Agile Coaching Network

Building "Yes, and" culture, how to bring culture change to an organization, and what people are reading

September 23, 2019 Episode 35
Agile Coaching Network
Building "Yes, and" culture, how to bring culture change to an organization, and what people are reading
Chapters
00:00:00
Introduction
00:00:37
Building a culture of "Yes, and..."
00:28:17
How do you bring cultural change to an organization?
00:40:40
What are you reading?
00:41:45
Wrap-up and upcoming events
Agile Coaching Network
Building "Yes, and" culture, how to bring culture change to an organization, and what people are reading
Sep 23, 2019 Episode 35
Agile Alliance
We talk about building a "Yes, and..." culture, how do you bring cultural change to an organization, and much more.
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, (00:37) we talk about building a "Yes, and..." culture; (28:17) How do you bring cultural change to an organization?; (40:40) What are you reading?; (41:45) Wrap-up and upcoming events. 



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Intro Music:
0:07
[Intro Music]
Ray Arell:
0:07
Good morning and good evening everyone. This is the agile coaching network. The agile coaching network is brought to you by the agile Alliance. If you don't know who the Agile Alliance is. It's a nonprofit organization that started the agile movement back in 2001 and its early days was about having events and conferences, but it's slowly evolved into a full blown network organization that is supporting its members and if you are an Agile Alliance members, thank you. Because that actually enables things like this podcast to be able to be produced and to be run. So to kick things off today, I wanted to start with something that I was noticing that was taking place at a couple of companies that I was visiting and as well as some of the stuff that I saw the online recently that was talking about an aspect of something about culture. And that was a lot of agile coaches today go off and they look at culture from the perspective of this "yes and" culture. And you hear, hear this quite a bit. If someone's been in the agile community or if you've got a, a highly productive agile team, you tend to hear less of the nose. Uh, you know, the no culture of, of, you know, if somebody says, could you do X by a certain time? Uh, it doesn't start off typically with a conversation. Well, yes. And um, it typically starts off with the word no in certain contexts and certain companies, and I know that from my own fortune 100 experience and I, and I spent 32 years inside of a big fortune 100 and we were very much a no culture when we started our agile journey. Getting us to a point where even when the customer comes and asks for something, it typically was loaded as no. No is actually to me it, and I've read other articles that said the same thing about this, which is no is pretty much a defense mechanism. And, and no typically is when you're pushing up against somebody's safety needs or their psychological needs, you tend to get the word no from individuals if you're challenging them in that space because they're trying to protect themselves. No, as a defensive word, it's meant, and there's nothing wrong with being defensive in that regards if you're trying to go protect yourself and you see this all the time with when we set boundaries for, for our own children or for even, you know, people that we have around us that we say, no, you don't do that because of X. You typically don't say if there's a safety issue, you don't say, well yes and you can go closer to that cliff if you want to and you shouldn't go too close. But the reality is is we tend to yield with the word no. I think that yes, cultures really come from this, this upper case where when you've satisfied the safety needs of your people and yourself, that when you're talking about things that are up higher in the hierarchy of needs, you know the love, the esteem, the self actualization of expanding where you want to go and move around in your life. I think that's where this yes and fits incredibly well. And, and so when I was thinking about this and, and the bigger context of this, what came to mind is the improv culture that some organizations start to go off and promote. And I'm almost finished with this, this opening dialogue so we can get to the conversation. One of the people that I looked at that had a really good explanation of, of improvisational culture and how that affects collaboration in life was Tina Fey. And she published a book a number of years back and she published off the four rules of improv. And the four rules of improv really comes from this category of not just you saying yes, but it's also how you interact with others that are in the environment that you're with. And that is in the first stage of this. You, you always agree and say yes. And that agreement is followed by a yes and, and the way that I've took an improv class a number of years ago and one of the things that they were bringing up in that was, is that the yes and culture is about not invalidating somebody's universe. Meaning that yes, I'm acknowledging that what you just said or the type of path that you want to do is, is the proper path the, and that's