Importance of Natural Resources

Building an Agile Enterprise | Chris Beale | Elevate Agile 2019


(upbeat music) – So I’m Chris Beale. I tell people I’m not that smart, I’m just running out of
new ways to screw up. I’ve been at this for geez, I don’t know, about 17, 18 years of
agile transformation… Both as a consultant and as an executive doing my
own organizations at times. And so, great conversations today. I liked Heterosced-ick -di… – [Audience Member] Heteroscedasticity. – Can anybody spell that, like I’m five bucks if
anybody can spell that. So, I learned what that
was, which is kinda cool. There was some really
good insights in that talk and it anchors to something that I, the way I think about agile, really from the perspective of teaming. It talked a lot about teaming today. You hear a lot about teams. So this is the marketing
speak around my talk. For agile to thrive at
scale, it’s going to require more than just building agile teams. It’s going to require an
entirely new ecosystem. Great, like that, that’s really… Like that’s way more elegant
than I can actually talk. But what does that really mean? An ecosystem for what? And so we heard a lot
today about teams and autonomy and leader and leadership and funding and things like that. What we’re really saying is we’re rebuilding our
organizations for teaming. So… We used to tell people what to do. Now we want people to know what to do. We used to tell people, you know, that they had to go account for every hour and we don’t really want
them to do that anymore. We want… We want teams of people to
collaborate with each other cross-functionally to solve problems. That’s what this really is. So just for a moment, I’ve done this with a lot of talks and a lot of organizations. Think about the best
team you were ever on. So you’ve all been on that team. You may be on a team now. Or it could have been work. It could have been volunteer,
military, whatever. You were on a team at some
point that kicked butt, took names, outperformed,
out-adapted everybody else. Just hands up, scream the answer. Like what are some of the things that, the common characteristics of that team. What made it awesome? Just anybody. – [Audience Member] Trust. – Trust – [Audience Member] (indistinguishable) – Self organizing. – [Audience Member] (indistinguishable) – What d’ya say? – [Audience Member] Vision. – Vision. You had vision. Did you work towards different goals, or you had common goals? How many of any of the
things you just said, so I’ve given, I’ve asked that question, has to be 1,000 times and I
always get the same 10 answers. So how many of those things had anything to do with software? Technology at all? All right, good teams have been around and bad teams have been around way longer than we’ve been doing any of this stuff, and that’s really what this is. You’re saying you want to r… When you say you want to do this, you’re saying, “I want to
redesign my organization “for teaming.” But, this is my, you
know, my bold statement. Most organizations are
not designed for teams. So you walk in, the organizational design is designed for budget predictability, it’s designed for high utilization, it’s designed for a lot of things. Having cross-functional teams, stable, high functioning,
cross functional teams working together like the teams, the best team you were ever on, most organizations are
not designed for that. So, if I go to my next,
oops, went too far. My next graphic here… By the way, there are way more
gross pictures of dead fish, that’s the most tame one I could find. So what does your organization look like? Your organizational design is, it’s perfectly designed
for whatever it’s doing. Is it designed to really
foster and care for and feed stable, autonomous teams? The best team you were ever on, did they rip it apart
when you were done with whatever task you were doing? Was there somebody telling
you what to do all the time? Those things didn’t exist. So, in your organizational
design, where are you? Are you super fertile and
you can form these teams and the organization supports them and they grow and they, people love it. Are you more in the desert
where it’s just ambivalence. “Yeah, go ahead and do it. “We’re not gonna support you,
but yeah, sure, go ahead.” And your teams don’t get supported, they might not get funding, they might not get business attention, like there’s all kinds
of things they don’t get. Or are you actively designed to kill it? There are, you know, the metaphor of the
corporate antibodies, right. You put something new in an organization, it’s a foreign element, the corporate antibodies rise up, right, and they’re, you’re designed to kill that. So, show of hands, whose organization is super fertile like, you know, Garden
of Eden when it comes to introducing teaming and
team-based problem solving, these agile teams in your organization? So, just a show of hands. Okay. Not surprising, right, I
see some of this, okay. What about the desert? Just do whatever you want. We won’t necessarily support it, but there’s a few of those, yeah, a little bit more, right. You can do it, but, you
