Category: Management

Organizational Transformation Checklist

In this post I am sharing workshop results on how to understand the readiness of the leadership to undertake organizational transformation such as the intentional upgrade of the cultural operating system. It is partly a checklist and partly a diagnostic tool to understand current perceptions.

In his seminal work, John Kotter identifies a Sense of Urgency as the key first step to any major change initiative. Success requires that “75% of a company’s management is honestly convinced that business as usual is totally unacceptable.”

In this post, additional considerations are considered.

Transformation is #1 Organizational Priority

In addition to Kotter’s remarks we add the following litmus test for undertaking transformation.

Transformation - Litmus Test

A common symptom of failure is that transformation or improving culture is listed as the fourth bullet point in the yearly objectives.

Leadership Team Readiness Checklist

What follows is one readiness checklist to assess whether the leadership in an organization is really ready. The text in blue indicates activities that can support a leadership team in understanding where it stands on each item.

Transformation - Readiness Checklist

Red Flags is a term from Good to Great where great companies have hope and faith to see the red flags or difficult truths.
Red Pill is a term from the movie the Matrix that denotes the willingness to explore disconnects in our belief system to understand the true and perhaps discomforting reality.

Dear leaders, how are you doing?

The following diagram shows a set of diagnostics that can start a real discussion around the perception of the current state of the organization. It is intended to be used for one or more people to put an “x” on the line indicating where they see that aspect. The scale increases from left to right with either a rating of 1 to 10 or from ☹ to ☺

Readiness Questions- Dear Leader

 

The astute reader will notice the last question is not a scale, but an open-ended exploration called My Worst Nightmare.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the participants in this session including Don Gray and Claudia Melo. I would also like to acknowledge the financial contribution of the Agile Alliance for sponsoring this workshop through the Supporting Agile Adoption Program.


How to Build a Culture Bubble

This post is about how one can create a bubble of a new culture inside of an existing organization. For example, this may be used by a group interested in developing an innovation and learning culture inside a typical bureaucratic organization. This post is a continuation of my earlier post on how to Build Culture Adapters to Avoid Agile Failure.

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Workshop on Characteristics of High-Performance Organizations

At Agile Tour Toronto last November, I conducted a workshop to get crowd-sourced research into high-performance organizational cultures. The purpose of this workshop was two-fold. First, to understand similarities and differences between organizational cultures. Second, to see if case-studies of high-performance cultures would resonate with Agile-oriented people.

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Lululemon – A Stellar Example of Break-Through Organizational Culture

Christine Day, the CEO of Lululemon, gave a compelling account at the Toronto Board of Trade of how Lululemon uses culture as a core competitive advantage. It is woven into the fabric of every interaction and decision, not a bunch of meaningless posters on the wall. Sadly, there is no book yet. But when there is, I believe it will have greater impact than Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness – a landmark book on organizational culture.

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Tactics, Strategy, & Culture – A Model for Thinking about Organizational Change

The following diagram is a powerful mental frame to help understand change efforts within organizations. It makes the discernment between tactical, strategic and cultural levels. One way to use the diagram is to position each change item or activity on the line to show what aspect it is focussed on.

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What is a Team?

Here is an infographic on “what is a team?”. I created it to help explain the concept in an upcoming workshop. Now I think it will be part of my basic Agile training.

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