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#StartWithWhy: Why, How, What: are we all wired the same?

May 17th, 2016 Posted in Change Tags: , , , , ,

I love Simon Sinek’s video about his theory of “Start with Why“. And I have no doubt it works.

But once you’ve sold your why-idea to someone, what happens next? I was asking myself this question when thinking about change (in general, not only in organizational context).

I suspect one could sort people out in three categories:

  • Why people are those motivated primarily about the purpose or the cause of an action or a change. They’re advocates or public relations people. They find their motivation in trying to make other people see and understand their perspective, or adhere to the same “why”.
  • How people are motivated by the process or method by which to reach the Why. If the Why triggers them into motion, the How is what drives their relentless actions: How to communicate? How to best serve the cause?
  • What people are finally those who are motivated by the doing. They want to get things done, because, in the end, it’s all that count.

If the selling of an idea “starts with why”, the realization of it clearly needs all three types.

You might know the parable of the man throwing back fishes stranded on the beach. He picks them up one after another and throws them back into the sea. Yet there are thousands left to go. Comes a passerby wondering whether this makes any difference given the huge number to go proceed, some of which will probably die anyway. The guy answers, throwing another fish in the sea: “to this one at least, it does make a difference!”.

The guy throwing fishes back into the sea is a What person. A How person would take some time devising a method to throw more back to the sea at a time and a way to preserve the ones left to throw until their time has come. And finally a Why person would beat drums to gather other people to help in throwing fishes back into the sea.

I’m clearly of the How type. What about you?

Pick a project you’re working on. Who’s in charge of the Why and is it articulated clearly enough? Have you thought of the How in order to best deliver your value or message? And who’s in charge of the doing?

Arrêtez l’hypocrisie, on arrêtera le cynisme ! #management #teal #entrepriselibérée

Je ne compte plus le nombre de fois où j’ai entendu un manager dire “ça ne marchera pas, ils (les employés) n’accepteront jamais” ? Ou “les employés ont besoin d’un cadre pour travailler”.

Mais avez-vous seulement essayé autrechose ? Je veux dire, vraiment essayé.

Le fait est que les managers se contentent (au mieux) ou se gargarisent (au pire) des libertés qu’ils laissent aux employés. Mais ces libertés ne peuvent s’exercer que dans le cadre de périmètres parfaitement délimités par ces mêmes managers. Tant que l’intelligence et la liberté du collaborateur s’expriment dans ce cadre (restreint), tout va bien (pour le manager). Mais dès qu’elles essayent d’en sortir elles ne sont plus reconnue comme telle : elles se transforment en prétentions mal placées ou, pire, en arrogance.

Le fait est que l’expertise peut amener à tourner le miroir du côté du manager, qui n’aime alors pas ce qu’il y voit et en blâme le collaborateur. Lorsque cela arrive, de nouvelles règles et structures sont définies, qui enferment les collaborateurs dans de nouvelles contraintes… lui laissant toujours une petite place pour développer la seule facette de son intelligence nécessaire à la réalisation du travail qu’on lui demande. L’honneur et le statu quo sont saufs.

Et quand les contraintes posées autours de plein de petites boîtes (qu’on appelle alors “silos”) empêchent l’entreprise d’avancer de manière satisfaisante, on met en place… des chefs de projets. C’est à dire que le management va payer des gens à forcer le travail au travers de murs qu’il a lui-même mis en place. Là est l’hypocrisie ! Et lorsque cela échoue (c’est à dire que dans 90% des cas, l’avancement n’est pas assez rapide et efficace), on blâme… les chefs de projets (lesquels blâment les collaborateurs, ayant bien compris qu’il n’est pas bon de critiquer le management) !

Et lorsqu’on est obligé de gérer trop de projets parce qu’il y a trop de contraintes qui empêchent le travail de se faire seul, on met en place… une gestion de portefeuille de projets !

Et enfin, lorsque plus rien ne fonctionne que fait-on ? On demande de l’aide à des consultants, lesquels vont alors proposer des solutions que les collaborateurs avaient déjà imaginées. Et là, soit cela se fait (violemment et donc augmente le cynisme des collaborateurs), soit ne se fait pas parce que les managers n’aiment pas le ton des consultants (pour ceux qui osent tourner le miroir de leur côté), et le rapport finit dans un tiroir (augmentant donc ainsi également le cynisme des collaborateurs).

