Blog : Transformation Tales

CIO alone cant drive enterprise agile transformations. (04-May-2021)

Leaders understand that Technology by itself does not bring about enterprise agility and it is just an enabler.

I was in a discussion with some senior scrum masters and agile coaches yesterday. During the discussion a question came up about the role of CIO in driving enterprise agility. While people may think that agility is CIO's responsibility, in reality CIO can contribute only up to 15% to 20%. Because it is not about just technology interventions. Worldwide, we have enough examples of failed ERP implementations to prove this point. Many companies are also struggling with agile implementations for this reason.

Stop looking at your CIO for driving agility.

Enterprise Agility transformation needs a multi-pronged approach. It also needs a strong foundation of mental agility and social agility to address the fears, concerns, apprehensions and assumptions which become barriers to change in the minds of all the employees. For enterprise agility, every employee and every department must be involved. All the employees must be aligned both individually and then collectively to bring them together into the change journey.

We need neuroscience based tools and techniques here.

The next steps are to bring in the outcomes agility and related structural agility. You may say that, without clear outcomes, how can we start the process. You are correct. But the reality is that the vision and objectives with which you may have started the transformation journey may become redundant along the way, due to the exponential changes happening in the markets. How can one cope up with that, without embracing outcomes agility and constantly realigning the strategy, goals and objectives?

Even this is not adequate. With every change, one more major underlying change which is warranted is structural in nature. How do you bring all the people involved together? How can we break the organizational silos? This is where a flexible and agile org structure is necessary. Apple has done a great job here. That is one of their sources of agility and excellence.

Only when we address all these layers, technical agility can take roots and enable the organizations to become truly agile.

Existing frameworks are not helping. We need a different set of tools and a comprehensive approach.

Interested in knowing more and learning how to do this? Explore the "Certified Change Consultant" program in the courses offered.

Please contact me for any further queries through

Why top-down communications do not work to drive change? (03-May-2021)

“people do not resist change. They resist being changed” – Peter Senge.

The resistance to change happens at the individual level. And there are 5 levels of resistance. The job of a change leader is to help people go through these steps. These steps are related to the level of threat perceived, level of involvement, level of skills and level of team dynamics. A typical top-down approach of communication is necessary but not sufficient. Therefore, the typical change communication fails. People are doing what they can rather than what is necessary.

ADKAR model helps to some extent but we need specific tools and techniques to convert resistance to willingness. This is not going to happen by merely communicating change vision, benefits etc. It is also not going to work by doing workshops and training programs to enable teams with skills and tools necessary to implement change.

The higher the perceived threat, the higher is the resistance and the higher is the time required to align that person to change. Unlike a product launch in the market, we cannot depend on the adoption curve model hoping to find some early adopters. A few powerful people with enough influence can derail a change program. The change leader must engage with people individually and as a group to elicit these internal barriers driven by their own mental agility and mental models (facts, perceptions, emotions and values). We need to use a few tools and techniques driven by neuroscience. please see below.

It is impossible for any change leader to do all this by himself. He needs a team of well trained change consultants who understand these techniques and who can help him with the program. At Enterprise Agility University, we have developed well researched processes to get such teams ready. Feel free to connect if you need further inputs. Stay safe.

The Only Leadership Skill you need

The only meaningful skill for a leader is the ability to drive sustainable change. All other skills and competencies are enablers which wont help in isolation. Without that vision and mission towards a better future and execution towards the same, all these skills don't mean much.

Leaders themselves must become driven so that they start walking the path and start rallying the followers willing to join the journey towards change. The most important thing here is that everyone has their own definition of the end state based on their own expected outcomes. It is nearly impossible for any leader to ensure that everyone's needs are satisfied.

However, can the leader create an environment where that can happen? Can he provide enough flexibility for people to be able to realize their own individual dreams and aspirations by accomplishing the change? This is where mindset comes into play. Connect with me if you wish to change the way you are driving change

Leaders redefine the way change happens

Leaders change the way change is adopted and make it contextual to every stakeholder.

The biggest problem with enterprise change is that people don't connect with it personally. They think that the change is the latest fad, idea of the day or flavour of the month. Most of them think that this too shall pass and don't do anything to adopt, hoping it to go away or die its own natural death. Why does this happen?

Most of the leaders and managers fail to connect the change to the individual team members and teams. When the team members ask why, the stock answer is that top management wants it done. This confuses the team members and they don't commit themselves or do so half heartedly.

How do you ensure this connect at the individual level? This is a critical success factor and without changing the mental models and the way people connect to change. Feel free to connect with me to discuss how we can make your change initiative effective.

Leaders are Change Agents

Leaders are change agents who create sustainable change which would outlast them.

Having worked with multiple models, standards and frameworks for three decades, I realized that there has always been this missing ingredient in every change initiative. The focus was more on the milestone like getting certified or complete the training. The business results were expected to happen magically.

Organizational change does not happen that way. It is about helping people realize personal and professional growth and related benefits through the change, so that they stick to the new way of doing things and enhance the same. But very rarely you see a framework talking about changing the employee mindset.

Would you like to know more about bringing that mindset change so that your change program starts really delivering business results?

Leaders are OK with baby steps

Leaders understand and accept that every journey starts with baby steps and wont be perfect; and don't let that become a barrier.

During my weekly conversations, my coachee told me that he has not started one of the action items as he felt that he was not yet ready. Over the conversation, we could recognize this pattern where a few other actions were also postponed for the same reasons that he would not be able to get them right.

When I pointed out this, he suddenly saw that it became a barrier for him, stopping him and delaying his actions and progress. He agreed to start those actions immediately.

Many times, we wait for the perfect result, the right time, the right tools, the right level of skills etc. That would never happen as something or the other will always be missing. The best way to progress is to start with what you have. It wont be perfect, It wont be great. It wont be face book worthy. So be it. Just go ahead and do it. You will start building that skill and within a few months, you will see better results. Start today. Feel free to contact me if you need support