Ming Wei Talks About Agile Transition and Change Management
Welcome all. We have a minute till we start, just type in where you’re dialed in from today, please. All right, from US, Philippines, Bangalore, Poland. Philippines, London, okay, great. I’m based in London as well. India, hello. Singapore. India beautiful. Thank you very much. It was nice to see such a wide participants from all over the world. I am actually dialed in from London today myself. I literally just managed to return from China, because I went back for holiday in 2019 December, and I was stranded for obvious reasons like COVID has kicked off. My flight has been canceled and since then I’ve been struggling a little bit. But until recently in June, I just made my way back to UK, so it’s all good now.
Intro on How To Install Agile Values
Lovely to see you all, thank you. All right, let’s kick off today. Today we are here to actually have a bit discussion regarding change, and regarding what we do in change and also, how do we actually instill this Agile mindset and Agile values into the change process. First of all, a very quick introduction about myself. My name is Ming, and I’m working as enterprise Agile coach, and also do a bit training as well for Leadership Tribe. With regards to Leadership Tribe, we actually provide our fully accredited training services in Agile and alongside that, we also do consulting and then coaching services. What we’re trying to do is mainly to empower the individuals and businesses to actually help them to design and implement those programmatic and sustainable changes.
We are really passionate about Agile ways of working, and this is where we want to use Agile ways of working and use Agile mindset to actually helping other people, helping other businesses to enable them to actually improve their performances, build their capacities and also deliver measurable result. This webinar is actually a part of our effort to work with the people in our tribe, so that including leaders and coaches in the industry, and to share our collective wisdom, and to create a learning platform so that we can support each other and continue with the growth. Also to hopefully to build high performing individuals and organization from there, this is part of our effort to actually give back to the community as well. This is just for a quick word about who we are, what we do. All right so about today, we are having a Zoom session.
For this, there’s a couple of things I want to mention before we enter into the session. First of all, this is an opportunity for us to learn together. Okay, so it’s not about me standing here and give you a bit me, me, me, me, me. But also about telling me and telling each other what do you think about some points. I do anticipate you all to participate and you all to join, so that we have a very engaging and interactive session. All right, so if you do want to, if I request you to type in something, then please use the chat window. In the chat window, you will notice that you can select both panelists or attendees, please select both. That means, not just me and my co-facilitator here to track and see you, but also all the people who are attending this webinar can see you as well, in terms of what you have provided and your responses to certain questions which we’ve been discussing a bit.
This whole session will be taking around 45 to 60 minutes, and I would hope to leave some time for Q&A. But sometimes depends on discussion, we might not be able to do that. Should that be the case, don’t worry, drop us a line. If you do have any questions which you would like us to provide some ideas or insights, then my co-facilitator will be able to drop you a line in terms of how to contact us. Okay, so are we all good to move on? Okay, excellent. All right, thank you. Okay, beautiful. All right, here we are talking about change. Let’s take a look about change. When we talk about change, we talk about change at different levels. Let’s start talking about change at organization level, and then we’ll move on to individual level as well.
Change at an Organizational Level
If we talk about change at an organization level, according to my understanding, we’re looking at least two different aspects. First of all, we are looking at the tangible side. The tangible side would actually include the technical changes, the process changes, business changes, infrastructure changes, so on and so forth, so there’s tangible. Also that including something which is intangible as well, that’s the human side of change. For that, let me ask you a quick question. I have got a poll question here. In terms of a change at organization level, which aspect do you think is more challenging? Is it the tangible side, or is it the intangible side? Here, I’m launching a poll, and I’m going to give you a very quick 30 seconds. Please use your vote button, and let me know what do you think.
I’m going to count down, so you can stop voting now. Three, two, one okay, we’re just going to end the poll there. All right, very interesting. Among the answers which I have collected, 79% said the intangible side of the human change and 17% said, the tangible side of the change, and 4% has selected I’m not sure. Which is a perfectly okay. I mean, I have been a change consultant for the first half of my career. I’ve been working in change, working in project management, change management and those functions in organizations. What I have realized is, if you talk about change, yes it might be really complicated programs like Brexit. Okay, I was part of it and as you can imagine how painful that can be, because it is dragging on, but apart from that, one thing which I have learned according to my experience, is that the most painful bit is not about dealing with legal compliance, tech knowledge [inaudible], it’s not about that at all. Because this is what we need to do to get things done.
The most difficult part is actually to get the change in the human being, that’s according to me. This is something which I have gathered from my experience. Now let’s have a look on this. We know that okay, regarding change we have got different parts, and then the human bit is slightly more difficult. If we look at all the changes, let’s just drag ourselves back. Let’s talk about organizational change first. Talking about organization changes, first of all let me ask you a question. Why do organization change? Can you just use your chat window? Just quickly provide me some examples of why organizations need to adopt change, please. (silence). Okay, I’ve got some answers floating. I’ve got Rose, environment change, the market change and then to achieve better result. Trying evolution survival, to be more predictable, change is only constant.