after that, um, is adding something from yourself to that conversation. Meaning that yes, we can do that and we could sequence it, you know, behind this other priority that we've already put up or if we, if we need to, we could reorganize this priority and make that a higher priority. So in that context, we've not invalidated. They did the person that particular item that they want is something that they want. We're just adding a little bit more clarity around how we can help them to go deliver that. The second half of this is the other two rules that are in here, which is it's about being a part of the solution. And as I was talking about how we reprioritize things in a backlog that's really not telling somebody no, it's really telling somebody it's just going to be later. It's not going to take place at this time. And the last point is, and this is I think a part of that safety, which is there's really no mistakes, which is if we prioritize something wrong or even though we said yes to this, but the yes, basically it was longer than it we anticipated. We're only looking for more opportunities based upon that. So one other framing for this and then I'll get to the main questions of it is that this was something that I posted on Twitter last night, which was I thought this was another great example of a yes culture, but it's interesting that the framing that Shawn did with this, and for those of you that are not looking on the online text that's here, this was a dialog between a manager and an employee person asked, could they go work from home? The expectation was is that there was going to be some sort of a no that was going to come from that because the person was asking, can I go work from home? And then the person just says that you don't have to apologize for doing this. And I'm paraphrasing a bit of what the comment was from the manager basically says, look, if you want to come to the your office nine to five, that's fine. If you want to work from home, that's fine. If you want to work from the garage while they fix your car, and that's fine. Went on to all these different reasons. And basically it was saying that one, I trust you to get your job done, which I think is very important to set a context for a yes culture. And the next part of it was let's keep the clients happy and if I'm happy then heck, these flexible work patterns can can work for us. So, I know that was a long roll up to get to this particular point where I want to kick off the conversation, but I wanted to kind of give you what was in my mental mindset of this things around. Yes... And I want to know what you think and I'm just going to go kick off a poll real quick here. I want to see whether or not you live in a no culture or a yes culture and I'll leave this poll open for a few seconds. 51% of you that are on this call are living in a no culture and 49% of you are working and in a yes culture. So I'm sort of curious, for those of you who are in the yes culture position, how was that enabled? How was that done? Amint, what do you have?
Call in Guest :
7:36
Uh, yes. So, um, for me the yes culture was enabled when I was in a position where I could deal directly with the client and um, I had some sort of a say in whether we could go ahead and with the a request for change and then that kind of a transition unwittingly into a no culture when a will I move laterally. And there the uh, um, there, there was a, there was a stronger control by my, the management on what you can do.
Ray Arell:
8:04
I'm kind of interested. So when you said that transition occurred, was that within the same company or
Call in Guest :
8:09
it was a different company?
Ray Arell:
8:12
It was a different than me. How did you feel walking into that?
Call in Guest :
8:15
Um, it was, it was definitely more constraining, uh, in that it was definitely more constraining. So, um, you kind of have, you kind of have to push back to the client. Um, well you don't want to push it back to the client, but you kind of have to and just tell them that maybe we could work on this, uh, improvement at a later time.
Ray Arell:
8:36
Okay. And did the, as far as the overall feeling of that from between the two, the two cultures, were you eventually able to get it more to a yes culture or was it more still just by the time you, you know, everyday was still just a know
Call in Guest :
8:49
it is, it is a no culture. Um, hopefully if I can bring some of the from this call to the organization, if I can influence them into a more positive direction.
Ray Arell:
9:04
Okay, great. Liliana.
Call in Guest :
9:07
Hey, so, um, a lot of the work I do, I'm a change agent within our organization and I deal with transformation and organizational and structural change. And I'm really lucky because I have a fantastic people leader who trusts me. And so when I'm able to suggest or recommend something, they support me. And that's super important to have, especially when I'm working with my teams, to enable them to know and understand that they are empowered to do what they want and that we're not going to tell them. No. So yeah,
Ray Arell:
9:43
That sounds like it started from the very beginning when you were there at the company, or was that something that you had to enable?
