - 2000 years. 15
  16. 16. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Some basics - 2 “A powerful person at the top, or a large enough group from anywhere in the organization, decides the old ways are not working, figures out a change vision, starts acting differently, and enlists others to act differently. If the new actions produce better results, if the results are communicated and celebrated, and if they are not killed off by the old culture fighting its rear-guard action, new norms will form and new shared values will grow.” 16
  17. 17. copyright Joseph Little 2014 What do we want to change, really? • Change Thinking. Why? So that they will decide and act differently on small matters. • Change Actions (behavior). That ‘they’ will allow agile (the big parts of it) to happen? • It is (ok, only feels): • Impossible • Lonely • Endless 17
  18. 18. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Some initial ideas - 1 1. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford 2. Show up. 3. Gather your ‘friends’. 4. Decide what culture means to you. Be as specific as possible. 5. Pull together some ideas about people. You’re going to discover a lot about people. Your new BFFs. You need ideas to help talk about individuals and groups of people. 6. Decide how you would know some useful ‘change’ had happened. (EX: “They allowed us to start a 2nd Scrum Team and fix these 3 impediments.”) 7. Define the culture you want. Incremental-ize it. 18
  19. 19. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Some initial ideas - 2 1. Map the culture. Maybe: The white hats, the gray, the black hats. 2. Decide who needs changing / fixing. Prioritize. 3. Know your enemy. 4. “Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One spoonful at a time.” 
 Make a list of small ‘features.’ (Change backlog & roadmap!) 5. Fix a few people at a time. Maybe only one at a time. 6. Track progress. 7. Tell success stories. 8. Expect ‘failures’. Get back in the saddle. Learn from them. 19
  20. 20. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Virginia Satir - Change curve 20
  21. 21. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Mind games /// sympathy • “Some people, if they don’t already know it, you can’t explain it to them.” Yogi Berra • This means: Understand how they think. And explain things in a way that suits their thinking, their basic assumptions • Seek first to understand, then to be understood. (Based on the prayer of St. Francis) 21
  22. 22. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Let me be clear • Be hard and be soft • Be aggressive and be gentle • Be masculine and be feminine ! • Easy! • No contradictions here! 22
  23. 23. copyright Joseph Little 2014 So, I brought you some friends... • “Dante, here’s Virgil. Virgil, here’s my good friend Dante. He wants to go on a difficult journey. Help him to find the straight path.” • Some guides...for your journey. ! • Yes, an interesting journey. • Look at it this way: You’ll take 
 some interesting pictures and 
 have lots of stories to tell! Francesca and Paolo..., Scheffer 23
  24. 24. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Bas Vodde & Geert Hofstede • Bas is an Agile Coach & Trainer. Geert writes many books on culture, eg, Culture’s Consequences. • See Bas’s presentations here: page=pageIdeas • Especially: “Scrum doesn’t work in China?” 24
  25. 25. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Dimensions 1. Power Distance. (High is ‘bad’) 2. Individualism versus Collectivism (former is ‘bad’) 3. Masculinity versus Femininity (latter is ‘good’) 4. Uncertainty Avoidance (High is ‘bad’) 5. Long-term Orientation vs Short-term (L-T is ‘good’, since it leads one to be more adaptable) 6. Indulgence versus Restraint (Seems indulgence has more fun) 25
  26. 26. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Joe’s Conclusions 1. Cultures are complex. 2. Most people can’t explain their culture. 3. Every culture sees agile a different way. 4. Every culture in some ways supports agile. 5. Every culture in some ways rejects agile. 6. Every culture has a paradoxical, contradictory mix of elements. 7. Your job: change the balance. 26
  27. 27. copyright Joseph Little 2014 What are we talking here? • It probably is not brain surgery with a long sword aimed at their neck. 
