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#NimbleVlog S01 E08 — Change management: stop playing golf on the basketball court!

#NimbleVlog S01 E08 — Change management: stop playing golf on the basketball court!


Change management started to pick up steam
in organizations at the end of the 90’s / early 2,000’s, when the pace of change
was relatively slow and controlled. And between change initiatives the dust typically
had time to settle. On top of it, change management started as
a function of the PMO, which was reporting to the CIO. So these folks had a process kind of mindset. Because of that, all the mainstream change
management methodologies that are in use today – think about Prosci and the ADKAR model
– because they were developed in that era, they all look as change management as if it
was a game of golf. The same way golfers progress on the golf
course from hole to hole, change management progresses from phase to phase. And the change managers they have in their
toolbox a lot of templates, checklists and tools specifically designed for each phase
of the “change process”. On the golf course, when the beverage cart
is coming, typically golfers they slow down; they take time for a drink and some of them
even light a Cuban cigar. In the same fashion, change managers at the
end of a phase they slow down to prepare for the next phase. Back to the golf course: at the end of the
18 holes, the golfers usually end up in the clubhouse where they have more drinks and
even a meal. Similarly, change managers have been taught
at the end of a transformation project to “refreeze” and to work on making sure
that the “future state” that has now been reached is becoming the new “current state”. So first point is that this golf-like approach
to managing change has never been very successful: just look at the research data. The first research on the success rate with
transformation initiatives was in the early ‘80s. And back then they found that it was only
30% – 33% of initiatives that were succeeding. Since then, that number has been remaining
more or less the same, which is mind blowing! But on top of it, fast forward to today: in
this era of digital transformation, the pace of change – the nature of change – is
fundamentally different from what it was in the late 90’s / early 2,000’s. Forget about controlled pace; forget about
the dust having time to settle. These days, change is fast-paced, ongoing
and disruptive. That means we cannot look at it as a golf
game anymore. We need to look at is as a basketball game. That means we need to be quick, super dynamic
and fluid. In other words, we need to be #nimble. And yet organizations continue to rely on
the old-fashion methodologies. They keep sending their people to be certified
on Prosci’s methodologies. They keep bringing golf shoes, golf carts,
golf bags and golf clubs to a game of basketball. That doesn’t make sense… A few years ago, I was talking with a client
about it and the following day I get an email from her. And in that email, there was a picture. I think she found the picture on the website
of ESPN. And the picture captures beautifully the inadequacy
of the situation, the silliness of the situation. On the picture you had bozo playing golf on
a basketball court! Doesn’t make sense… So, a few years ago, with the big push for
Agile in organizations, the most progressive of the change managers out there started to
rethink a little their approach. And instead of doing big ADKAR process, they
started to do quick ADKAR cycles to match with the sprints of the Agile methodology. That’s better; that is definitely better. But at the end of the day, this is like playing
mini putt as opposed to doing 18 holes or a 9-hole of golf. It is still playing golf… for a game of
basketball. So, this is the fundamental question to ponder:
how does your organization today deal with change, what is the mindset: is it golf or
basketball? The answer to this question is directly tied
to the chance of survival of your business…

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