Okay, well said. Evolve business needs, sustain a market and competition to stay competitive. Adaptability, beautiful. Thank you all for the valuable input. Exactly all that, and if we kind of press everything down and saying that we’re looking at organizational changes, why are we actually changing? It comes down to three things. Crisis, opportunity, threat. Let’s talk about crisis. COVID is a crisis. When COVID started, I just mentioned saying I have been stranded in China for 18 months, and this has impact on me. But imagine all the organizations, and at the point when we were trying to deliver courses, we have actually got all rooms booked, and we have a got or in your catering service book as well and then COVID hitting. We have got participants joining us from Germany, they couldn’t join, because their company stopped them from flying. We have got participants in the UK want to join, but they couldn’t do that as well because No-Go regulations, No-Go rules has actually kicked off for isolation.
Agile Transformation and Course Impact during the pandemic
These are the things which in the crisis, and we’ve been hit and for organizations, we have to change. We have to do something about it. For Leadership Tribe, we have actually converted our courses, which mean to be face to our online training within a month. From then, we were delivering online trainings all the way, then this is part of our give back to community by doing online webinars. These are the changes. Because of the crisis organizations adapting to changes, organizations are actually trying their ways of trying to turn the wheel around and do something about it. That’s one thing. Another thing is about opportunity. In terms of for example, there’s increase in customer demand, or there’s a new market, and then business will be leaping over it saying, “Okay, great. Let’s grab that. Let’s do something about it. Let’s explore what we can do about this opportunity.”
That’s another reason why organization might change, they now want to expand, they now want to go to that geographic location saying, “Okay, see what we can do to explore the market there locally.” Also, the other one is threat. In terms of threat, what we’re you trying to say is, for example you have got competitors, and your competitors are trying to intrude your market, that can create a threat. Also, recently I’ve been watching the news and it was BBC. It was actually talking about there’s a shortage of timber. Basically, it’s the type of wood and then which leading to the shortage of supplies to the building industry because they need the wood to build houses and stuff like that. These are the threat which we’re looking at, which again organizations have to adopt, have to change because we don’t have the material, what can we do? What else can we use? What other supplies? What other substitute which we can use? Those are the things why organizational change.
Agile Manifestos & Agile Methodologies: VUCA environments
Especially, someone has mentioned a great point about VUCA. VUCA stands for, Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. Right now, we are in all this environment of VUCA environment. That might change especially important because we have to adapt, we have to move forward and we have to survive and thrive as an organization. We talked a little bit about why organization change, now let’s move on to what is an organizational change? For that, I have got another quiz for you. Just bear with me. Here, I’m launching a change. For organization changes, what do we mean by that? Have a read through, and tell me what you think. (silence). Okay, I’m just going to do a count down three seconds, make your pick. Three, two, one okay, I’m just going to end of the poll there. Thank you very much. All right, let’s have a look on what you have told me here. In terms of organizational change, the first one we were saying that it’s any organizational change that improves or optimize on previous established processes, strategies, procedures.
This is what we’re doing, it’s like we are doing developmental changes. Step by step we are improving, and then that 20% of people has chosen that. Next one is talking about transition changes, which is the change which moves organization away from it’s current state to a new state, in order to solve a problem, or in order to pursue an opportunity. This has got 20% of the vote as well which is fairly equal. The last one is about the transformation change, which is the changes literally, change the culture, the value, or the operations of an organization fundamentally and I’ve got a 14% of that. Then for all of the above, I have got 73% of the vote, excellent. Okay, very good. When we talk about changes, literally we are talking about all different types of changes. It can be small as a development. It can be a little tweak in something, which is a change and it can go as small as that.
And it can go as big as a transformational change, which is, we are completely shifting our culture, we are completely change our values, and we completely change our operations to do something else. Great stuff on that.
What type of Change works for you and your individual team members?
The question comes, okay so now we know what changes are. We have got different changes, but how do we do that? Okay, how do we do that, and this is the question. For that, actually there are a lot of change models being used. The change models, please excuse me if I say that, it’s only models. They are used to help to develop a tailored approach in order to engage your organization system in a change. It doesn’t mean that it’s a success formula, it doesn’t mean that if I follow whatever that change model might be. It can be ADKAR, it can be John Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model, and it can be Lewin Change Model. It can be anything in this world, it doesn’t matter. But how does it go in to help you? It’s context based, giving us that which is important for us to have that awareness of what that model actually tell us, of how we can imply, how we can use the model to serve our purposes, and that’s what I mean here.