know, we’re just not gonna… Do your thing, you know, that’s
the way you write software. Go do whatever you want, right. What about, if you do
that we’re gonna kill it? Whose got that? That’s better than it used to be. There’s a few, in fact, I got
some more of this going on. When I gave this talk before, like in maybe three or four years ago, everybody’s hand was going up. So it’s better, it’s a good sign. So, here’s the thing… Not being designed to do it is a problem, but the real problem
you’re facing when you try is you’re not designed to actually change. So, organizations are usually
designed to protect themselves from their employees. Either incompetence, or dishonesty,
or whatever it might be. There’s different facets. Organizations build up
controls and structures to protect themselves
from their employees. And so, when you go try
to change an organization that’s not designed for change, you’re going to get, what, you know, what you’ve probably been getting. What many people get, which is pockets of success where
there’s little eco bubbles that form because one
leader is courageous. But true enterprise systemic
change doesn’t happen, because it’s not supposed to. So Demming had a great quote, right. “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” And then there’s any number of
flavors of this second quote. All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they’re now getting. If we want different results, we must change the way we do things. So you do not… I’m a Detroit Lions fan. (audience laughing) Sorry. (clapping) This’ gonna take a moment. (clapping) Thank you, thank you. But we’ll take donations. I’m trying to get something
else, like you know, steer my kids to some other team, but… They are perfectly designed
to win one playoff game in 60-something years, right. I’m just saying, it’s the truth. They’re perfectly designed for that. So you are not, your organizations
are not underachieving, and they’re not overachieving. They’re achieving
perfectly for their design. Now you’re saying, “Well wait a minute. “We want to do this whole teaming thing. “We want to have these stable teams “and work from prioritized back-logs, “and the business is gonna help us, “and like all this stuff’s gonna happen.” But you’re not designed for that, or are you designed to change to that. So, some of the things we run into… I’ll look at my little board
here so I don’t look up there. What are some of the things we run into? Leadership, for sure; misaligned
or unaligned leadership. So, a show of hands, just curiosity, how many of you are folks that are really
close to the work surface helping teams every day? Okay, thank you. How may of you are folks who are maybe a little further up in the organization who are trying to get your
organizations to do this? Okay, good mix, yeah, good mix. And possibly both, right? So, you could have any
number of misalignments. I want to do safe. Somebody else wants to do modern agile. Somebody else want to do XP. Somebody else want to do whatever. And you have all kinds
of leaders, you know, that want to go in different directions. They may want to do the agile thing. It used to be that we had
people who wanted, you know, a lot of people who want to stay at today. Like, why would I change today? We just built it. But more and more, with
agile crossing the chasm they want to go but they might have completely different
ideas on how to do it, or what it is. “I like this system of delivery
’cause so-and-so told me safe is the way to go.
Nothing wrong with safe but so-and-so told somebody else that modern agile is the way to go or less or DAD or whatever it is. So there’s, there can be
competing points of view in your executive leadership. Think of those as compasses. Many Norths, right, and
so that’s all just going to be canceling force. All those things are
just canceling forces. You’re gonna have a hard time getting transformation to happen. So, the executive leaders and
the leaders that follow them, if your VP wants to go in that direction, then the directors are
probably gonna wanna go in that direction. The problem is there’s
another VP that wants to go in that direction and their directors wanna
go in that direction. And then there’s the frozen middle. That’s a term we coined up
in the, up in the Midwest. It’s all of those middle managers who are just scared to death. Like, what does this mean to me? How do I not have to change? How can I just put my head down and maybe this thing’ll
just blow over, right? So how can I not do it
in a way that, doesn’t you know, get me fired. So you have competing experts… Those darn consultants. So you could have
employees that you’ve hired who’ve prior… You know, they’ve done
agile a certain way, or done transformation a certain way. You’ve got contractors who
came in from an environment that had done an agile transformation, and it could be one of
those air-quote ones. And you’ve got consultants
in your environment. Does anybody have this problem, where you have multiple competing experts in your environments?