Au final, les managers demandent à d’autres personnes de forcer les contraintes qu’ils ont eux-mêmes mises en place, situation dont ils nient la responsabilité, tout en refusant les marques d’expertises qui chercheraient à démontrer l’inanité de ces contraintes et les supprimer.

Managers: arrêtez de pensez que vous êtes meilleurs que vos employés pour arranger le travail. C’est rarement le cas puisque dans la majorité des situations, vous ne pratiquez plus ce travail !

Vous avez un rôle à jouer dans l’entreprise, et un rôle important : celui de collecter une vision plus globale et systémique que celle de vos collaborateurs (occupés qu’ils sont sur leur travail), et leur en faire bénéficier, en toute transparence.

Votre rôle n’est pas de mettre des frontières autour des gens pour qu’ils restent dans leurs boîtes et de continuer à avoir une vision globale dont vous ne savez que faire parce qu’elle ne rentre évidemment pas dans les boîtes que vous avez érigées.

Vous avez bien de la chance quand vos collaborateurs acceptent encore de travailler sous les contraintes que vous leurs imposez. Et tous vos programmes de motivation n’y changeront rien si vous ne changez pas le problème de fond : votre mode de management. Au contraire : un programme de remotivation qui n’adresserait pas les causes profondes ne ferait qu’augmenter, à terme, le désengagement.

Quelle légitimité puis-je avoir à dire cela ?

Quelles solutions ? Elles sont nombreuses mais je n’en citerai que deux. Attention, c’est violent. Mais je crois que ce sont les plus valables. Plus simple et plus timide, ce ne serait que cautère sur jambe de bois. Il faut être plus radical pour être efficace.

  • Lancer des transformations de l’entreprise où le collaborateur et le client sont vraiment mis au centre (avec des bénéfices en conséquence, et non l’inverse) au travers, par exemple, de programmes Lean. Pas de fausses améliorations : par pitié, laissez faire les experts et acceptez de tester, à fond, leurs préconisations, si radicales qu’elles soient (ou si proches que vous pensiez qu’elles soient de vos pratiques actuelles : vous verrez qu’en fait vous vous trompez)
  • Libérer votre entreprise en donnant vraiment les clés de l’organisation à l’ensemble des collaborateurs et supprimez les postes de manager hiérarchique pour les remplacer par des managers élus d’activité précises. Allez lire la BD sur l’Holacracy, tentez une approche plus progressive avec la Socicoracy 3.0 ou lisez le livre plus générique de Frédéric Laloux : Reinventing Organizations. Y’a même un Wiki en cours d’élaboration ou des vidéos.

Sinon, arrêtez de vous plaindre de vos entreprises qui dysfonctionnent, laissez-nous faire notre boulot, mais ne nous demandez pas le bonheur au travail, tant que vous n’aurez pas changé.

Michael Ballé’s @TheGembaCoach Column: respect and sensei

Interesting question asked to Michael Ballé, to which I added my comments at the end (with lots of typos, sorry :-/)

Dear Gemba Coach,If lean is based on respect for people, why are sensei gemba visits reputed to be so tough?

Source: Michael Ballé’s Gemba Coach Column

Inverse correlation between designing #change and resisting it.

February 26th, 2015 Posted in Change Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been told a very old study, dated back ni 1948 reported a negative correlation between designing and resisting to a change: the more you participated in designing a change, the less you resisted it.

Of course, we all know this (albeit still try to push our ideas onto others, making them resisting), but knowing it’s really old facts, with measures is really interesting to me.

I don’t have the full paper yet, but below is the information I was given about it. Update: I did finally found it, see bottom of this paper. Thanks to Patrick Hoverstadt for the references!

Read more »

People resist #change: bullsh*t!

May 30th, 2014 Posted in Change Tags: , ,

This is an affirmation and my own experience is totally opposite of it (well, if I focus on some specific aspects).

A more acceptable affirmation would be for me: “people like or dislike change depending on the situation, but disliked changes seem to be more memorable and thus people speak more of them“.

Think of any day or your life and how things were different from the previous day: there were probably a zillions things different. Can you really say you disliked them all?

Most went unnoticed. Some were disliked, and some were liked.

I work in change management, and I can tell you that when entering Dialogues with people (not discussions where we throw ideas at our heads), people LOVE change, even thrive on change.

Provided it’s a change they want.

Now think about the change people resisted and the one they happily followed: what were the differences?

I’m rarely definitive in my statements, but “people resist change” is the most ridiculous sentence I just keep listening all day long since I happen to see just the opposite again and again. At least this sentence is wrong stated that way.

