Openness: the power of personal stories.
An agile transformation can be seen by employees as a potential threat. They fear, for example, that work and responsibilities will change or even become superfluous.
This creates uncertainty and therefore resistance. The Agile philosophy, which aims to become more open for change and, as a result, a new way of working, must therefore be clearly communicated aligned with the state of openness of the people involved. Without an image of what Agile is at its core, there will be no acceptance for the proposed transformation. Within change management, the following formula is often used to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of a change: effectiveness = quality x acceptance.
To make a transformation a success (effectiveness), in addition to the quality of the applied processes and techniques (the hard side), there must be proportional attention for acceptance (the soft side). Only then is the transformation embraced by employees and stakeholders. In other words: without attention to the human factor there is no support and no commitment. The transformation is doomed to fail.
Before I started working as a transformation coach, I was a middle manager for almost 20 years and, like many of the people I now work with, I was in the same boat. I, too, was afraid of what would happen to my job, to my carefully built career, after the Agile transformation of the company where I worked.
I like to work with narrative questions based on my personal experiences to make people look at the transformation in a different way. Especially with Scrum, it’s valuable to know who you’re going to work with so intensively. That pays off when the pressure is on, when decisions have to be made and the change comes very close. I let people talk to each other en myself on the basis of personal, vulnerable, open stories from my own experiences, and I notice that there comes understanding and openness instead of just pushing change away.