Call in Guest :
9:49
I had to enable it. I had to integrate it and you know, bring practices and, and build relationships in order for us to be able to get there. I'm, I'm a coach too, so, you know, it's just building that and getting to a point where people will say yes because they trust you to that. I think that's super important. So,
Ray Arell:
10:13
so foundationally trust it was a, was a key ingredient for that time. I have, I find that that, and also transparency, if you're in a lot of transparency and trust those work together, but if you have low trust transparency doesn't, yeah,
Ray Arell:
10:27
very well.
Call in Guest :
10:27
I agree. And I was gonna say I'm, I'm always forthcoming and visible and honest so we can have those either difficult or whatever conversations to be able to get to where we can say yes to things and just trust that everyone's making their decision that they need to do, you know, make to get whatever it is they need to get done. Right. So, sure.
Ray Arell:
10:51
Well, one other question on the, on that and the, I'm curious cause you, you've mentioned a couple of times as your coach. Um, do you, do you find that, um, your company has a culture, a coaching culture, meaning that people are tend to be using the culture? It's easy for me to talk today. Do you find people more leading with coaching language rather than sort of the telling language.
Call in Guest :
11:15
So, um, our company is actually not for profit healthcare company and we really think about it from perspective of we're here not only to take care of people and make sure people are healthy, but take care of our colleagues as well. So, um, when we have those conversations, going back to what you're saying, it's kind of like, I mean, I don't know if I'm injecting coaching, you know, linguistics in there, but they are more open because we, um, we kind of have that servant attitude because we're serving others less fortunate than, right. So
Ray Arell:
11:54
they're very receptive. I don't know if that answers your question, but I think it kinda does have a, foundationally you, you know, you're in a, you're in a mode of taking care of people anyway. So the, you're always, you're always looking for, you're always testing to see whether or not people are comfortable, I guess. Is that a good way of saying it? Yes, that's, yeah. Yeah, exactly. Well, great. Thank you. Um, Randall, what do you have?
Call in Guest :
12:21
Yes. Uh, I've, uh, have kind of an interesting situation here. Uh, I'm currently at a company that's been, uh, uh, it was a larger company, was recently bought out by an even larger company, but in the, the previous state we had, it was definitely a no culture here. And just due to the nature of the business we have there, very low turnover rate. A lot of people have been here for 1520 years and they're so used to that no culture that the new company has come in is trying to change it to a yes culture. But the everybody is just so wrapped up into the no culture. They say, Oh they're going to use this to beat us up with it and you know, we can't do this, can't do that. And it's, I, it's interesting because I see that the new company with the new management is really, really trying to change that and being very honest about it. Genuine about wanting to change. But it's funny to see the, or interesting to see the, you know, all the team members are, are very leery and you know, it's been about a year now already and they're still very much, they're so used to that no culture to get them to start being more comfortable with, you know, this yes culture. It's such a culture shock to them. But it's, it is interesting to see.
Ray Arell:
13:27
That is interesting. I'm not sure if you've read, there was a book on Pixar by Ann Cadwell, I believe it was the guy who when Pixar studios was very much a yes culture in the, in the very beginning and when they were bought by Disney and Pixar management took over Disney animation studios. He has a really great chapter in that book about talking exactly about what you're saying there, which is the, they were coming in with the mindset, Hey that you know, everything's going to be in this. Yes. And, and everyone there at Disney was basically just couldn't do it. They were for so many years, told no the, the art of the learning. That was a big section in that book. So I would recommend reading that. I thought it was very good.
Call in Guest :
14:13
Yes, I will definitely have to check that one out.
Ray Arell:
14:15
Well, cool. Thank you. Thank you for your insights. Emily, what do you have?
