Reinventing Organizations for Enterprise Agility

Reinventing Organizations for Enterprise Agility

Here are the slides for an interactive workshop Olaf Lewitz and I presented at Agile 2015. Reinventing Organizations for Enterprise Agility from Michael Sahota Description We present an alternative view to fitting agile into larger organisations to achieve the goal of Enterprise Agility. Inspired by Fred Laloux’ book “Reinventing Organisations”, we offer a coherent and comprehensive model for organizational development which encompasses the past and guides us into the future. Agile finds its place in these concepts, and becomes a means to move between the model’s stages. As a leader in an organization on its agile journey, you’ll notice at various pain points that increasing agility struggles with existing organizational structures, governance systems and management expectations. We’ve understood for a while that the prevalent ways of how we run organizations are not compatible with Agile. We’ve tried to package Agile in a way that makes sense to people in organizations working the classical way. Learn what’s new and essential about this model: the idea of organizational models developing with the evolution of human consciousness, progressing in clear stages. Now being a time where a new organisational model is emerging, and what that looks like. Learn how self-management, wholeness and evolutionary purpose shape organisations where agile will flourish and which agile can help bring... Continue reading »
My Journey: Agile, Culture & Transformation

My Journey: Agile, Culture & Transformation

It has been 3 years since I wrote “An Agile Adoption & Transformation Survival Guide: Working with Culture” to help the Agile community increase success in spreading Agile. In this video, I share the highlights of what I have learned. Some of it is around thinking tools such as the Laloux Culture Model and some of it is around my inner journey to reach a place where I can really help people and organizations. My goal is for you to take away some practical tools as well as inspiration for your own... Continue reading »
Enterprise Agile or Agile Enterprise?

Enterprise Agile or Agile Enterprise?

There is a huge world of difference between Enterprise Agile and Agile Enterprise. They are both valuable and accomplish very different things. Enterprise Agile Enterprise Agile addresses the question – “How can we use elements of Agile to improve typical corporate environments while staying within the existing paradigm of traditional (Tayloristic) management. This is Orange level in Laloux Culture model. In the diagram we see that traditional management practices are in part replace by Agile ones. In this case we are adopting Agile practices and may well have small pockets of Agile culture as well. SAFe is a good example of practice adoption. We typically see a very structured approach to orchestrate activities that are all about top-down steering and control. Scaling Agile The industry term Scaling Agile is about how can we scale Agile practices to support the Enterprise. It is essentially Enterprise Agile that is focused on adoption in large-scale environments. In contrast, Agile as a mindset or culture is about a way of being and does not require specific practices to scale. Agile Enterprise With the Agile Enterprise the we are evolving an organization that is very adaptable and resilient to change. Anti-fragile is a good description for this type of organization. In the Laxoux Culture model this would be represented by Green or perhaps even Teal levels. In an Agile enterprise, there is leadership at all levels. The people who are closest to the work are the ones driving decisions. Here we replace top-down control with a clear organizational purpose, shared values, visibility and trust. Since everyone is contributing to the shape and direction, the results are emergent.... Continue reading »
Culture is the Core of Your Organization

Culture is the Core of Your Organization

Culture is at the core of your organization. Everything in your organization informs culture. And vice-versa: culture informs everything in your organization. Here is an illustration: Culture is at the Core Culture = “How we do things around here to succeed” Each element is the above diagram intimately tied to your organizational culture. Let’s consider each in turn: Leadership: Who is allowed to lead change in your organization? Is it just managers or is anyone allowed to initiate a change program? Management: What are managers expected to do? How are they expected to behave? Are they elected by staff? Org Structure: Is there a hierarchy that shows importance and power? Roles: Do people have clearly defined roles that limit how they can contribute? Can people easily create new roles to meet new business needs? Systems: Are these chosen to serve business needs or to reduce costs and standardize? How do they enforce or limit behaviours? Policies: What rules do we have for people? How much do we trust them to make good decisions on their own? Processes: Are our processes designed to support the needs of customers and staff? How much process (rules) do we need? In what areas? Unwritten rules & norms: What are the sacred cows and taboo subjects? What is acceptable behaviour? Identity: How do we see ourselves in relation to the organization’s purpose? Values: What are the stated values? How well does this reflect what actually happens? Behaviour: What we say and do is the most concrete manifestation of culture. How we think about ourselves and our organizations will show up in every single meeting. Not only in how... Continue reading »
Culture Change: Reinventing Organizations

