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The Golden Hammer of Transformation: Culture! - Agile & Beyond

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Culture eats change for its breakfast! How many time have you discovered it? Have you noticed any indicators of it? How many times have you blamed the culture?

Isn't culture presented on what people do, say, and act? Studies tell us that people are of good nature. Most people (99% to be exact) do what they believe is right. They don't intend to resist change. They even are willing to help, and maybe they don't know how. They genuinely want to see the transformation becomes successful. They are resourceful as well. One might ask, how come there are many catastrophic stories when it comes to organizational transformation?

Have you heard the famous quote, "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"? Could it be that we are not looking at transformations with the right perspective? Could it be that we only have, and use a hammer? Maybe we have different types of it, and we don't even notice?

If the above interests you, please join us. Let us share our experiences, and how we moved away from using the "hammer" within organizations. We looked at culture from three different perspectives; Culture as an outcome, Culture as an objective and Culture as a goal. Each can take you to a completely different end states. We are going to share with you what we learned from our experience in transforming one of the biggest departments of one of the top 5 banks in Canada.

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The Golden Hammer of Transformation: Culture! - Agile & Beyond

  1. 1. The Golden Hammer of Transformation: Culture! Shahin Sheidaei Eglys Vera
  2. 2. Hello! Nice to Meet you! Shahin Sheidaei Founder & Principal Coach Elevate Change Inc. Eglys Vera Agile Executive. Ocean and animal lover. WomenInTech @sheidaei /in/sheidaei /in/eglys-vera-a6988b/
  3. 3. Let’s do Transformation Isn’t it like other initiatives we take on? We can do it! It’s Hype! Everyone is doing it. Digital or die! Agile is the solution! It’s the Trend! Cheaper, Faster and Better!
  4. 4. Transformation Stories Isn’t it like other initiatives we take on? We can do it! Hire an Agile Coach Hire 2nd wave of Agile Coach Build Coaching capability in house Hire 3rd wave of Agile CoachInternal Coaches leave or you fire them!
  5. 5. Integral Theory Leadership Circle Transformation From Inside
  6. 6. ● Culture is not ready! ● We need to change the culture! ● We need to change perspectives! ● Right culture for the right domain! ● No one is responsible Transformation Result: Not Success (Failure)
  7. 7. ● Agile was not the right tool to use. ● We are good at fixing: Let’s fix culture! ● We can even certify people in Culture! Let’s do that! ● Culture is the new Agile, it’s the ultimate tool to solve everything! ● We need to focus on the culture! Transformation Retrospective Outcome: Culture!
  8. 8. The Golden Hammer of Transformation: Culture! If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail!
  9. 9. The greatest teacher, failure is! ~ Yoda At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. ~ Agile Principles
  10. 10. Our journeys of transformation and culture: working with it or fixing it!?
  11. 11. Book Club Goal: To learn and share learning Challenge: No support from leaders Excuse: the Culture is not right!
  12. 12. Book Club Working Session Goal: To learn and share learning Achievement: The VP supported and showed up several times! Work with culture, not change the culture! Cultural Hack: Use Their Language
  13. 13. Measuring success Goal: Increase agile practices expertise Challenge: C Level sets goals of 50% of agile projects Excuse: Enterprise Culture is wrong!
  14. 14. Measuring success Goal: Increase agile practices expertise Achievement: To measure the right thing! Work with expectations, not change the culture! Cultural Hack: Find Allies
  15. 15. Coffee Club Goal: ● To expand the connections in the network of people ● Ultimately To create a wider support for change Challenge: Breaking silos needs a change of mindset, moving towards flat organization mindset Excuse: the Culture is not right!
  16. 16. Coffee Club 2.0: Someone Else’s Achievement! Goal: (?) ● To expand the connections in the network of people ● Ultimately To create a wider support for change Achievement: people were joining, HR was promoting it! Work with culture, not change the culture! Cultural Hack: Invite Them on the journey of success