Call in Guest :
14:20
I'm going to echo some of the same, same things. I'm in a large company that is in the middle of a transformation. And so we get messages that say, you know, we want to be saying yes and advocate for transparency, but then we've got, you know, and those might be coming from leadership. And then we've got mid level leaders that aren't used to those kinds of behaviors. So it, it ends up being a little bit of like lip service, you know, because the behaviors don't match the messages. And so it's awkward. And then again, even as a, you know, we're definitely advocating, you know, for openness and transparency and trust and you know, telling people to behave in those ways. But just because we're in the midst of this transformation, it's, it's wonky. I think people hear a message and they, and then they say no and they trip and they realize, you know, that they're not, maybe they realize that they're not, you know,
Call in Guest :
15:16
adhering to this new direction because it is new and they, they have just, they have an old behavior. So it is just a really interesting dynamic of a transformation. You know, it's like a desire to change. But the actions just take practice and take a lot of time to really propagate,
Ray Arell:
15:35
sort of a interesting parallel to that was, is the culture that I used to be with. We were very awful about just giving people thank you's and rewards because we had this sort of internal attitude of, well, well you delivered that, thank you for doing your job. You know, it was sort of this kind of hidden culture that we had. And I know that when we started to flex that muscle of recognition, it hurt. It didn't feel good to, to do that because you were always pushing against this paradigm of how you were taught growing up through the culture, which was, Hey, you know, I just like you did your stuff so good. You know, we'll get it. What do you need me to say that for? And I think the same thing in the U S culture was the same hard transition for us. And I was listening to, and it was an unrelated podcast, but it was um, it was on NPR and it was talking about the relations in the South between different people in different races. And they were, they were talking about this one person went into a predominantly ethnic area and he joined a church group there and made a mistake. I mean he just said something that was off color and just really bad and everyone started to, to kind of rip into the individual. But the person who was running the congregation says that Hey, we need to give people permission to be clumsy. They probably didn't know any better. And I carried that with me in my coaching toolkit, which is the fact that if you have these senior managers who are starting to behave in that way, you know, a simple reset, you know, kind of a reminder. And I used working agreements is my key tool on that, which was here's what our working agreement says, we are going to tend to be more, you know. Yes. And, and just, you know, subtle reminders, you know, into that space. Ashwin that dude, I get your name correctly.
Call in Guest :
17:32
Hi, can you hear me? So, um, it's a mixed culture. Uh, yes and no. Both. Uh, the reason I say is, um, we would waterfall before and then slowly move to agile. Uh, it's, yes, most of the time if something is repetitive and we have been successful in the past and it is no when it is a new stuff that's being introduced. Um, so when, whenever they was S, uh, from the leadership team or from the organization, it was something that was already successful and we had parameters to measure metrics to measure. So those were the scenarios. But on cases where we want to try something new and implement something that's different than what it was done, there was lot of times no. And when we started with that agile journey, it was more frequent because everything that we did was different than what we did before. So they didn't have any baseline to measure against. And most of the time there was an uneasiness when they want to make a decision or when they want to improve, uh, approach. Um, so I think it is from not just the leadership team, it's also from you being a role model and your team being influenced to accept that yes, culture. So when I started as a coach on this theme, I I influence my team. It's okay to say yes when you are really want to do something and you're empowered to do that. So it has to start with your team and you, you are still being a role model and sometimes um, to uh, convince your leadership team you may want to start small, um, as a pilot, as an experiment and we transparent with the resides or lessons learned and how we want to improve on that. That kind of builds confidence or a period of time. It's a gradual process to change from no to yes, but it's possible when you start small and it is having everybody with you in the journey.
Ray Arell:
19:36
Sure. No, I I like, I like some of your suggestions there. I do believe that agile culture is, and sort of the smaller increments of potential success tend to lead more towards yes culture versus the, as you said, the waterfall culture, which is the big bet. And if I make this big bed and I lose, we all hurt. I do see that as well. So thank you for that. Cindy, what do you have?