 Not a total transplant. ! • More like opening the cranial lid, and putting you hands in -- and squishing around in the wet stuff a bit. A tweak here, a push there... More subtle. But soon you hear ‘em singing a new tune. • Wear gloves. And wash afterward. Please. (It’s messy!) 27
  28. 28. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Side Conversation 1. You can. You really can. Lots of stories, real stories, where people just like you did. I believe in you. You must believe that something is worth changing. And you must have something to change toward. (Agile? Scrum? X?) If you do....where there is a will, there is a way. 2. You are not alone. 28
  29. 29. copyright Joseph Little 2014 The Boxing Metaphor - 7 rounds Just a little patience baby. 29
  30. 30. copyright Joseph Little 2014 One issue: Honesty • Reality: “Never tell the truth!” • Lies, damn lies, and statistics. • CYA, the blame game, ‘performance reviews’ • The amount of dishonesty in corporations is... amazing. • Failure? No, never happened to me! • It’s not a lie; it’s a report! 30
  31. 31. copyright Joseph Little 2014 One more time: where is culture? • In each of the individuals, or in the group? • Do we change one person at a time, or can we only change a ‘group’ at a time? • Do we think of it as a virus that spreads throughout the bodies in the group? And the group sustains it, even as we think we eliminate the virus in one person? ! • Joe’s bias: Often it is best to fix one person at a time. (Start with yourself.) • Joe’s bias: Culture is like that part of the iceberg ‘beneath the water.’ 31
  32. 32. copyright Joseph Little 2014 To be successful... • You need structures and patterns you can act on. • But you also need to see the problem and take action within a bigger, ‘known’ context -- some meta-structure, some meta-patterns. • We are making those visible too. 32
  33. 33. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Why? Knowledge Workers are different. • Drive by Daniel Pink. • Three Key Ideas: • Autonomy - the ability to choose what and how tasks are completed • Mastery - the process of becoming adept at an activity • Purpose • We have to ‘organize’ things a different way now. People will produce more... 33
  34. 34. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Mary Lynn Manns & Linda Rising • Fearless Change (book) • “Leading Fearless Change” (article) • • A framework for thinking about change. • 48 Patterns for change. • Use one each day. • Rinse and repeat. • “Little things are big” (Yogi Berra) 34
  35. 35. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Step By Step (pattern) • Relieve your frustration at the enormous task of changing an organization by taking one small step at a time toward your goal. • You wonder what your plan should be for introducing the new idea into your organization. • Use an incremental approach in the change initiative, with short-term goals, while keeping your long-term vision “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-tzu 35
  36. 36. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Fearless Change (book) • Overview • Experiences (real stories) • Patterns • Appendix 36
  37. 37. copyright Joseph Little 2014 List of Patterns • See “Fearless Change Patterns” here… • 48 + 5 + 5 + 3 = 61. 37
  38. 38. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Which ones are your favorites? • Let’s discuss… 38
  39. 39. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Stephen Denning • The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management (book) • • innovation-ingredient-absent-worker-passion/ • 
 the blog 39
  40. 40. copyright Joseph Little 2014 The Principles of Radical Management • A shift in goal from making money for shareholders to delighting customers through continuous innovation. • A shift in the role of managers from controlling individuals to enabling self-organizing teams. • A shift in the way work is coordinated from bureaucracy to dynamic linking. • A shift in values from a preoccupation with efficiency to a broader set of values that will foster continuous innovation. • A shift in communications from top-down commands to horizontal communications. 40
  41. 41. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Jurgen Apello • • How To Change the World (book) • Management 3.0 (book) • Another guy from the Stoos group. 41
  42. 42. copyright Joseph Little 2014 ADKAR • Awareness (of the need to change) • Desire (to participate and support) • Knowledge (of how to change and what change looks like) • Ability (to implement change on a day-to-day basis) • Reinforcement (to keep the change in place) 42
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  44. 44. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Systems Thinking... • Disturb the system (it will react in some way) • Watch the ripples and learn • If you change yourself, you change the system • If you change several people, you have changed the system more ! • Related: Use their own energy against them. You can find a leverage point to flip them. • Complex Adaptive Systems. 44
