Over a million developers have joined DZone.
Platinum Partner

Approaches to Organizational Change

· Agile Zone

The Agile Zone is brought to you in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Discover how HP Agile enterprise solutions can help you achieve high predictability and quality in your development processes by knowing the status of your projects at any point in time.

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” –...

The Agile Zone is brought to you in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Learn more about driving business innovation by leveraging Agile quality lifecycle strategies.


Published at DZone with permission of Michael Sahota , DZone MVB .

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}