Let’s have a look on this ADKAR Model, because this is one of my favorite model in terms of helping implement organizational changes. Obviously, this can be used for individual as well. If you want to implement changes for yourself or for a friend, you can use the same thing. But generally speaking for organization, this is very popular. Let’s have a look on that. Basically, we’ll talk about ADKAR Model. It’s basically five stages. One thing I like about this model is, each step has got a specific goal in terms of… like objectives in terms of what it’s trying to achieve, and it’s also a linear process. Which means it can be used for planning purposes, how am I going to implement the change, also for diagnosis as well. If something is not right, okay, where are we now? Let’s look at the process, let’s find out where things go wrong, and this is why I like about ADKAR Model. Yeah, one of the reasons why I like about it. Let’s have a quick go through of what these steps mean.
The first one, ADKAR Model stays for awareness. That’s the awareness for the need of the change. This is where for example, if you are trying to implement a new software, and this is where if people are aware of the change… if they are not aware of the change, they will be like, “Oh, not again. They’re doing this to us again. No one told us about this and it’s just going to be waste of time.” This is going to be their reaction, because they don’t even know what’s coming their way. However, if you change this, if you provide them awareness, and if you have actually made them say not very clear path in terms of this is what we’re doing and by telling them, the reaction can be completely different. They will be like looking forward to it, really excited. This is coming in our way, when is this going to happen, and how will this impact me? Then am I going to be trained in on this new tool or new platform? They will be excited and look out for this kind of things. Awareness, that’s the first step, which is very important as well. Once you have awareness, you need to help them to create a design to support and participate in the change. That’s the second stage of the design.
Roll out of Change and a Successful Transformation
Basically if people are looking forward, if they really have got a desire to use this, they will be looking forward to it. On the other way, if they don’t have the design, they will be less likely to participate. What they will be like saying that, “I’m not interested. What’s in it for me? I don’t see any relevance to how this is going to help me do my job. Thank you but no.” People will be like that. It’s very interesting for the design part, because people actually… they would support a change or resist a change for completely different reasons. I still remember when we were rolling out this new system, and I was speaking to a lady who is actually a user and she was talking to me. I ask her, “How do you feel about this like a user from your user perspective?” She actually told me, “I don’t like it.” I was like, “Okay, how so?” Guess what she told me? She said, “Can you imagine a platform in the background color of purple?” I was like, “Are you saying you don’t like it because the background color is purple?” She was like, “Yeah, can you imagine that? How crazy is that?” I was laughing my heart off, because that really surprised me.
I was anticipating she should tell me something completely different, it’s going to be the functionality, it’s going to be something, but it’s the color, it’s the color. This actually made me to go all the time when I think about it, because that made me understand, people can really don’t like something for various reasons and that’s okay. We might not be able to cater everything for everyone, and that’s okay. Because what we’re trying to do is, we’re trying to do our best to make them aware of what is in there for them, to help them, to create a design for supporting us or supporting a change or implement a change for us. That’s the design. Once you have got awareness, you have got a design, the next step is to actually help people understand how they’re going to use, how they’re going to use this new implementation of the changes, stuff like that. Because, only by knowing something, they will be able to do something about it, which is ability. Give them the knowledge, tell them saying, this is what you’re going to do, and give them the training.
Then telling them say, “Okay, this is the people you need to go to, like the champions in organization,” so that you can refer to them if there’s anything you haven’t covered in your training, so on so forth.” You give them the knowledge, and be very, very careful because knowledge sometimes seems to be the stage where organizations engage the change in the first instance. Have you been in places where there was an email dropped into you saying that, “Okay, you have to attend this training on this date?” Without even knowing what is it for. I have, and I absolutely hated that, so be very aware of that. Knowledge, and then help them to translate that knowledge into your ability in terms of actually doing something, in terms of actually implementing change. Then the last step is reinforcement. Because people’s brain actually wired for habits, where all animals have habits, and that’s why sometimes for us to change a habit can be difficult. For me, it’s like you’re rolling a snowball uphill. Until you over the hilltop, you have to keep on rolling.
Do We Like Change?
This is how I understand reinforcement, is because you have to help them to enforce the changes, to sustain the change and then otherwise, they might roll back to the old way of working, which is not exactly what we want to see. This is just a very quick introduction of the ADKAR Model. There are different models as I’ve said, and that’s okay, but have a broad awareness of what those models are, how can you use them, and how they can serve you for your context and for your purposes, and customize them. All right, we have talked a little bit about organizational change, and I would like to mention little bit about individual change, or the change at the human level as well. If we look at the change at the human level, one question I have is, first of all, let’s use the chat window. Let’s test this out. As human beings, do you like change? Yes or no? Do you like change? Yes, I like change I initiate myself. Yes, depends. Yes, yes. Okay, mixed reactions. Yes. No, it depends. Okay, it depends on the change. Okay, excellent. Thank you very much. Change is hard, thank you. All right, thank you for your valuable input.
