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Catastrophic Organizational Change

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  • Tobias Mayer
    ... Michael, I love this concept. It sounds like the beginning of a great adventure... I want in. I am going to get business cards printed: Tobias Mayer
    Message 1 of 43 , Nov 19, 2005
      -- In the 'Role for Managers' thread, Michael D. Ivey wrote:
      > what we're doing is much "bigger" than changing a 
      > process...we're bringing people to a new way of thinking,
      > to catastrophic organizational change.
      Michael, I love this concept.  It sounds like the beginning of a great adventure...  I want in.  I am going to get business cards printed:
      Tobias Mayer
      Agent of Catastrophic Organizational Change
      Yep, I actually own the domain now ;-))
      It was good to meet you too; it was good to be immersed in Scrum energy for two days.
    • Ron Jeffries
      ... Good plan, me too. ... On the contrary. I love to learn new things and new perspectives on old things. What makes me so smart is that it is quite possible
      Message 43 of 43 , Dec 1, 2005
        On Wednesday, November 30, 2005, at 11:00:27 PM, Joseph Little wrote:

        > Thanks for that. Was pleased to have several chuckles and
        > several "yeps".

        > I can't spell Kuhn, so I am not using any word with those letters in
        > it.

        Good plan, me too.

        > So, you've thought about this too much and are too smart for me to
        > convince you of anything. But just for fun (and maybe
        > entertainingly for others) I will explain a little more of where I
        > was coming from. (My premise is that, if we are clear on our inner
        > motives, we will make better decisions in our work, and be more
        > convincing to others.)

        On the contrary. I love to learn new things and new perspectives on
        old things. What makes me so smart is that it is quite possible to
        convince me of things, though it does take some skill and patience.

        I share that desire to know where I'm coming from and to be
        understood, so I shall do my best to understand what's coming.

        > My comment about not picking fights you don't need to have -- I
        > guess that was my serious comment, and maybe slight disagreement
        > with you. And I think using the word catastrophe *in public* is
        > picking that kind of fight. For those who understand it is
        > metaphor -- not a problem. I guess it partly depends on who is
        > reading this public forum.

        I agree. I am rather sure that I came out /against/ the term
        "catastrophe". I did mention that I favor widespread and sudden
        change. I don't expect it: in fact I expect very slow change if at

        > I can not agree more that, whatever one's business, just doing it
        > for the buck is every reason to find oneself another business.

        Definitely ...

        > But if you really want the change to HAPPEN...I do think you have to
        > sell it to those involved (yeah, yeah, I know the word sell is hard
        > for some of us (and me) to swallow sometimes). I do think there is
        > a substantive difference between the sell-outs and the pragmatists
        > (those who help "the firm" agree to move forward faster or better
        > with Agile). And I will agree that some pragmatists will wake up
        > and find (oh, if we could only predict the future) that they have
        > merely sold-out.

        Regarding selling, I would say (I think in substantive agreement
        with you) that we can and should influence others to change. I
        believe that what convinces people most effectively about these
        things is trying them, and that a distant second is hearing about
        them from peers. Somewhere bringing up the rear is push-focused
        selling from the consultants, authors, and the like.

        Still, we do what we can.

        > I agree wholly with your comment about the dreamers. I respect
        > them and cut them a lot of slack. It takes a lot of courage (or
        > foolhardiness) to dream that way sometimes. And one probably has
        > to be a little bit crazy.

        Yes ...

        > AND...I have often seen dreamers have a great idea that just never
        > gets off the blocks.

        Yes ... because we have to bring the dream to fruition.

        Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake
        in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the
        day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open
        eyes, and make it possible. -- T. E. Lawrence

        > So here I bring in the adage (with trepidation): "The perfect is the
        > enemy of the good." So, we don't need to walk into a firm
        > blaring "all you middle managers are the enemy", to prove we drank
        > the pure water of Agile. Heck, some of those folks can be our best
        > friends. Some (most?) are not relevant one way or another to
        > Agile. And some are indeed an enemy now, but even some of those
        > might be converted by Mother Time, without a fight.

        I would certainly not recommend that strategy either. I believe I
        said that management exists and therefore must be dealt with

        > Again, ironically, I do favor some pain. We usually learn with
        > pain. But we don't need to emphasize it that much. We should be
        > honest that some pain (and more pleasure) will be involved in the
        > transition. Which I find is the normal truth.

        Well, I don't like pain, so I try to minimize it. But much of my
        work is in pointing out to people that the sensation they are
        experiencing now is in fact pain.

        > A side note: It occurs to me that some of the seeming pragmatists
        > are more intent on actually effecting the change than the idealists.
        > (Or some of them.) Still waters run deep.

        It could be. I have my doubts about some.

        > Martyr: Sometimes it is good to pick a public fight. And make a
        > statement. Let's take it to the extreme of martyrdom. My example
        > of a martyr is Socrates. Some things are worth dying for (or, in my
        > smaller world, being fired for). I take several other lessons. One,
        > he didn't do it often. [That's a joke.] Two, he waited until he was
        > 70. Rather advanced old age around 400BC. Not many miles missed
        > out on those tires sent in for re-treading. Third, he waited until
        > he had composed a brilliant and memorable legacy (which became The
        > Apologia), which he must have at least hoped would give benefits far
        > after his death.

        I have no desire to die for my ideas, much less for anyone else's. I
        have no desire to die at all, now that I think of it.

        Regarding my ideas, or those I have borrowed from others, my
        interest is in expressing them to people who want to hear them, and
        in inviting them to try the ideas that appeal to them.

        However, there was a feeling back in the days of the manifesto, at
        least among some of us, not just the young Turks, that we could
        change the world. As usual, that's taking longer, and coming out
        less cleanly, than one might prefer.

        So my practice is to advise the would-be tigers on what I've seen
        work and what I've seen not work, and then set them loose to tear
        the hell out of things.

        Ron Jeffries
        Hold on to your dream. --ELO
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