Show of hands. So, they’re all experts, all experienced, but kinda doing that. And the thing is, they take
leadership and others with them. They’re influential.
They’re experts. So they’re actually
multiplying, they’re amplifying that misalignment through
your organization. You could have other
internal organizations. Your PMO wants to go and do this ’cause they’re working with this vendor. And your COE wants to
go in that direction. Your L&D organization,
Learning and Development, or HR, they might want to go in a completely different direction. I’ve been in clients where, while we’re doing the transformation some other part of the
organization is actually implementing a new
system to track projects the way that we did it 10 years ago. And so, we’re in the
middle of a transformation and those systems are getting implemented to do exactly what we’re saying
we’re not gonna do anymore. Right, and they’re spending
millions of dollars to do that. So, you can have any number of these kind of misalignments
through the organization. And then the operating
system is, you know, the stuff that we all
hear a lot about, like, we’re project funded, or
we’re charge-back funded, we need to have stable teams,
and we need to figure out how, you know, how to govern that, the decisions we’re gonna make. So you could have things that are very, very low trust kind of
structures in your organization that are actually fighting you
as you’re trying to change. So… Somebody else brought up
Performance Management. I think it was Tom. Performance Management Systems as well. If you stack-rank your employees, okay, so we’re gonna form teams. We’re gonna stack-rank our
employees for promotions; what’s gonna happen to teamwork
in that kind of a system? I have no… Not only do I have no
incentive to help you, I have a counter incentive. It’s actually bad for
me to help somebody else because I’m gonna get stack-ranked lower. If I’m gonna try to change
and go against the grain I get stack-ranked lower. The only thing that’s safe
for me is to play the game. So there’s all kinds of systems we invent. There’s all kinds of structures we invent, and then there’s just all of
the people in leadership forces that are pulling the organization in many different
directions at the same time. Anybody felling that?
Yeah. Easy. So let’s go get safe, and let’s drop it in. It’ll be fine, right? And that’s what we find. I was talking to a big
utility in the Detroit area, that’s where I’m from,
which is the only reason you’d be a Lion fan, I think, but they wanted some advice. It was a friend and I
talked to him, an executive, and new CEO wants everything
in-sourced, right through. They’re really at, hard
at this agile thing, and I said, “Okay, but
can you stabilize teams?” “No, we can’t do that.” Okay, so you can’t have
people on teams that, that actually, like, stay together. “Well, no.” But can you at least
have’em together for awhile and not have’em work on
seven projects at once. “Well, no we can’t do that either. “They’ve got to be on seven things, “because that’s the way, you know.” They weren’t gonna change anything. They were just going to hope that bringing in safe would
solve their problem. And so I had a very
truthful moment with them, like, you’re gonna pail out of money, and that’s not gonna work, so… So your organization is
not designed for change. Not only is it not designed for Agile, it’s actually not designed
to change to Agile. Okay. All right, so in order to
change your organization, we have to, like, change the system. So this was Julie Ann’s talk. We could say, “Let’s
go change the culture.” Let’s go get culture coaches.
Not a bad thing. All right, it’s not, there’s nothing awful about that. And the culture coaches
are gonna meet with leaders and they’re gonna tell’em how
they should act differently. How you should conduct yourself and how you should
message to your employees and then they’re gonna leave that meeting and have to get work done in
the exact same organization that they did before. Same structures, same people, so the culture is how you get work done. That is your culture.