It’s quite interesting when we look at it, because people seems to have very diverse ideas of am I a person who is pro change, or am I a person who doesn’t like change at all? That’s perfectly okay. What we are trying to understand is, I mean the changes can be obviously like contact base as well. It can be, I think I would love to change if I’m winning lottery. However, I wouldn’t enjoy a change so much if another lockdown happens, so it’s similar, I understand what you mean. Basically in workplaces, if you ask people saying that, in a professional setting, would you like change? Do you like change? I think there was a research being done, saying that in workplaces, do you prefer change? The answer is quite evidential that people don’t enjoy change, and this is why they have got people… I think 30% of the people actually said, “Yes, I like change. I’m pro change, I would like to do something experiment.” Then the rest, the majority of them actually said, “No, we don’t like change, we have already got enough in our plate. We don’t want to get involved in anything else apart from what we’re already doing. Thank you very much.”
Let’s have a look, and if we’re saying, we like change, or we don’t like change, that’s okay. In professional settings, there is a reason like people, why we actually resist change or let’s say even in your personal life as well, you know why we actually resist change. I have got the last one here. Okay, I promise. It’s the last poll of the day. In terms of, why do you think people resist change? This is a multiple choice, so you can pick whatever you think the reasons are valid. I’m going to give you another 45 seconds so that you can make your pick in terms of what are the reasons do you think that people actually resist change? (silence). Okay, I’m just going to give you a three seconds countdown. Three, two, one and I’m closing the poll. All right, thank you very much. Having a quick glance of the poll, I think it’s fairly divided in terms of what people think. 41% unclear reason, 48% felt a no. 35% insufficient information. 50% preferring to stay in comfort zone, then 20% something, low engagement, poor communication, human nature, other.
Then 39%, so almost 40% of us said all of the above. All right, thank you very much. We all know that, as human beings, there are different reasons why we resist change. As I’ve mentioned in my example earlier, it can be various other reasons. Sometimes we don’t even need to justify, okay we just don’t like it. Thank you very much. That’s enough for the day and no more changes, which is also okay. However, let’s have a look on this. Change at individual level. We know a little bit about why people resist change, and that’s okay. Right. As I’ve mentioned, human beings, we like our habits, we like our little comfort zone. Sometimes it depends, but it might be hard to push people out from their comfort zone to actually try something different. Because just imagine, you’re going to the gym. You know it’s good for you, you know it’s a good change, but you have to stretch and you have to deal with the muscle pain, and then you can rebuild your muscles. The process of change might be painful, and even you know that result is good, but the process can be painful. This is probably part of reason why human beings don’t like change. Oh, some of us do.
Large Scale Changes in Workflow and Leadership teams
That’s a different story. Okay, so when we talk about changes, how… Sorry, before we go into that, for us to understand change, we actually have got quite a few different models. I have listed here, Kubler-Ross. Kubler-Ross is one of the most popular models to use to understand the journeys which human going through, as they experience some change, or the quite unpleasant and sort of experiences. I’ll come to this in a bit. But at this point, I would like you to be aware that they are different models. Again, this is for your information, so please go away and explore other changes, other models for individuals in terms of how to react, understand that journey. We have got Kubler-Ross, which I’ll come to in a bit. We have got William Bridges’ Model of change as well, and there’s Virginia Satir change model. There’s a lot of different, like scarf model, X theory, try to explore a little bit. You’ll help me to understand a bit more. As I’ve mentioned, one of the models which I use a lot, and which I think really worked or which I actually resonate, well, is the Kubler-Ross Model.
I actually provided a little graph here. These represent the five stages of change. One thing, it’s just a little bit of history on this model. Basically, Kubler-Ross started this model because he was studying people’s response to terminal illness. For example, when people have been diagnosed with cancer, they came to know about this disease and what are their journey? When they know this is going to happen, how are their journey going to be like? It was later stage that the change model has been expanded, the usage has been expanded. Now we use it to understand individual’s journey, as soon as they learn something unpleasant about some changes will happen to them. A quick introduction of the model. Basically, what it says is, there are different stages a person go through. At first, you heard the news, you don’t like it and you will be instantly go into this mood of denial. Saying that, “Okay, no. This cannot be happening, not to me. Not to me, not again.”
