In this post I am sharing workshop results on how to understand the readiness of the leadership to undertake organizational transformation such as the intentional upgrade of the cultural operating system. It is partly a checklist and partly a diagnostic tool to understand current perceptions.
In his seminal work, John Kotter identifies a Sense of Urgency as the key first step to any major change initiative. Success requires that “75% of a company’s management is honestly convinced that business as usual is totally unacceptable.”
In this post, additional considerations are considered.
Transformation is #1 Organizational Priority
In addition to Kotter’s remarks we add the following litmus test for undertaking transformation.
A common symptom of failure is that transformation or improving culture is listed as the fourth bullet point in the yearly objectives.
Leadership Team Readiness Checklist
What follows is one readiness checklist to assess whether the leadership in an organization is really ready. The text in blue indicates activities that can support a leadership team in understanding where it stands on each item.
Red Flags is a term from Good to Great where great companies have hope and faith to see the red flags or difficult truths.
Red Pill is a term from the movie the Matrix that denotes the willingness to explore disconnects in our belief system to understand the true and perhaps discomforting reality.
Dear leaders, how are you doing?
The following diagram shows a set of diagnostics that can start a real discussion around the perception of the current state of the organization. It is intended to be used for one or more people to put an “x” on the line indicating where they see that aspect. The scale increases from left to right with either a rating of 1 to 10 or from ☹ to ☺
The astute reader will notice the last question is not a scale, but an open-ended exploration called My Worst Nightmare.
I would like to thank the participants in this session including Don Gray and Claudia Melo. I would also like to acknowledge the financial contribution of the Agile Alliance for sponsoring this workshop through the Supporting Agile Adoption Program.