  45. 45. copyright Joseph Little 2014 “How do I deal with my crappy organization?” You have 3 choices (Jurgen says): • Ignore it • Quit your job • Learn about change management Joe: I like choice #3, but it’s not always easy to do. 45
  46. 46. copyright Joseph Little 2014 You are in a marathon • ...and that’s the good news • Be patient, and you will win (if you deserve to) 46
  47. 47. copyright Joseph Little 2014 John Kotter • • • A Sense of Urgency (book) • Leading Change (book) • Buy-In: Saving your good ideas from getting shot down (book) 47
  48. 48. copyright Joseph Little 2014 The 8 Steps (Kotter) 1. Establishing a sense of urgency (70% fail) 2. Creating the guiding coalition 3. Developing a change vision 4. Communicating the vision for buy-in 5. Empowering broad-based action 6. Generating short-term wins 7. Never letting up 8. Incorporating Changes into the Culture Note: But it is more subtle than that. 48
  49. 49. copyright Joseph Little 2014 A Sense of Urgency (Kotter book) • “Aim for the heart” (an experience) • “Underlying a true sense of urgency is
 a set of feelings:
 a compulsive determination 
 to move, and win, now.” 49
  50. 50. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Israel Gat • • The Concise Executive Guide to Agile (book) • Key lesson: Speak their language • A rational presentation. • Idea: Sometimes all you need is for some naysayers to shut up. • Related: There are lots of articles that also explain the benefits of agile. 50
  51. 51. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Chapter 3: How to fit Agile into the fabric of your company • 3 sections: • Heterogeneous Development Environments • Performances Measures • Linking Agile to Planning and Budgeting Processes Very rational. No discussion of changing ‘culture.’ We are just rationally changing processes. It might work some places. Certainly his issues often must be addressed. 51
  52. 52. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Taiichi Ohno • He is the key person behind "Lean" (the Toyota Way) • He changed Toyota from the late 1940's until well into the 1980's. • He was not finished when he retired. • Be patient. ! • Read his books! • He is subtle. • He offers nothing to attack. • He speaks common sense (usually not very common). • He attacks them where they are weakest. 52
  53. 53. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Taiichi Ohno • Toyota Production System (book) • Workplace Management (book) • “All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the time line by reducing the non-value adding wastes.” • “Why not make the work easier and more interesting so that people do not have to sweat?  The Toyota style is not to create results by working hard. It is a system that says there is no limit to people’s creativity.  People don’t go to Toyota to ‘work’, they go there to ‘think’.” 53
  54. 54. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Lessons • Key idea: • Argue for a while. • Usually the other person won't agree. (‘People don't resist change, they resist being changed.’) • So, agree to try an experiment (his idea or yours). And let the experiment prove that an idea is better (in some way). ! • Understand how Agile is like Lean. • It is hard for any business person to resist Lean. • If Lean ideas are in your culture, use that. • Explain Agile in Lean terms. 54
  55. 55. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Peter Drucker • He invented the term “knowledge worker” • Why do you care? • Because it changed the game. • He wrote LOTS of books . And articles. • “People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.” • “Culture eats strategy for Breakfast” -- Peter Drucker (attributed) 55
  56. 56. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Some ideas • “The most important contribution management needs to make in the 21st century is similarly (50x) to increase the productivity of knowledge work and knowledge workers.” • “The most valuable asset of a 21st-century institution (whether business or nonbusiness) will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.” 56
  57. 57. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Six major factors determine knowledge-worker productivity 1. Knowledge-worker productivity demands that we ask the question: 
 “What is the task?” 2. Knowledge Workers have to manage themselves. They have to have autonomy. 3. Continuing innovation has to be part of the work. 4. Knowledge work requires continuous learning. 5. Productivity: Quality is at least as important. 6. Knowledge-worker productivity requires that the knowledge worker is both seen and treated as an “asset” rather than a ”cost.” (6a) 7. Requires that knowledge workers want to work for the organization (6b) 57