It’s how you get work done. And so, not formally, but informally, how you get work done in your company. So if you, you can give all the
culture coaching you want but if you walk back out
into the same structure it’s not gonna change. Your culture will stay the same. So, what we have to do is we have to think about systems. And this is not by any means complete, right, comprehensive. I just wanted to give you
a couple of things to do or a couple of things you could take away that might help you. So there’s more, you know,
we could’ve talked about, but I just wanted to give
you a couple of big ones that we think work really well. Change leader teams, LAZ. You heard something about,
like we talked about TLTs, Transformation Leadership Teams. We’ve talked about, like
Executive Steering Committees. Whatever you call them,
the important thing is you’ve enrolled every level of leadership into a team.
Into a change team. And they can actually overlap. So what you want to make sure is that you have a means of alignment. So I’ve also got, you can see, coaches. Every team needs a coach. So one of the first things I tend to do in a transformation is set up
the executive leadership team with a coach; usually me or somebody else, to help align them, so
all of the compasses, all of the people who are
pointing in different directions can start to come
together around one vision for their system, their
agile system of delivery and how we’re gonna get there. And this is a great canary in the mine, because if you can’t do this, if you can’t pull that team together, of executives to say
okay, where’re we going, how we gonna do it, you’re
probably gonna struggle. It’s gonna be really hard
for you to drive change in organization if you
can’t get leadership on the same page. So, at every level, though, you can have a leadership,
kinda coaching change team. It’s not just that they’re
talking and learning. They’re having to change the hard things that you need changed. If you need your funding models changed, there’s a level of the
organization that can do that. Probably not at the work surface. It’s probably up at your CFO. But if there’s some process
control you have in IT that you’ve put there because you
didn’t trust your employees and you wanted to have, you know, some checks and controls there. Not necessarily a bad thing. You might still need
something like that, but maybe there’s a better way to do it. Maybe there’s something
leaner, faster, lighter weight way to take care of those concerns. So you might be able to
take that into a mid-level kind of change team and get that solved. So you need to, at surface,
you need structure, systems that will elevate the rocks to the level of the organization
that can solve them, that can break them. Otherwise, you will get constrained. There’s things you’re
going to have to change. And some of them are
really big and really hard, and if you don’t have a system to do it, you’re just going to
executives and saying, “Well, we gotta change.” It’s probably not gonna work. That’s a very ad-hock way to do it. So having a way to actually
cascade alignment, to a, to a central north, and
it could have other, you know, business partners. I just, like, for simplicity didn’t want to have a real complicated slide here, but your business partners in here, architectural folks in here, like you can get a lot of folks in here who are working on the organization to work together to make
the changes you need, to effect the changes
you need for these teams to not be the dead fish or
dying out in the desert, okay. Transformation Office. How many people have a
transformation office in their companies?
A show of hands. There’s a few, yeah, okay. This is a powerful system for change. Especially, meaning, it’s valuable. It’s small-scale but it’s
really, really valuable at large-scale as well. Like, I’ve seen Transformation Office. How many of you have
had, like an Agile COE? How may of you are in the Agile COE? Yeah, okay, good. So that’s cool, right. So you can build off of that. The difference, the
distinction I would draw is, your Agile COE is probably a collector. It probably collects up. This is our point of view
on the system of delivery we want to use, like, we’re gonna use this system
of delivery with these roles and this governance
structure, or whatever, and it becomes, kinda
the guardians of that and the providers of that. I want you to think about
your transformation office as a connector with all of these other
parts of the organization that are somehow involved in
change, agile or otherwise. How can we connect it all up? So maybe we need to have some
training for these roles. We’re gonna move to
this system of delivery, and here’s the roles in those teams. We need training. Rather than have L&D go off
and do whatever its gonna do, have your Transformation Office
experts form a team with L&D and work through it together. So, if you have a finance function or other HR performance
functions or whatever, that are trying to drive change
through the organization, that aren’t necessarily aligned
