Quantum Monkeys Blog

How to be an awesome change leader

Change management is not an easy thing.

If you have ever lead a change endeavor, you had the pleasure to face some challenges. The fear and confusion brought by poor communication. The awakening of the organization’s immune system and the blanket resistance that comes with it. Or the planning is ridden with as many potholes as a Montreal’s street (believe me, that’s quite a lot).

One of the largest challenges is the sheer volume of situations you need to pay attention too, regardless of what they might be. It forces you to dilute your energy and often makes you lose sight of the goal or purpose of the change. There’s just too much noise.

The problem, however, isn’t that there’s too much to cope with. It’s just that we lose sight of what matters in all the noise. You can’t do everything, win every argument, convince everyone or even fight every possible battle.

The solution isn’t complicated, although it’s not easy. You have to learn to let go.

My younger self-learned that through a Zen practicing teacher of mine who would answer nearly all of my rants with the most frustrating questions ever: “Why?” and “Does it matter?” If you can’t answer those questions in a satisfactory way, then you have to let go.

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago
Quantum Monkeys Blog

Using narrative to ease change

A good story is a powerful thing.

It can move us, persuade us, makes us relate to another’s plight. Good narratives follow a structure that has been passed down from one generation to the next, making the most frightening things clear and somehow reassuring. Even surprise turns of events are expected and accepted.

Change management, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. Information is lacking, communication breaks down, and structure is often lacking or is indiscernible.

Intuitively people perceive the events around them as stories, and change management initiatives are too often partial stories, filled with cracks and uncertainty. The mind being a powerful storytelling tool, it will naturally fill those cracks and, being geared for survival, it will fill them with dreadful things.

Using storytelling as a means to communicate change, make people empathize with it, and fill the blanks with something a bit more positive than dread.

How can you do that?

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago
Quantum Monkeys Blog

The emerging face of the 21st century organization

Different models compete to be the next big thing: “classic” Agile (and its frameworks such as Scrum, XP, SAFe), Modern Agile, Lean Kanban, Lean Startup, Management 3.0, Teal Organizations, Design Thinking, Podularity, Holacracy, Sociocracy, “flatarchy”, Deliberately Developmental Organizations, and more. Many of these models emerged to address specific contexts, and many of them are complementary to each other. This can become confusing fast.

What I notice is that what differentiate these models is often far less interesting than what they have in common. We can see these commonalities in their approaches to evolution and in their application in real companies.

A portrait of the new face of 21st-century organizations is slowly emerging through the fog of competing models. At its core are the elements shared across several models, often completed by individual elements taken from different models to better customize the approach to a particular business context.

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By Maurice Lefebvre, ago