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Michael became a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) in 2004 and is huge advocate of better (XP) engineering practices since discovering unit testing in 2001. Michael has a B.A.Sc. from University of Toronto in Engineering Science and a M.Sc. from U.B.C. in Computer Science. He has presented at Agile Tour Toronto and the XPToronto/Agile User group on Scrum and XP. His is also an active member of the Agile community and co-organizer of Agile Tour Toronto. Michael lives and works in Toronto, Canada, as an independent Agile and Lean coach, consultant and trainer. Michael is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 87 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Approaches to Organizational Change

05.10.2010
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Mary Poppendieck gave her usual well-researched and convincing tour-de-force presenation at LSSC10 on several approaches to organizational change with a talk titled “What’s wrong with targets?”

The purpose of the whole talk is to trash Management by Objectives. See my related blog noting the damaging effects: SMART goals may not be that smart. As an alternative, Mary shares 4 effective models for organizational change.

I have heard a lot recently about the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. It uses the metaphor of the Rider and the Elephant. I like it a lot since it lines up well with my NLP tools and understanding of the unconscious mind. Anyway the change model is very clear:

  1. Direct the rider – provide clear direction and objectives.
  2. Motivate the Elephant – appeal to emotions to provide energy for change.
  3. Shape the path – create a supportive environment that will keep things on track.



Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results by Mike Rother is a second approach for driving change. Check out the above description in the mind map. It reminds me of the A3 technique that I have been using for the last year with great success. I’ll blog on my experiments later.

Strategy and Deming’s systems analysis + PDCA + People were the two final models to round out organizational change approaches that involve people rather than measure them. Caveat: SMART is OK for projects; not people.

Related posts:

  1. Fearless Change – Patterns for introducing new ideas I first read Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas...
  2. SMART goals may not be that smart I just blogged about Daniel Pink’s case around intrinsic and...
  3. Daniel Pink on Intrinsic & Extrinsic Motivation Newsflash! Incentives and rewards are harmful to tasks that involve...
  4. Deliberate Practice – a key to Craftsmanship At Agile 2009, Mary Poppendieck presented on “Deliberate Practice” –...
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