Call in Guest :
20:02
Yeah, no, thank you. This is, this is my first opportunity to join this network. So I just want to, uh, say how, how excited I am to be here. And it's so a propos as well because, so I'm relatively new. I'm working in new environment, which is actually a university environment. And, uh, I kept being told when I came on that, you know, higher education is a different beach and beast and has a different culture than I came from primarily sort of, um, you know, corporate and, or startup, um, high tech, you know, corporate industry. And it's, it's interesting, it's, it has been a very different experience. And so just recently there's a strategic plan that they're trying to promote and advance on. And, and I've joined a, uh, I've become a co lead on a team called the cultural norms working team. And so, I mean, part of my, for me, the, the culture has been very, very interesting because on the one hand, the university, you know, prides itself on being very innovative and in fact it has a very yes and culture, um, on the sort of, I guess more of a external perspective or just in, you know, at a higher level. It's like, you know, we're a university, we love to learn, we're very encouraging, et cetera. And yet I'm in the office of information technology, um, on the staff side. And what I'm finding is that, but underneath there seems to be this sort of fundamental, um, almost fear-based know culture and it's very, um, sort of, it's a dichotomy that I hadn't really expected. And so as part of the, as helping to lead this team. Well, and just one other aspect, um, so they are primarily more phased and are waterfall, although I was brought on specifically to, um, to introduce, and I'm running a very large scale agile project. And so it's, there's a lot going on. And so I'm trying to, um, you know, sort of bring about the spirit of agile and get people to think differently. But I guess where I was curious cause I'm, I'm thankful I'm getting a lot of ideas from this call, but does anybody else have any, you know, maybe specific recommendations around activities or, you know, I'm trying to think of how to take kind of the, the whole improv con concept and, and try to use some activities and stuff. So maybe just some very specific types of, uh, activities that might be able to use in continuing to try to promote a different environment here.
Ray Arell:
22:41
Sure. I don't know how your um, team takes to sort of the, you know, the development opportunities that sometimes are introduced. But we, we decided to actually bring an improv coach in for a little bit and that improv coach, it helped us to kind of one relax a little bit. Cause I think that taking a stage and not invalidating somebody because it tended, we used more invalidating words than we did validating words in our, in our speech. And the way that we handled ourselves, and this was speaking specifically about the team level as well as the manager level of the group. So going through those improv sessions I think helped us realize when we stopped momentum, because some of the sessions that they would do would be the yes and, and then the, you'd pass it to somebody and then they would give their view of something and then you know, not invalidate the previous person and then pass it to somebody else and that person wouldn't then validate it and they would add something to it and so on and so forth. I found that those exercises were very valuable to see that in the beginning we got by maybe two people and then they would fall apart and we would look at the pattern of, well, how can we, how can we get this around the room first, you know, let alone, how can we get it around just two of us talking, how can we now get it through the entire team? And I thought that worked really well as a group. And there's a number of improv coaches that can come in and they make it funny and light. And I think those team buildings work really well. And as we go through the rest of them, if anyone else has suggestions for Cindy as well, I'm definitely bring them up. Diane.
Call in Guest :
24:18
Uh, I would also say, and I agree with everything everybody said, this is a super rich conversation, but I wanted to go back a little bit and talk about the mid managers. You're to really get where they're at because they are expert in their field. And so they become very used to people relying on them, telling them, directing them. And when you come in with a culture and you're saying yes and they feel super threatened, they work around waiting for, you know, the big problem to surface or the big risk and they can point at it and say, yeah, see this isn't gonna work. We've got these problems and you write up them all get in the gate. So one of the things, um, that I have found is making sure that people really understand what's in it for them, especially the mid managers, which is really serious engagement and energy that totally comes out of people being turned loose with. Yes and, and I think that really helps. And you can't underestimate the negativity that might be under the surface that will come back at a later date and stomp all your positive efforts. So I think that's a really big thing to think about. Totally agree with what you said, Ray. It's really hard for people to learn how to do this, especially when you're used to the know culture team or managers. And one of the things that I found that was super helpful in terms of a tool was not in the management three O book, but in a Jergens book happiness book. He's got a chapter in there, he does improv stuff. I took that information and created a coaching carbs around all of those situations and actually played it as a game both for the team and others to help them really grow that muscle around how do you talk very naturally and say yes and especially if it's totally foreign to you and the practices absolutely essential. And I didn't read it in a culture anything. I just ask them if they would play the game together and get used to saying yes and with these cards
Ray Arell:
26:32
and that worked out for you,
Call in Guest :
26:34
you might have a few people that were very hesitant because they're not used to being positive and maybe they needed more encouragement. That's when I did it with the team, including the adult leadership if you would, who sometimes were a little negative. We're helpful. Everybody talk differently and get comfortable talking differently.
