Transformation: Deceptions in Disguise

by Robert Annis

Thu Apr 07, 2016 at 12:00 PM
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We frequently talk about cultural and organizational transformation since these are relatively common topics in the Agile sphere. The reason for this is that we accept that Agile thinking is a very different way of working in comparison to more traditional approaches such as Waterfall, Six Sigma etc.  If we continue to think and work in the same, older way when we are trying to work in an Agile manner, people and their organizations will likely fall back into their old ways of working. Indeed, why would they not? A tiger does not change its stripes readily.

However, while we may talk about this cultural and organizational transformation, we don't always stop and think about what it truly means. If we are looking to change the behaviors of a large group of people, all of whom have a variety of outlooks, ideas, perspectives and work habits, not to mention varied backgrounds and career experiences, then how can we bring change to the group as a whole?

The phrases 'cultural transformation' and 'organizational transformation' are misnomers at best; you cannot change the way an entire organization thinks or works together in one single effort. This is because they are not single entities. We use words like organization and culture as if they are one item, but they are simply terms to help human beings communicate and cannot be treated as an equivalent to an individual.

Recognizing this, we realize that it is critical to respect each person, his/her differences and workstyles; we must respect each individual's unique contributions and stories - those experiences, relationships and thoughts that make up who they are as individual human beings.

So perhaps the focus should be on transforming individual human beings or, at least, providing them with an environment and the encouragement that helps them to achieve this.

Central to this concept is enabling each individual to view his/her own personal and professional stories in order to understand the 'lenses' through which he/she views the world and how this influences him/her. Some people's lenses do not enable them to see certain things, or even sometimes, to focus too much on only one thing.

The key here is that personal transformations are the engines that drive change and the end result can be cultural and organizational transformation.  Recognizing along the individual's point of view way can have a huge impact upon this success.

The driver behind these personal transformations is the Agile Coach, a commonly understated role that many people claim to have mastered and few truly have. Some of the greatest moments in my career have been enabling coaches, watching them truly change other people's lives, and then watching them soar.

I'm very fortunate that at Eliassen Group I'm able to teach coaching workshops. They are the most rewarding, exciting, and enjoyable training classes that I teach!


This blog post, along with my overall love for training, explains why I do what I do. If you'd like to learn more about coaching workshops please reach out to us at agileinfo@eliassen.com or learn more about our coaching workshops and see our upcoming schedule by clicking here!

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