  58. 58. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Takeuchi & Nonaka • They wrote The New New Product Development Game (HBR-1986) - they are the godfathers of Scrum. • They explain the mysteries of knowledge work well. • Use their ideas. • Use their many books and articles. • “The Knowledge Creating Company”. Article, also book. ( 58
  59. 59. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Dan Mezick • Wrote: The Culture Game. • The Open Agile Adoption Handbook (Oct 2013) • Some insights: • Culture can be hacked • We want learning organizations • Game your meetings (clarify the ‘rules of the game’ re meetings) • Use a whole bunch of agile ideas to manage the culture change 59
  60. 60. copyright Joseph Little 2014 What is culture hacking? • “Culture hacking is the active, intentional and iterative modification of existing cultural norms...” • “...with the intent to create a stronger culture of learning.” • “Culture hackers are...refactoring existing cultural that the overall system displays more robust performance.” 60
  61. 61. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Agile Ideas to use in Change 1. Improve the meetings 2. Examine your norms (retrospective / feedback) 3. Be punctual 4. Structure your interactions 5. Announce your intent 6. Conduct frequent experiments 7. Manage visually 8. Inspect frequently (eg, do one ‘sprint’s’ worth of change) 9. Get coached 61
  62. 62. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Other key insights • Don’t just ask for ‘change’; define the change you want. • He places… ‘high value on continuous organizational learning’ • Some similarity to “The Knowledge Creating Company” • It is not just ‘change’ or ‘stop doing that’, but positive and clear. • The future is not a new plateau! 62
  63. 63. copyright Joseph Little 2014 “Open Agile Adoption” • First: Two Open Space events that time-box a ‘rite of passage’ toward ‘adoption.' • Second: Multiple 'rites of passage', each to a new level of adoption, productivity, success. • Purpose: A more rapid and lasting Agile adoption. Leading to better overall business results. • Key: Invitation, engagement, collaboration. • Adoption ‘sprints’ within the larger rite of passage. 63
  64. 64. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Goals • More success for everyone. • But we think one key cause is: Better adoption of agile by the culture. • We think that is driven by…. (all these other things we are talking about…) 64
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  66. 66. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Open Agile Adoption — Your opinions… • What do you think so far? • What sounds good? • What puzzles or worries you? 66
  67. 67. copyright Joseph Little 2014 My recent learning • It works! Or so I think so far. • The Sponsor (person of authority) is important. Often 'the people' feel powerless until the sponsor authorizes them to 'self-organize.' • Self-organization can feel scary to some Sponsors. But usually less than you expect. • There is lots of work to 'set it up.' And you only want to influence. • They will self-organize. They won't do it perfectly. Expect 'good things', but nothing specific. 67
  68. 68. copyright Joseph Little 2014 RELATED: Talk to the Executives and Managers • They need to change too. • They need information about what Agile is. • You need to influence they way they think. • You need them to change their behavior! • So, what do you say to them? 68
  69. 69. copyright Joseph Little 2014 How do you know the cultural change is happening? • Let’s discuss. 69
  70. 70. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Key Ideas • Invitation • By doing it together, they influence each other. • By doing Open Space, they become actors in the change. They are no longer ‘being changed.’ • Watch out for influencing that is felt as ‘forcing.’ • Tell stories (before and after). Fill the story ‘field.’ • Fix impediments! Fix impediments! Fix impediments! 70
  71. 71. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Recent learnings - 2 • Are you surprised that it will take more than one Open Space event? • It takes time for the group to change! Frustrating. But, do we think Culture is important? 71
  72. 72. copyright Joseph Little 2014 CONCLUSION 72
  73. 73. copyright Joseph Little 2014 You can! • Yes, it will be hard and frustrating some days. All good work is. • You can do it! Even you. And you can get help. • How do I know this? • With a sense of humor, honesty, love, patience, perseverance, boldness (and some intelligence) -- you can change the whole world. 
 But for now, your job is simpler. 73
  74. 74. copyright Joseph Little 2014 “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
 “The game isn’t over ‘til it’s over.” ! “Take it with a grin of salt.” ! Yogi Berra 74 You are in ‘the show’ now.
  75. 75. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Closing • I will make this slide deck available. 
 ! • What one thing do you want to act on first? 75
  76. 76. copyright Joseph Little 2014 Joe Little • Agile coach and trainer (CST). • • • 704-376-8881 • Contact me if I can help. 76