to where you want to go, form teams in conjunction with
your Transformation Office. You don’t have to, they
don’t have to belong to the Transformation Office. They just have to work to form teams with the Transformation Office. So this is a really powerful
thing if you can get it right. And then the other thing you have with your Transformation
Office is providing the services to your transformation. So, you know, where we
gonna get agile coaches? You know, what’re we gonna do in terms of, can somebody help me with my
current maturity assessments? Like, are there service
that you can provide to, you know, to your organization
as you’re transforming. So, A, connect up all the
resources of the organization and then, B, provide them, expose them as a set of services that
are cohesive and coherent to your system of delivery and
your system of transformation. Things that people can consume. You can have an office hours service. There’s all kinds of
service you could have that you capacitize as
your Transformation Office to help your organization
reach critical mass. Super, super powerful
thing when you get it, can really, can drive a
lot of forward progress and get you to your
tipping point faster, okay. And you heard a little bit about this one. So, in, even in small-scale
transformations, I guess, you know, I’d break
my transformation career up you know, pre-leading
agile, post-leading agile. I’m an old X hands-on. My baptism moment, you know, my moment was becoming and XP Developer,
a hands-on XP Developer, way in the way back, longer
than I’d like to admit. That’s when I kinda
caught fire and changed and so I got into the
transformation business, worked with a different
consultancy long ago in the 2002-2009 era, and I would just show up and coach. Gravitas, or whatever. We would just show up, we’d lay on couches and we’d start coaching. Didn’t change the organization,
didn’t go do the work to actually get all the stuff aligned. All the systems were still in place, but we would coach teams on how to do XP. Even that wasn’t repeatable.
I couldn’t scale it. Just having people show up and coach stuff is really hard to scale, ’cause they’re gonna coach
whatever they coached before. You go out and hire some more
people ’cause you’re growing or whatever and they’re just gonna go coach whatever they coached, but that’s different
than the other coaches. And now your coaches have
different points of view and they’re fighting. I don’t know if anybody’s ever had the fighting coach problem? (audience laughter) Yeah, sometimes I think that
coaches are harder than the actual people they’re
coaching with some of this stuff. So, chaos doesn’t scale. That’s ad-hock, right.
That’s chaos. So if you’re going to
transform the organization in a measurable way,
right, if we can measure it we can scale it. So if we can do it in a measurable way, we can figure out, you know,
from a fractal perspective how we’re going to grow and
scale the transformation. If I’m just gonna have, if
I have a large organization, just say 10,000 people, I’m
just gonna start landing coaches and having them coach.
That’s not gonna go well. But if I have a system of
transformation that I can, I can go get the executives aligned through this lattice team structure. I can, underneath that, hook
up all of the different parts of the organization that
are trying to drive change in some direction, to my
Transformation Office, expose all those resources
as transformation resources and then have a structured
way, very measurable way to drive the organization
through the change, to lead it through the
change, I can scale that. All right, it’s not winging it. Like you all know that we have this, when somebody does this,
we’re doing it Agile, the air-quote is never good, right? You don’t wanna see air quotes. Unfortunately, a lot of people
are doing transformation; they’re doing “transformation.” They’re just having coaches
show up and coach stuff. And so having… So we talked about leading with systems. This is what we’re talking about. Have a systematized way
to align your executives and your leadership and
the whole organization. Have a systematized way
to align all of these support organizations and then expose them as transformation services
that are coherent. Have a systematized way to break-up, break down the organization as a back-log and flow it through like a CONBON, chunks of the organization
that you’re gonna transform. And a systematized way to
actually transform them. So no winging it.
No air-quote transformation. That way. So you don’t want an
air-quote transformation ’cause it’s really hard, it turns out. Okay, so, So what have we learned? If your organization is
not designed for change, Rob, don’t, no laughing at me. I haven’t see you in like, six years. Don’t laugh at me now. So, you know, if you’re
not designed for change, you have to design yourself for change. Not only do you have to
design yourself for agile but you have to put the systems in place that will continuously change you, okay? Thank you for your time. (upbeat music)


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