Denial is the initial response, because it’s like the ostrich, bury its head in the sand as if, if I’m going to avoid it, it’s not going to happen to me. This is the human nature response to it. Basically, what he was trying to say is, I don’t want to admit that’s happening to me. This is their initial defense, trying to go away from me. I don’t like it, I don’t have this disease, or I don’t want to be made redundant, no. Okay, this is a denial stage. Once they come to the reality, saying that, “Okay, you know what? There’s no way you can run away from this.” They will be moving into the state of anger. You will see that on these two states, the energy level is very high. Because we’ll be like saying, “Well, why me? This is not fair.” Excuse me… “I don’t accept this, no way.” These are the faces which come with a lot of energy, and then they’re angry about it. One thing you to be careful is, when people at this stage and they can direct the anger to different angles. For example, you see that people get angry, they will blame their boss, they will blame the economic culture, they will blame the government, they will blame everything around them.
When you find people in that state, you need to understand saying that this is the journey they’re going through. Once they come down a little bit of an anger state, they will be entering this bargaining phases. This is where they will saying, ” Okay, you know what, I will do anything to ease myself from this. I will do anything, I will quit smoking. I will not do the things which can damage my body. I just want to see my son graduate, or I just want to see my granddaughter get married.” Something like that, so they are trying to bargain. When people are made redundant, they will be working extra hard saying that, “Okay, look at me, I’m adding value now. Let me stay. This is what I can do, just let me stay in my position. I don’t want to be made redundant.” So on and so forth. This is the reaction when people are trying to do something to see if I can change it. Once they realize they can’t really change what is happening and they were sliding down to the bottom of energy which is depression. This is where they’ll be in a state of, “Okay, I can’t get away from it, why bother? Why do I even bother with anything? I’m so sad, I’m feeling so bad and what’s the point of doing anything at all?”
How Decision Making Affects the Entire Organization & Personally
This is where, for example, when people have been made redundant, you will see that they come to work late. They will be missing meetings. They will be absent for some of the gatherings for example. These are the science which are telling us, saying that the people is actually depressed about the state in which they are in. Once they come to realize saying that, “Okay, you know what, I’d have better if I do something about this. This is not going to help me, if I’m staying in this phase, and I would rather do something to move on with my life.” When they accept the fact that this is happening, this is happening no matter what and I need to move on, then the energy level will start to go up again. They will be saying, “Okay, you know what, let me see what I can do. I may be dying in six months, but let me see what I can do for my daughter. Let me see if I can get a fund or get some savings and let me see if I can look for a new job for example.” These are the things, once they are accepted and they will be able to move on with the journey.
It’s like they’re seeing the light at the tunnel, saying, “Okay, let’s move towards the light.” This is the journey, what people go through. One thing I would like to point out here is that, we talk about this journey, and this journey is not linear. Which means people can struggle going down, going up and maybe sliding down again to the [inaudible] place, and then going up again. It’s perfectly normal, and it’s not like everyone experienced the same thing, no.
Let me use my personal example. I have been stranded in China for 18 months because of COVID, and I was in a denial phase because I couldn’t believe this is happening. By the way, I’m from a city called Wuhan and I’m sure that you all know that city by now. What I went through might not exactly be the same journey, but let me explain. I was in the denial stage. I was saying, “Oh, no it can’t be.” Wuhan is a large city, it’s actually the sixth largest city in China. We have got 11 million people. It’s a big city, it’s not like a rural area, it’s not like a town.
How could this thing be happening? I was angry. People called it, Wuhan virus. People calling saying, “People were calling people from Wuhan, saying that now you guys are horrible. You spread all the diseases.” I was so angry, the news piss me off. Everything I read, I hear piss me off. I was so angry and I don’t know what to do. I didn’t really go through the bargaining phase, I went straight down to depression, because I don’t even know how I can bargain with the situation. I can’t change anything. An airline company or on a government policy, I can’t do anything. I went straight down to depression, which is the face I recall, I slept 17 hours per day. Yes, I can sleep, that’s my beauty sleep. I slept 17 hours per day for a week or two and this was… my emotion was the lowest. What am I going to do? What about my job? What are things going to happen? How about this? How about that? What choice do I have? I don’t know. That’s where I just want to bury myself in my quote and saying, “I don’t want to face anything outside in the world.”
Then until one day, there was email landed in my inbox. Okay Ming, we need to do something here. We need you to help with this objective, we need to do something. I was jumping up all of a sudden, saying that what I have been doing? I’ve been wasting my time sleeping 17 hours a day. I’m so ashamed of myself and these are the moments I know that I need to move on, because there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can see that my team needs me, my people needs me. I can do something, I can add value and hence I started to do something different. I start to go back to my normal routine. I start to even at home being quarantined, jumping and then trying to do a bit dancing in front of TV so that I get my life, I get my activity back. This is my journey, and this journey actually lasts bit long. For some of the journeys, it can be very short. It all depends on what you have experienced, and in the meanwhile I can tell you once I was in the gas station, I locked my keys in the car and I went through the whole process in 15 minutes.