Ray Arell:
26:58
That's very, very good. I mean, I think middle management is to do, to put it in the very beginning suffers from a couple of, um, couple of key patterns that I've noticed. One I think we, we tend to not give them enough credit for the fact that yes, they did either raise through the ranks or we hired them into this position because they provide a certain set of skills to the organization. But the one thing that we've, they primarily do is a big chunk of middle management is about governance. They are the ones who are enforcing the rule system of the company. And what I find is, is that sometimes that when we, we start to do a cultural transformation, we forget that we have to go look through the rules that people are trying to go enforce and making sure that we are, um, changing those rules and making sure that it does affect every single, uh, set of governance systems that we have around the organization. And I know that I used to run a prominently no based, um, program management group at one time and as soon as we started to do that switch over to an agile culture and a yes culture, we have to change the dynamics about those people operated. So yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you for your comment. Go ahead and go off to the main questions. Top question that's up on the list here and some of this is actually while I've been just talking about which is how do you bring cultural change to an organization. Skip, what do you have on this?
Call in Guest :
28:29
Well specifically one of the things I learned recently, uh, I guess this process itself is an card at the end. Essentially what they were saying and it just is that change occurs one person at a time and it seems very logical. Um, the question is which are the people with whom we should start? That's really about it
Ray Arell:
28:50
when you're saying that or is that a coalition of the willing or coalition of of whom?
Call in Guest :
28:56
I'm kind of curious. Okay. If I need some sort of a change in the practice, there are, however that change occurs, I'm going to see a change in behavior that somehow related to change the thoughts around that behavior questions and where, which person would be most likely to influence some of the people around or because as an individual I touched them all. But if I can touch a few key people and make a difference in the way that they see things, then they will in turn influence others. And that change begins to square.
Ray Arell:
29:31
Right. So I mean the way that I originally approached this was about how do we create change agents in the environment and change or the P the coalition of the willing, they're the people who are like thinkers that have influence within the organization and they're the people who as you enable them with whatever resources that they need, it tends to propagate sort of like, I guess Amway for people who don't know what Amway is. Since this is a worldwide call, it's, it's, you know, this is the best soap there is. And those people would go sell the soap to other people and they would sell soap to their other friends and so on and so forth until we selling a lot of soap. It's, some of that I think becomes incredibly, it's infectious. I guess it becomes sort of a, a way of one that they're living the way that we would have expected them to or as the, the, type of culture that we want to go see and they're, they're off and propagating that by what they do.
Call in Guest :
30:31
Um, Ray, this is Randy again. Um, one thing that I remember from when I took my, uh, certified agile leader class from Michael Sahota. Uh, one thing that he said that really resonated with me is it starts with me. And that's something that I always try and go through. And when I'm at, you know, working with teams or when I go to a new company that I always remembered, it has to start with me. And it's like I said, it has to be one at a time. And if it is, it's not easy, but that is just one thing that, you know, like I said, I have to keep reminding myself that it starts with me. I can't expect it from somebody else, but I have to show it. I have to be that, that change to hopefully get others to do the same.
Ray Arell:
31:11
Right. I noted that, um, what I said this in my leadership classes, that culture comes from the leaders and the, and being a leader doesn't mean that you have to have any particular positional power that anyone can step up and be a leader in that case.
