Last week Jude Horrill and I (Emma) presented at the CMI Tasmania Launch event at the Royal Hobart Yacht Club. It was a joint venture between CMI, AIPM and IIBA, and an opportunity to share ideas and discuss how we can survive and thrive in this age of disruption we find ourselves in. I supported Jude the following day in an Agile Lean Change Masterclass to introduce participants to new concepts and techniques they could use to improve the way they influence change.
When I first started coaching teams and leaders in Agile, it was very much a ‘Could’ item on the backlog. Something that people wanted to do because they saw the benefits – something to move toward in anticipation of positive outcomes. But still an option. Fast forward ten years and that ‘Could’ item has become a ‘Must’ item. Organisations are recognising that this ‘new way of working’ has become, in Denning’s words “mainstream management”, and if you are not there yet, you risk being left behind altogether. The motivation has changed. And there is no longer an option to do nothing.
Toward and Away from Motivation
In human behaviour, we have what is known as meta-programs. These are ways of behaving that are more or less baked into who we are. There are twelve in total, and the one that stands out for me when it comes to adopting new ways of working is the one known as toward vs away from motivation. People motivated in a ‘toward’ way are more likely to be moved toward an improved outcome – for example, a better place to work or live. People motivated in an ‘away from’ way are more likely to be moved away from something – for example recognising that where they live or work is not acceptable anymore so they decide to leave.
Neither toward or away from motivation is better than the other. In fact, to create lasting change we need to ensure there is a balance of both types of motivation. You wouldn’t jump into a taxi and ask to be taken ‘anywhere but here’; conversely you wouldn’t’ commit to moving into a new home without first thinking about what you might want to change or improve on in your current home (anyone who has lived without a bathtub for some time can relate to this I’m sure).
What I have observed in the world of agile change is that there has been insufficient away from motivation for quite some time. This meant that many business leaders (many of who are away from motivated) did not change. This newest wave of agile change has come from there being more reasons to move – and these reasons are threats to business.
True Cross Collaboration
The evening of the Tasmania CMI launch was a wonderful collaboration between three entities and their sponsors to create a community of change catalysts ready to be part of this new wave of Agile change. To me, it was a representation of how we all need to work (together across silos) to create meaningful change. Sure, there are tools, models and frameworks, but now we know this change is here to stay, one of the best things we can do is work together. Cross boundaries and functional business units and talk to one another, have empathy for each other’s needs and wants and use this as a platform to do even more.
Events like these fill me with hope that although the future is changing rapidly and more uncertain than ever if we stick together we’ve got this!
If you’re interested in Jude and I speaking at your next event, or the Agile Lean Change master class, check out The Agility Collective website for more information.