Understanding Agile Approaches during the Pandemic
It’s all depends on scenario. But it does help to understand people, to understand the journey people are going through. Just imagine, right now we’re in COVID. We are all going through the same journey, although we might be in different phases of where we are. Speak to our colleagues, understand where they’re coming from, if they are not feeling well, if they’re angry, if they’re doing something, try to get a better understanding of what they are going through and how we can help them to move them forward, to move them towards the phases of acceptance, where we can all do something together so help them. Then by helping them, you need to find out what’s going on with them first. Okay, so this is what I would like to introduce about Kubler-Ross Model because I think it really helped me to understand my emotions. I think it helped me to be more acceptable for the people who work around me as well, because we’re all human beings.
We all go through the same journey, and it also indicate something which I can do to help them. That’s why I really like this model. But take this, understand it, try to understand the other models as well and see how they can help you. This is my advice to understand the change at the human level. All right, so we have talked a little bit about the changes at organization level, we have talked a little bit about the changes at the individual level, and now let’s look at it. We understand change, we understand why, we understand how, we understand the what. Now let’s have a look on this. Understanding the models is one thing and understand the change is one thing. Then how do we actually bring this all together. We are trying to underpin real and sustainable changes and with Agile Mindset and Agile Values.
Agile Principles, Agile Frameworks & Values
If you look at Agile Values, do we all know what agile values are? The four core Agile Values? Anyone from the Agile world by any chance? Yes, okay. Cathy has said yes. Anyone else? Beautiful. Okay, so we have some people here in this webinar actually… Oh, we have a lot. Look at that, so excited. Thank you very much. Okay, thank you. When we talk about Agile Values, what are we talking about? We’re talking about individuals and interactions over processes and tools. We’re talking about a working software over a comprehensive documentation. We’re talking about customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan. If you look at all these four core values, what is it actually telling us? It’s actually value the human beings, okay value the human beings. This is the part which I would like to highlight as well, and especially in this difficult environment which we are in. How important it is for us to understand human beings and to actually value what they’re doing.
Another thing is, if you look at it, instead of all the frameworks, instead of all the management to dos, like everything which is talked about, ultimately it comes down to human beings. Because if you look at any changes, who are operating them? Please don’t tell me AI, I do not accept that answer. Because even AI, that was designed by human beings. I’m sorry, but ultimately it all comes down to human beings. This is why it is very important for us to value that, for us to understand that and also trying to appreciate that as well. One thing, which I have always said is, don’t assume unless you are assume good intention. Some people has attended our trainings, you would understand what I mean. But here, let me quickly explain. Sometimes, I heard people describing to me saying that someone has been horrible. Someone has been doing this to me, and he is a horrible person, and I don’t like working with him. I’ve been working with people like that, and they told me saying that this is something which they don’t don’t enjoy.
If I ask them, why they come to this conclusion that they don’t like work with that person, they will be telling me saying, “Oh, they did this. They did that.” Then ultimately, it all comes down to assumption. They assume there’s something behind the behavior. They assume this is what they’re trying to do, purposely pissing them off. But actually, we are all human beings, and that means we have our own behavior. We have our own interpretation of the word. We have our own way of expressing ourselves as well. Then assumption is a very bad thing, because it doesn’t tell you the truth. It tell you what you want yourself to understand, but it doesn’t tell you the truth. I would always challenge people’s assumptions, unless you are assuming good intention. If there’s a conflict happening, if it’s something which is not going right, if it’s communication something going wrong, always assume good intention. What is it? Try to understand, ask questions, be curious.
Avoiding Silos with Agile Methods and Cross Functional Teams
What is it that makes you say things like this? Give them feedback, telling them and saying, “Okay, this is the way how I felt, and I’m wondering if there’s another way how we can work things out.” Value the human being, trying to work out with them, assume good intention, very important. Bringing us back to this underpinning real and lasting change, and what we’re trying to… This is what we do as well okay, because we believe in Agile and we’re trying to provoke it like Agile Mindset in terms of working. If you look at this, we have got the four pillars in this. Self awareness, Global listening, Nonviolent communication and Servant leadership. Again, all these four pillars are actually evolving around human being. As a human being, are we aware of ourselves? People may ask, what does self awareness mean? Let me quickly explain. Self awareness is about understanding ourselves. Is understanding how we behave, understanding the way how we react to certain things and understanding our strengths, weaknesses, our values, principles and all these kind of things.
