It is amusing that numerous Lean experts cite the McDonald's fast-food system as a Lean system when in fact it is an excellent mass-production system. It does not even qualify as fake Lean, because it is not trying to pass itself off as Lean. Rather, it is the confusion in the minds of the so-called Lean experts. So, what are they getting confused about? Most likely it is about the concept of on-demand, flow and standardisation.
Traditionally, technologists sat behind an organisation’s IT department walls. When they delivered technology to the designated specification, they considered their job done. Lean, in its pure form, changed this entirely, and its legacy, can be felt in current change methods that recognise the importance of front-line staff and their engagement with customers.
It is easy to point out that changing technologies, revised business models and increased competition demand an agile and adaptive response from businesses so that they can survive. While many companies seek to use these technologies to understand customers and create evermore elaborate marketing strategies, applying the technologies to redesign organisations and the world of work are less understood. Most companies simply design the people roles to serve the technologies and then the technology becomes the master.
Blame is an interesting area of psychology, a legally authorised social mechanism, and a fairly baffling human quirk. Philosophers and theorists have competing ideas about what constitutes blame and its underpinning mechanisms. However, the philosopher Tognazzini (2014) says that blame “is a negative evaluative judgement that implies responsibility.” This is a good generalisation of what blame involves, and the keyword here is negative.
A brief introduction to the article: Many Agile and Lean practitioners who have been in the business for some time learn to differentiate between transformation efforts that are real and deep-rooted and those that are sincere yet superficial. Often practitioners will say amongst themselves that a transformation is the real deal or a cargo cult, and this article aims to expand upon the origins of the term cargo cult and why there are cautionary lessons for all of us involved in and advocate Business Agility and Adaptability.
If you are a change leader -- C-suite executive or middle manager, embarking on a change program, getting the foundations right is critical. This will determine the success or failure of your transformation. Read Waste Management from our eBook, Change Readiness: Planting the Seeds for Change Success or download it in its entirety here.
Where does all the rubbish go?
You will be familiar with the word “landfill” but have you ever actually seen one? Where exactly are these places? They never appear in that “points of interest” list on a satnav and they are never signposted off the motorway. The reason for that, of course, is obvious. It is why the dumpsters are hidden around the back of your favourite restaurant. Nobody wants to think about them, let alone see them.
Autumn is on the horizon, and apparently, September is the new January, so it is back to reality. In August, we were very busy with clients and preparing for September's conferences and other engagements. In this news review we will be highlighting (1) the CAFÉ Change Planner workshop, because we will be offering a taster session this month, (2) a presentation Agile Does Not Equal Business Agility and Adaptability, (3) upcoming events and (4) our top posts for the month.
As always, if you would like to discuss any of these items or would simply like to have an informal chat on strategy, please get in touch.
It’s taken a while but medium to large organisations, have finally come to realise they need to change to compete and survive in a marketplace filled with small, more nimble competitors.
However, it's become apparent to me that many change programs hit a wall when it comes to implementation. They have the best of intentions but lack some key competencies.
During a transformation, a manager continues running their department as per usual. They have typical departmental challenges and work loads, but the managers are often tasked with implementing the new change program in addition to their daily workload. While clamouring to get their job done and respond to the challenges of the change program, managers get overburdened and frustrated.
When it all starts to fall apart, they reach out in desperation for a quick fix and the trap is sprung. Why? Because there are no quick fixes when it comes to implementing a change program. However, they try anyway and set in motion a downward spiral that many fail to recover from.
Let’s take a closer look at what happens to the program during the death spiral:
Those beleaguered managers get frustrated because they’re being ask to do a job they are not qualified to do. Managing change requires a skillset many managers just do not possess. So, investing in management and leadership competency is the simple countermeasure.
Most change programs fail when the complexity exceeds the competency of the managers. That's why they choose quick fixes instead. Ultimately, if and when the change initiative fails, the program gets blamed.
The Lloyd Parry Adaptive Business Approach
As part of our change competency plan, we actively build change-skills development into our program and create changemakers that can deploy effectively. These changemakers become internal revolutionaries who see the organisation as it is and where it needs to be, thereby gaining the courage necessary to speak truth to power.
Providing a realistic picture of change issues is not finger-pointing. What we teach them is that they need to cut through the culture and find clarity about where the real issues are that are killing the organisation.
Creating changemakers includes education and hands-on training on how to manage change, how to manage the politics of change and how to manage the range of emotions that arise from them and others in the organisation.
In truth, these changemakers turn everyone in the organisation into agents of local change. Changing the business is an ongoing process. Change is a state of mind not a project plan. Once an organisation understands this and develops changemakers, change will come more easily.
I discuss more about this topic in an Agile Amped podcast. Click here to listen.
If you would like to have a 1-to-1 call for some advice on creating change makers in your organisation, please get in touch.
It is easy to point out that changing technologies, revised business models and increased competition demand an adaptive response from businesses in order to survive. It is quite another thing to recognise what an adaptive organisation looks like in practice.
Many large organisations employ full-time change management personnel, and it is these professionals to whom Introduction to Adaptive Business Practices is primarily aimed. Read the following excerpt or download the eBook in its entirety to learn more about the importance of having an adaptive culture.
"It is worth casting our minds back to how our parent’s and grandparent’s generation did business to get an idea of how much things have changed and how quickly technology moves on. Communication technology, automation and increasingly powerful computing, have all had a massive impact on the way businesses operate across all sectors. Changing career expectations and work patterns have also had an effect.