And of course, believing the sentence is the very start of a self fulfilling prophecy… I believe “People resist change”, so I don’t bother exchanging with them and I just force my changes onto them and hire change management to handle whatever dissatisfaction and resistance will happen, and since it does happen, I was right acting that way from the beginning.

One of the saddiest thing in life, mind you…

Social constructionism is to #Lean what lecturing is to #Taylorism

I just invented this one…

Of course, that Lean promotes cooperation and co-improvement of the organization (through nemawashi) makes the sentence all the more interesting 😉

All those consultants that try to force Lean down the throat of the managers that, according to them, are too dumb to “get it” are just, IMHO, plain wrong. This is the surest path to “change resistance“. Of course, telling is quicker than letting people experiment and trying to understand things from the perspective of the people.

Yet, if management is supposed to learn how to have their people conduct experiments, and then learn from them, then share them with their colleagues throughout the organization, why on earth are they lecturing and teaching them Lean?! If managers learn anything, that will be to continue in command-and-control mode and impose Lean tools and processes onto employees that won’t necessarily understand the purpose of them. And since the managers don’t know exactly how things happens on the Gemba (of many managers do “standing in the circle” for hours ?), they commands will be just resented as unsuited at best by employees, further decreasing their engagement levels, and the few trust left they might have had in their managers.

Is that really what’s wanted?

Of course, putting on my “Systems Dynamics” hat, I can see that the more consultants do it that way, the less organizations really improve on the long-term, and the more need will be felt for more Lean consulting.

I am not saying that consultants want the situation to be that way. I’m just saying that doing more of the same Lean teaching method will just produce more of the same long-term failed results.

Doing more of the same and expecting different results is the definition of insanity according to Einstein

Why do people don’t adopt #systemsthinking?

This is a recurring question in the LinkedIn forum “Systems Thinking World” hosted by Gene Bellinger. And one that haven’t had any satisfactorily answer so far.

Indeed, I think that the opposite question is valid too and even provides a hint as to one possible answer: “why do people using systems thinking don’t reverse to another way of thinking?

A more general question might be “why do people think the way they think?

Read more »

Reblog @HarvardBiz : Can You Invent Something New If Your Words Are Old?

A nice post that makes you think: Can You Invent Something New If Your Words Are Old?

Lean is deficit-based in its language: what problem do we need to fix? What failure demand do we need to take care of? What’s the gap between where you are now (bad) and where you want to be (customer need)?

Hopefully, I see the glimpse of positive change here and there:

  • Lean Startup is gaining a lot of traction when it comes to doing just what the customer want but with a constant thrust to find more and more added value, even in the form customer didn’t know they had a need for. Lean startup is also starting to be use elsewhere, like in Lean Change for instance by Jason Little.
  • Strength-Based Lean Six Sigma by David Shaked which specifically addresses this (disclaimer: I reviewed the book). The book is due on November 4th.
  • And of course the usual positive suspects (deficit word, again!): Appreciative Inquiry, Solution Focus, Positive Deviance, and much more.

In my book (“The Colors of Change“), I make the case for strength-based change approaches and explain why we don’t use them naturally (why it’s normal to fail), what can we do instead, and list some of the change approaches that I feel are strength-based and make use of a different language to achieve different (and better!) results.

Using a different language, we can co-construct a different reality, and, experimenting it, we can confirm and reinforce our thinking that this indeed works better. It’s usually better because of the absence of so-called “resistance to change”, learning step, etc.

Don’t try to match reality to your dreams (it will just reinforce the gap).

Don’t try to force your dreams onto reality (you’ll find resistance).

Instead, do search for your dreams in reality. I bet you’ll find them!

Reblog: The Big Blindspot of Every Culture-Maker: How to Go From “Outsider” to “Insider” « Get Storied #storytelling

October 14th, 2013 Posted in Change, The Colors of Change Tags: , , , ,

Funnily, I wanted to write my own Hero’s (internal) journey, and this is prcisely when I am stuck now. Hopefully, what I’ve been seeking (and found) was precisely how to do that connection with people that were lost before.

The key to my return is precisely what I have found (that weren’t really lost anyway, just hidden in plain sight).

The Big Blindspot of Every Culture-Maker: How to Go From “Outsider” to “Insider” « Get Storied: Change Your Story. Change Your World.

Read the post above, then you might want to check what I’m talking about: The Colors of Change, my currently-being-written book.

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