Why is it important? Because by understanding ourselves, we will be able to understand others better. We’ll be able to socialize, we’ll be able to collaborate with others better, because everything starts with self awareness. Only when you become knowing of something, you have a choice to change it. I hope I still make sense. Only by you aware of something, knowing something and we have the choice to change it. You don’t know what you don’t know. If you don’t know about something, you can possibly change it, and only when I know that I’m not, say for example, a good driver, I can actually go into driving licenses and I can actually do something to change that. Self awareness is the starting point of everything, is a starting point of change ourselves, is the starting point of work better with other people and it all start from yourself. All right, moving on to the next pillar which is Global listening. This is quite interesting. I previously has provided a webinar on listening and I think listening alone, if you are interested, I think that website was recorded and then uploaded somewhere, you can ask our colleagues here.
What I’ve explained in that is listening is actually probably one of the most important tools, for any team workers, managers, leaders, at least I would say. Please bear in mind here, I’m referring to listening, I’m not referring to hearing. Completely different, listening does not equal to hearing, completely different. When I talk about listening, I would like you to think about the terms. For example, if someone’s talking to you like I’m talking to you now, will there be times where your mind has wandered off somewhere saying that, “I wonder if I should ask a question here. How should I face the question to make me look really smart?” Or it can be, “Okay, this person said to me about this meeting which I have to attend. I can’t believe that I still have to do it.” Something like that, okay to distract you. This is what we call internal listening, because this is where you’re listening not to the person in front of you, but the person who is inside you, that mini you, okay mini me inside you.
Agile Adoption & Listening Levels of Focus
In that sense, you are not really listening, are you? You’re not really listening, right? What you’re trying to do is, you’re trying to listen to your own self. This is what we call level one, which is internal listening, which is probably the lowest level. Then if you’re moving up, what you are trying to do is, “Okay Ming is speaking, let me try to understand. Let me try to understand every word which is coming from her.” Then you are focused, and you just kind of like don’t listen to any noises outside, but focused on listening to someone who is speaking to you. This is what we call the second level of listening, named Focus listening. As you moving up, you’re not only listening to the words which people are saying, you are listening to their emotions, you’re noticing their breathing, you notice that emotions, you’ll notice the way how they describe, the body language, the tonality, everything which you’re trying to observe. And understand what the person is saying, and what the person is not saying. Okay, this is the ultimate level which we need to go to, which is level three called Global listening, or Environmental listening.
This is a level which I would encourage you all to keep on practice, and keep on stating. Only by listening to others, you’ll be able to understand them better. Only by understanding them better, you’ll be able to work together better. Okay, so it’s a chain, how we improve things going forward. That’s about global listening. Moving on to Nonviolent communication. Again, it’s a very huge topic. But let me tell you what I learned most about Nonviolent communication. Nonviolent communication does not mean that you have to punch someone when you talk, it’s nothing to do with that. When we call Violent communication… But it really is about staying neutral and maintain your integrity and absolutely honest, and then trying to connect with the people at a deeper level. That’s what we mean, Nonviolent communication. By doing that… Then there are different ways how you communicate, how you provide feedback and then I think one of the key takeaway for me at least, is the ways of how you can actually imply Nonviolent communication in your workplace. Let me tell you what that entails.
That basically includes, when you trying to provide someone a feedback, it’s not like, I don’t like the way how you said that to me. Or I don’t like the way how you behaved. No, it’s about providing your own observation first, which is nothing but the fact. It’s not about how you feel about the person, but you are stating the fact. In that sense, the people will not get defensive immediately saying that I don’t care if you’d like me or not, and the person will actually say, “Okay, I hear you. You were telling me about a fact, tell me about it.” Ask them saying it’s okay to provide the feedback, and if they’re okay, open to it, then telling them saying, “Okay, this is observation I have made based on the fact, and this is how that actually made me or made the team felt because of your behavior. This is how we felt.” Then telling them saying, “Okay, this is something which we would like you to change, and this is something which we need from you.” Then make a very specific request, in terms of, “Okay, for us to work together, for us to do something, would it be okay if you do something?”
Agile Leadership and Competencies
In that sense, I’m not going for conflict saying that because of you, we didn’t finish the project in time. Because of you, this is what happened. No, we are stating about the fact. We’re making them aware. Again, this brings back saying, I’m making them aware. Saying that this is what we need from you, okay so work with us. This is what I really appreciated from a Nonviolent communication, and I hope that works with you as well. You can try that approach once you go back to your work reality. All right, last but not least is regarding the Serve and the Leadership. People from the Agile community, Servant leadership should not be new to you. Servant leadership does not mean that you have to serve people tea, you have to serve people cookies, no. It’s about being there, supporting people. Being there, uplifting them. Helping them to be at their best. What can you do as a servant leader? Is it something to create a safe environment for them to work on? Is it something which you can do to enable them, to empower them to become who they want to be?