Call in Guest :
31:24
Yeah, I just thought it would be useful to bring in the work that I do around coaching in knowledge, which is associated with agile in the sense that the KCS acknowledged center service methodology refers to agile and is, um, kind of a, um, parallel agile methodology. And listening to the conversations that you've had over the few times I've attended, I'm really excited about just at this point, just mentioning that the KCS methodology does have some practices that are fairly specific around culture and helping people move to a new way of working in terms of sharing, which is usually a change in mindset. And mindset change from my perspective has to come from two levels. One, the people who are doing things, who are actually needing to make a change and know they need to change, and are more usually excited about the fact that there's going to be a change to benefit everybody. From the sense of they're doing the work every single day with knowledge particularly and knowledge being, you know, used, used to help them, that's always going to mean a lot better stuff for them. And then the other group is the leaders and the generally need some help with constructive strategic planning around what the change requires. And the other methodology that I like here is the agile sort of agile. It's not really agile. So the methodology called pro PSI, which is a change management methodology for project management. And it supports project management by supporting the leaders with very good strategy around communication, bringing in the right key stakeholders who need to be engaged, identifying how they should be communicated with in the sense of knowing who's who and their best form of being communicated with in the sense of this person like social media. This person has very little time. Let's make sure we get that into their agenda, but also bringing in key stakeholders from the teams. So everyone in their teams is given information about change that's coming in a way that is relevant and showing them the benefits that to the individuals and to the teams. And then on top of that, there's this other level, which is kind of what I considered to be organizational management and leadership to do with the wider picture strategy of the organization and linking the change that we're trying to make in their minds with the organizational goals. And all of that links back to the mini goals the teams might decide on and or individuals that they have in terms of outcomes that they'd like to achieve. All should kind of integrate in with the customer needs. So ultimately the organization's looking after what they do with the customer. And ideally they have goals and outcomes they're hoping to achieve to improve customer experience. So ultimately everybody gets the picture that, Oh, by the way, there is a customer and we need to make sure that we think about the customer when we're setting our goals and making changes. It's really, it has to have some benefit to the customer ideally as well.
Ray Arell:
34:44
What did I find interesting about what you're talking about? And I like what you bring up. I use some similar approaches. I constantly will be brought into a company who will last, you know, I want to be um, innovative. The innovation is our, our new key word that we're going to go try to go drive and move in our organization. What we find is that the organization didn't really set up a way of looking at, well, if we're, we don't like failures and organization, that tendency will push up against anything that's being done innovative. You know, the innovative people will go, well, if I fail, I'm going to get my head cut off. Being able to look at those other paradigms that might be existent within there, the types of stories that might be floating around that might be causing those types of things to not come and go through. So I love the, the fact of linking to business goals. Absolutely. Because I had the urgency.
Call in Guest :
35:37
Yeah. Regarding failure. Another method I used to use in product management, which was to do with innovation, product innovation was a stage gate method. And what I found was that organizations that wanted to innovate in the product sphere or service sphere needed to communicate well very well, that the ideas that were being generated in the beginning through idealization or through review of what potential opportunities there are strategic review, those ideas needed to be clearly understood as just ideas that the ideas could, sometimes there would be a kind of a rumor mill saying, Oh, they're working on this now. Oh, that will never work. Or Oh my gosh, that's a serious risk. So, so really ensuring that, I mean in some cases we actually had to, I locked down the idea, uh, zone to a degree to ensure that people didn't get the didn't get the impression that we were actually going to push these through those quite a rigorous review and assessment and analysis of these, of these risks. Risky kind of ideas.
Ray Arell:
36:44
Yeah. The way that, the way that we did it was as we actually change the verbiage at the portfolio layer layer, it's as far as the lexicon and the first box. The first box was opportunity and an opportunity to can be satisfied multiple different ways, but we should be able to measure value of the opportunity. A great one. And we found that just by that simple switch we got a really much wider open brain and the organization, which is cool. Let me see, I'm over here. Ron, what do you have on this?