Culture Change: Reinventing Organizations

The following infographic adapted from Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations shows: A path for reinventing your organization. The reason why management and workers need to care. Culture Change Model   The infographic shows that greater trust and consciousness leads to higher engagement and better results. Better results is proven out by case study after case study. As organizations develop from one stage to the next, they develop a more human approach that leads to greater trust. The Teal stage is shown as separate since it yields dramatic benefits and represents a paradigm shift from conventional management thinking. Please see: Laloux Culture Model for a description of each of the stages of development. The Reinvention Path Increased success requires that we focus our efforts on developing organizational trust and consciousness to foster engagement. We may consider how our existing processes, structures, and behaviours support or reduce engagement.  We may measure engagement scores to see if we are on the right track. A good place to start is by understanding where we are today: is the way our organization functions mainly Orange stage, Green stage or somewhere in between? When we inventory different areas of functioning (See P. 237) , what stage are we at? It helps to do this without judgement. Where we are is where we are. It’s a fact. Not good, not bad. We may read through case studies in books or other business literature to inspire us to desire a different future and give us ideas of what experiments we wish to run to move us in that direction. My suggestion here is to start with small experiments. We need to take small steps so we may... Continue reading »
People over Process – Win with People

People over Process – Win with People

Success comes from Valuing People When we simplify the Agile Manifesto’s “Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools” we get “People over Process”. Agile is about people. It’s about a people-first culture. Sadly, many organizations are mired in organizational debt: mistrust, politics and fear. Changing the process won’t fix this. We need to go to the root of it – to find a way to talk about and shift to a healthier culture: one that values people. The VAST (Vulnerability, Authentic Connection, Safety and Trust) shows us how we can make our workplaces more human. We outline a fundamentally different approach for organizational change: one where valuing people is integral to building lasting success. Slides from my Keynote at Lean Into Agile Conference Video Summary (7 minute... Continue reading »
Letting Go of Agile (Culture)

Letting Go of Agile (Culture)

“If you want something very, very badly, let it go free.  If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever.  If it doesn’t, it was never yours to begin with.” – Harry Kronman I have discovered the truth of this with Agile. The one time in my whole life I truly surrendered my attachment to Agile, it resulted in a beautiful transformation starting. But most of the time I was too attached to Agile to let it go. This post is about how we may accidentally harm organizations with Agile and how we can let go so that we may succeed. Accidentally Harming Organizations Here is the basic thinking: Agile is a good thing. We can help companies if they use Agile. Let’s do it! Trap #1: Accidentally introduce cultural conflict Agile for me is basic common sense – this is how to get stuff done. BUT Agile does not work in most organizations due to culture. Sure there are some small pockets where Agile just works but this seems to be relatively rare – especially now that Agile has crossed the chasm. Agile is a different culture from most companies, so the first trap is to accidentally introduce organizational conflict. That’s why I wrote “An Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide: Working with Organizational Culture” – to help people notice this trap and avoid it. My suggestion was to look at two options: Adopt elements of Agile that fit with the culture. Transform the organizational culture. For many, option 1 is like giving up on Agile since they key part of it is missing so many Agile folks don’t like that... Continue reading »
Stop Agile Initiatives!

Stop Agile Initiatives!

I am sick to death of Agile Initiatives because they usually fail. Sure there are some companies where Agile just fits, but the most common case is a culture conflict. Best fix I know is: Agile is NOT the Goal (Workshop) The core problem is that the typical approach used to initiate Agile is inconsistent with Agile goals of empowerment and engagement. Paul Heidema and I ran a session to explore this at Agile Open Toronto this Spring and this post is a way to share the key learnings. This is a great workshop to run with people to help them understand different options for engaging with change. I Caused Damage By Agile … My mom used to say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Here is how I and others have caused damage with Agile:   Of course you can replace the word “Agile” with any other word such as “Lean”, or “Total Quality Management” or <Fill-in-the-blank>.  Real Change Happens When… We then reflected on the times when we participated and witnessed real change and found that it emerges – it’s not forced: How Change Your Agile Initiative into Something Better Real success comes from digging in deep on what is important and really valued in the organization – not just jumping on the Agile bandwagon. Here is are practical exercise you can use to transform your Agile Initiative into something more resilient and lasting: Agile is NOT the Goal (Workshop) Acknowledgements We really appreciate all the folks who showed up and participated in this session. It was... Continue reading »
Page 1 of 612345...Last »