What is an acceptable pace of change for your organization? The root of all improvement lies in change. Should we go all out with unmanaged chaos, or manage change as part of a strategy through extensive controls? How does your enterprise identify and engage what the appropriate pace of change is? How do you balance change to affect positive business outcomes?
How fast does your company need to innovate to stay competitive?
Remember the wisdom of Jack Welch, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.”
The answer lies in the balance of new and/or improved thinking tools, ways of working, and even ways of feeling as an organization. Every organization is unique and therefore requires a unique approach to managing change. We can always start with existing ideas and tooling and fit to purpose. Choose wisely, and actively engage and match the pace of change to the needs of innovation.
I am particularly fascinated by Rimac and their explosive growth and ability to continuously and relentlessly improve and match the external markets demand for innovation.
“We need to change everything. The whole company changes pretty much every year. – Mate Rimac”
Company founder and CEO Mate Rimac takes you deeper behind the scenes than most journalists have ever been. And this is only the first episode of the four they’ve produced.
Someone who claims expertise in and loves to play the agile game of thrones recently posted an article on Forbes.com about the Scaled Agile Framework for Lean Enterprises (SAFe). Of particular interest the author took the time to denigrate the SAFe by knocking it for not having a focus on the customer. In fact, the author, Denning, specifically states that he is worried because, “the customer is almost absent.” Denning even went through the effort to point out that the SAFe “only” has the customer represented by this little icon in the Large Solution space.
A remarkable pattern is occurring right now. And for many years. We thought the agile war was over? Experts that are supposedly focused on improving organizations around the world have given in to a state of confusion, or perhaps pure jealousy and selfishness, that leads them down a path of destruction of people and things. And we all thought the Agile revolution was about “helping others do it, better.” On face value, the Agile Manifesto is about BUILDING and CONSTRUCTING a better culture. Through building new habits based on the four core values and twelve principles.
I couldn’t agree more. In nearly every case over my 20+ year career that I’ve been invited to help scale business agility, “to become Agile – in behavior and nature”, in an enterprise the organization was already struggling with achieving agility using just Scrum and Agile. This is the basis of my often repeated statement, “Agile is dead.”
To my dismay, it is also common for the great technical and business practices and concepts from XP to not exist in the lexicon of the organization. Or, only part of XP is used, often incorrectly. It is shameful that Kent Beck’s work is not more prominent in the space. I’m glad to see that he is becoming more active again recently.
A better coaching approach (than simply proposing Scrum and Agile in a CAS) is to understand the market of tools, best practices, frameworks, et cetera and how to apply them appropriately without bias to customer context to drive better outcomes for the business or organization.
As a continuous learner, this is also why I have so much respect Alex Yakyma’s work with OrgMindset. Thinking tools are needed to properly apply and use complex tools in complex organizations. Alex said something very important and interesting during our last discussion/debate about the topics of “Agile” tools and frameworks. Paraphrasing, he said, “I’m just using everything that I know and all of my skills and experience to help businesses make more money.”
This statement is important because often Agile zealots lose sight of the purpose of business – to create wealth – for the shareholders or beneficiaries of the organization. Agile and Scrum are not the goal.
Furthermore, we often forget that Agile and Scrum start out in a state of death. Agile and Scrum are literally just words on a page. They must be given life.
This is a case where leadership completely failed in two major organizations. Some argue for completely flat (eg #gameofnothrones) organizations bereft of a true leadership team. We can’t have it both ways as “agilists.” Leadership is a function necessary in complex organizations. The key in de-scaling is Lean and Systems Thinking, not eliminating critical functions.
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