“We want to build a ‘say anything’ culture, how do we do that?”

A few years back, Jurgen Appelo and I visited an organization that wanted to figure out how to shift their culture. Jurgen started the day off with an inspirational talk, and I followed with a half-day workshop on exploring what shifting the culture meant to them.

Meaningful culture change can take years, if not a decade, so how could we possibly do justice to this subject in a half-day?

While most blog posts like this tend to show the flashy side of culture change, it’s extremely hard and what we did that day started the conversation. The key is, how do you know the outcome is going to move you closer to where you want to be? What can you do if it’s not working? What if people aren’t prepared for the hard work that comes after the workshop?

I’ve been doing this long enough to get a feel for when an organization is serious. These guys had the basics down cold. They visualized their portfolio of work, synchronized their work at the portfolio, program and team level in a big visible room, and moved all the managers out of their cozy offices and into an open-concept working area. Oh, and this is an 11,000 person organization, if they can visualize work, so can you!

Kidding aside, since the dawn of humanity, society has progressed by sharing stories, and passing down rituals from generation to generation. Sometimes we overlook the power of conversation so in this session, we explored:

  • what is it about our existing culture that we like, and should celebrate?
  • what positive stories do we see today that we want to reinforce?
  • what attributes of our culture do we consciously want to work on? How would we know we’re making progress?

The we used Value Stories so they could take a snapshot of where they are, and where they wanted to be 6 months from that time.

There are plenty of leadership theories and models out there, but what action do you take at 10:13am on Monday when you have that all important alignment meeting with senior leadership?

That’s what Management 3.0 is all about. Practical activities and games to help you shift your organization towards Agile. Join us in Toronto on November 27-28 and learn how to use Value Stories, and many other Management 3.0 practices to help guide your organization towards agility.

Register for $995.