Call in Guest :
37:15
We're kind of in a unique situation at the company I'm at. We were hitting like a major milestone this year in terms of number of years. And um, there's a growing recognition that what got us where we are today won't take us into the future, the next 20, 50 years by doing the same thing. So what they've done is, uh, from the, from the CEO on down, they have a launched a program. They want to bring all of our, uh, North American associate. You had some that's like over 40,000 people through a series of, uh, one day workshops and it's kind of, we kind of celebrate a little bit about what we've achieved so far. But then we also want to talk about the changing marketplace. Uh, we want to look at our internal processes and where the problems are and then where we want to go in the future. And, and some of that's been kind of loosely defined, but the idea is to get people thinking about what can we do differently going forward? What should we do differently going forward and what do we need to change in order to do that? And it wasn't necessarily that these workshops were going to give us the answers, but it was starting to plant that seed that we're going to be doing this throughout this whole year of celebrating our milestone that we're going to, this is the kickoff and we're going to start talking about how can entire culture
Ray Arell:
38:36
shift. I like one day workshops from the aspect of is sort of an immersion of let's think about what the problems that we're dealing with in the organization and set setting that level of urgency, which I think that, and I came from a multi billion dollar organization that was successful, sort of like Kramer from Seinfeld, you know where he would fall backwards in the fall, always fall backwards into money. That was the type of company I was with so that when you started talking about let's go do some change around this place, everyone would go and say, well, status quo is pretty good. We're making a lot of money, and fortunately enough, we had an older CEO that had the, the philosophy was only the paranoid survive and Andy Grove was really good about plowing into. Yeah. Those were great decisions we made five years ago. Those aren't the decisions that we're making. You know, the five years ago is when we made that decision that's making the money that we're making right now. What are the decisions that we need to make it so that the next five years are successful? And setting those frames as you said, I think work really well and getting people out of the work environment for a little bit and getting where I, I'm not sure if you've seen this then and I, I've seen this quite a bit where I used to have an office that was right in front of the building where people come in and I'd watch people put on their badges and their faces would change. They would literally, as soon as they put on their work badge, they would get whatever persona that they needed to do when they were in that building. And I'd watch them come out at night and take that badge off and that persona would change again back to whatever they needed to be for home. Cause I don't know about you. If I, I could not get away with the stuff that I did at work. If I brought that stuff home. Just totally get beat up. Really good stuff. So we're almost at the top of the hour. Everyone really don't have time for another question other than I would like to just kind of throw up a hands for what are you reading, what type of books are you currently reading right now and who should we be reading together? And Daniel pink is which one? That his drive book or which one? Yes, the drive. Yes. I love that book. I borrow extensively from that. Uh, how about Scott? What do you have? What are you reading
Call in Guest :
40:59
the advantage by Patrick Lencioni. Oh, tell us about that. It's a, it's a book that's largely about organizational health and promoting organizational health that a smart company cannot be a smart company alone if it wants to be successful and maintain successes. We [inaudible]
Ray Arell:
41:18
nice. Some of the things that are coming up on the list over here on the right and at least on my side, Lisa Atkins Coaching Agile Teams book, which is a very good book. The Neurobiology of 'We' , which kind of is appropriate for what ah, we were talking about a little bit are today Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein. Great book. I highly recommend it. They also, The Coaching Habits by Michael Bungay is also another one that came up as well.
Ray Arell:
41:45
So those are all great. We are at the top of the hour everyone. I want to thank you all for joining the call. Guys had a lot of great things that you've added to this podcast and I really appreciate that the podcast will get published in a few days and you're welcome to share it with your friends from a logistics standpoint. I will be at the agile world event over in Lisbon, uh, starting next week. You guys are welcome to come and join me over there. If you're over in that area or you're attending, please come and have a conversation with me. Also. I will be at the agile event over in Des Moines, Iowa coming up in the next month. Also. Equally as such, come up and we can strike up a conversation. Again, thank you very much for this week and I hope you have a great month.
Intro Music:
42:39
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Introduction
Building a culture of "Yes, and..."
How do you bring cultural change to an organization?
What are you reading?
Wrap-up and upcoming events
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