You can use different competencies, skills, you can coach them, you can mentor them, you can teach them and you can do all the things or even facilitate the people to become who they want to be. This ultimately, everything works together is coming to the human value, work with the human being and help them to understand what the change actually means for them. And support them in this journey, to help them to move them forward in the journey of change, not only from the external processes infrastructure, but also internal, the journey, what they are going through. Support them, help them, enlighten them and enable them and make sure that you anchor the change as well. This is what we talked about. Make sure that the change actually stick. All right, on that note I would like to invite you to take one minute. Just do a quick reflection on what you have heard from us today, and also what are the actions which you can under take from this webinar? Just one minute, please do it by yourself, you don’t have to share with anyone.
This is something which you think that you can take away from today, and then whatever the actions which you might want to take after today as well. I’m going to give you one minute for that. (silence). Thank you all very much. That’s your one minute as I promised. There’s some final thoughts, which I would like to share with you. In a way, I think I’ve already mentioned. For us to work as a change consultant or for us to enable this Agile Transition which actually happens in organization maybe, and for us to be at the top of where we are, there are some skills and they are some things which I would like you to be aware. Let me introduce you to this, in terms of I’m great. I know all the Change Models, I know what are the tactical things, strategic things I need to do or I’m trying to implement Agile Transition, or what I’m trying to enable my teams.
Revisiting Agile Coaching, Facilitating, Teaching and Mentoring
What are the other things do you need? What are the other competencies do you need? Here at least I have four things which I think is absolutely critical in addition to what we just discussed. I’ve mentioned earlier already in terms of Coaching, in terms of Facilitating, Teaching, and Mentoring. These are the skills which are very important. I actually came from a consulting background, and at the very first when I try to get in touch with coaching and join the coaching qualification stuff like that, I actually find it quite hard, because it changed everything which I used to behave. It changed everything of how I work. But now working as a coach, and then doing mass qualification, talking to fellow coaches and in the coaching practice like I’m coaching other people as well.
I actually find this one of the most important skills everyone, every professional or even in your personal life that you need to have. What do I mean by that? Coaching here, I mean, professional coaching. Professional coaching is the competence where you actually work with a client or you work with your colleagues, where you’re helping them by asking questions, by active listening to what they’re talking about, and then by helping them to elicit that information, which they didn’t know before. It can be awareness, it can be introspection, it can be anything, which basically helping them to gain new insight in their own lives. It says here by ICF, International Coaching Federation, saying that coaching is actually about helping or partnering with people in a thought provoking and creative process, which inspire them to maximize their personal and professional potential. It’s a lot of skills, which you can do in that and in our alumni and in our LinkedIn pages, we actually posted a number of things for you to download.
My colleague Chitra is going to post our LinkedIn and our information. Follow us, join us and we’ll be sharing some automations should you be interested, and that there should be a link as well. Chitra if you have it, you can share that with the people in the team, and we actually provided some information on what coaching is, and what are the questions which you can use to help people to maximize their potentials. All right, very quickly Facilitation. Facilitation is something which we teach as well. This is really about helping like group of people… Being a facilitator means that you are being very neutral, and then you are owning the process and you helping people to achieve a goal, which is previously set. How do you do that?
Working with a Mentor
You can have different techniques, you will have different skills and you can just stand in the storm when things happen, and you can do more in the process to make sure that people actually deliver what they come up to deliver. Like a workshop or like a meeting, so you’re providing that. Teaching, obviously you are professionals in your own field. As you become experienced, you can provide those information, you can impart your knowledge, you can impart your skills and you can impart your perspectives to other people, to help them to grow. This is about teaching. Mentoring is similarly, is about sharing your knowledge. But what you’re doing is you’re trying to help individual to force their personal and professional growth. A mentor is generally someone who is probably the expert in a field, and which the mentee will actually approach whenever you have got a problem. Yeah, I’ve got this issue, the mentor will be able to share experiences and share their insight in terms of what are the options the mentee can actually pursue.
Teaching is different from that perspective, because teaching has got objectives. Like, I’m here to teach you something and I’m going to hit all the linear objectives and that’s it, that’s my job done. Teaching, passing on information, Mentoring is like slightly different relationship in comparison to that. All right, I am just right on the clock. Sorry, I don’t think today we’ll have time for Q&A. But if your Q&A is very urgent, please do reach out and we will do our best to help you. With that note, a very great thank you for joining us today. It has been an absolute pleasure to see all of you.
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