Make things visible 2 enable change
Let’s be honest here, the first time I saw the power of Making Things Visible in action and acknowledge it consciously, was by the end of 2013. Which means that I spent around ten (10) years of my professional career, not knowing that powerful way of empowering others to take action and enable them to decide what to do, when and how.
Different situations, same outcome
In April 2013, I went to my first Agile Coach Camp Canada in Toronto. Then in June of the same year, I met my friend/mentor and admired Agile Coach Michel Céré at work. These events have made me realize, the importance of making things visible and how that have helped me and others with enabling valuable change to happen.
- What happen at Agile Coach Camp Canada… stays with you forever
It was at that particular Open Space Technology event, when I’ve experienced for the first time, what being Agile meant and how powerful, making things visible 2 enable change could be.
I spent 48 hours of straight learning, sharing and nurturing my curiosity from the most incredible kind and caring people that I’ve ever met before in my life. It was there when I truly experienced, truly collaboration and endless love about a subject work related.
This experience brought to my attention, several revealing facts that enabled required and valuable self-change:
- I could help others but first, I needed to get to know myself very well.
- I had a voice and a bigger purpose that I wanted to understand, to better serve others.
2. Becoming an Agile Organization
When playing the Scrum Master role at Seedbox Technologies, one of my teams was constrained by a stakeholder extremely directive. He was telling the teams what to do and when. He used to micromanage people in the team, by deciding who was doing what and sometimes how. He was in a command and control mode all the way.
Regarding the Product Owner, he was also constrained but the most complicated to deal with was the he adapted his ways to fit in the culture in place.
Everything seemed to be ok with everyone, but the whole company was going in a different direction. The leadership team wanted people to collaborate, teams to self-organize, make and own their decisions. They wanted to become an agile organization.
In order to deal with that context, Michel tough me that making things visible before planning or doing anything, would help us with enabling the required change within the teams and then in the whole organization.
After 3 years of intense collaboration and a lot of making things visible, we were able to:
- Help stakeholders with trusting teams and empower them to self-organize and deliver incredible results.
- Help management with understanding better their own role and turn it into supporting roles for teams.
- Help teams with growing in a collaborative, people-centric and customer oriented organization.
How to make things visible? My own recipe
- Take time to assess and understand the context. I like to spend at least 1 month to silently observe, and ask questions to understand the what and the how of things. Then I use to validating my perceptions with the people that will be impacted if change is enabled.
- Think big start small. I love Kanban principles when it refers to evolutionary change. So, I always start with what we have at the moment, and then by making things visible all together, we have everything in place to enable collaboration and start talking about facts, now that we have them visible.
- Create a vision and share it. I like to create myself a vision about where do I see is possible for the team, business unit, department to be in 1 year from now, and then share it with those around me, that are willing to hear.
- identify/Engage with people that want things to change and are willing to act. By active listening to what people are saying, I can guess who is interested in enabling change. Not matter how they feel, if they are talking about it, there is still hope for change.
- Keep trying and acting. In my previous post, I’ve shared my willingness to keep fighting and acting no matter what. Well, when making things visible I would say is the same. Keep faith and hope that you can make things happen, but remember, that you can’t change what you don’t see.
Help people with seeing first, and then you and your context will be more prepared to make things happen in an evolutionary way.