  17. 17. Breaking the wheel Goal: Involve Senior Leadership in the Transformation and make them accountable for it Challenge: Senior Leadership considered this to be a waste of time Excuse: definitely wrong Culture on the leadership team!
  18. 18. Take a ride in the wheel Goal: Involve Senior Leadership in the Transformation and make them accountable for it Achievement: Senior Leadership started to show up and participate Stop pushing, culture will turn around Cultural Hack: Realize Where They are at on their Transformation Journey
  19. 19. Internal Community of Coaches Goal: (?) ● To have a touch point with 18 people in lieu of face-to-face communication Challenge: A community needs slack time, especially if mandated by a leader Excuse: the Culture within ourselves is not right!
  20. 20. Community or a Team? Goal: ● To have a touch point with 18 people in lieu of face-to-face communication Achievement: people talked up. We stood up to an ask from us. We made an SVP become vulnerable in front of 150 people! Work with culture, not change the culture! Cultural Hack: Assume Not! Use The Correct Term, Make an Effort to Learn it!
  21. 21. Did my role change? Goal: Build cross-functional teams Challenge: Teams needed clear definition of new Roles and Responsibilities Excuse: Command and Control! We are doom!
  22. 22. Working Agreement Goal: Build cross-functional team Achievement: Team defined WAG to describe interactions instead for roles and responsibilities Sometimes you need to change apples by oranges, not to change the culture Cultural Hack: Hold The Mirror
  23. 23. Book Club #2 Goal: To introduce new ways of approaching change Challenge: Heavy Top Layer Hierarchy, no self organization Excuse: the Culture is not right!
  24. 24. Book Club #2 System Impact Goal: To introduce new ways of approaching change Achievement: The team learned a new tool, even after I left! Work with culture, not change the culture! Cultural Hack: Think Systematically, Keep the whole system in mind. Not an individual piece.
  25. 25. Transformation RoadMap Goal: To transform part of organization in an Agile Way Challenge: Scrum is the right way of doing Transformation. Leaders are asking for Roadmap! Excuse: the Culture is not right!
  26. 26. Transformation RoadMap Empathizing with Leaders Goal: To transform using an Agile Way Achievement: Failed at the Roadmap. End up working with leaders more closely. Got to responding to change over following a plan. Work with culture, not change the culture! Cultural Hack: Follow a Plan before Responding to Change to build Rapport
  27. 27. Agile Maturity Model Goal: To align transformation with they stand, or to battle over who is to fund and who is not! Challenge: Not comparing but understanding them. Everything is a number! Excuse: the Culture is not right!
  28. 28. Agile Maturity Brave With Numbers Goal: To align transformation with they stand, or to battle over who is to fund and who is not! Achievement: The numbers were not the enemy, the right data for the right people. Some might call it being brave! Some stupidity! Work with culture, not change the culture! Cultural Hack: Build A Smaller Culture within a Culture to have influence over
  29. 29. Disruptive Transformation Goal: To be the disruptive within the big organization Challenge: They have to change not us! (Team v.s. Leaders) Excuse: the Culture is not right!
  30. 30. Disruptive Transformation Goal: To be the disruptive within the big organization Achievement: For the next transformation came direct to me! Work with culture, not change the culture! Cultural Hack: Be Comfortable Being/Making People Uncomfortable
  31. 31. Cultural Hacks Use Their Language Be Comfortable Being/Making People Uncomfortable Build A Smaller Culture within a Culture to have influence over Follow a Plan before Responding to Change to build Rapport Think Systematically, Keep the whole system in mind. Not an individual piece. Assume Not! Use The Correct Term, Make an Effort to Learn it! Invite Them on the journey of success Hold The Mirror Realize Where They are at on their Transformation Journey Find Allies Find Your Own Hack!
  32. 32. Thanks Shahin Sheidaei Founder & Principal Coach Elevate Change Inc. Eglys Vera Agile Executive. Ocean and animal lover. WomenInTech @sheidaei /in/sheidaei /in/eglys-vera-a6988b/

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