Planview webinar to focus on Adaptive Enterprise

Since I spoke at BusinessAgility2017 in New York last month, it’s become very clear to me there is a great deal of interest from upper management in my work in creating adaptive organisations.

In recent years I’ve sensed how large organisations are struggling with how to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Now, it’s become clear to them that it’s time to do something about it.

To that end, Planview invited me to host a live webinar on March 29th titled Power Your PMO with the Adaptive Enterprise: Increase productivity with continuous planning.

This webinar is aimed squarely at those who head up large projects and programs in an organisation and the importance of the PMO in creating change makers.

It’s important to note the distinction between Change Makers and Change Agents.

Change Agents are usually tasked by those in upper management, taking orders without much collaboration with regards to what is being implemented and why.

On the other hand, Change Makers conceptualise, design, integrate, initiate and find new ways of delivering value, driving solutions upwards and downwards.

The webinar will discuss how Change Makers and Agents are crucial to lasting organisational change.

Turning an organisation into a dynamic changeable environment requires a different skill set that command control management. An adaptive organisation is one that is constantly renewing and reinventing strategies as part of its DNA.

To register for the webinar, click the link here and sign up.

If  you  want to talk to me further about how to make your organisation adaptable, please contact me.

Adaptability: Don’t Implement – Grow!

While at the Business Agility 2017 conference in New York recently, I met many wonderful people, all eager to engage on the issue of adaptability in organisations. The work I pioneered in my 2005 book Sense and Respond: The Journey To Customer Purpose has found its moment. Organisations know they have to change now and adaptability is their preferred method.

SolutionsIQ tracked me down at the conference to talk with them about my work and I was only too happy to oblige.

As I say in the interview organisations are paying attention to the work we do now because we are speaking to their point of view. Why is this important? Well as I’ve discovered, while many organisations have common purpose, that purpose is lost because the different levels are not speaking a common language. We’re not talking the differences between languages like German and English – but the internal language of company where instructions mean one thing to a manager and quite another to a team member. That lack of common language can lead to communication issues – that kill productive change and slow down innovation.

Of course, these issues can be fixed through the implementation of an adaptive business. But the real struggle is to bring this structural fault to upper management and have them understand why it needs to be fixed.

The managers and leaders at the top of the business are very busy, pressured, and have insights into market share and trends that seem a world away from the people on the frontlines.

It’s an interesting clip and I hope you’ll find it interesting enough to share with colleagues.

If you have any questions or would want to talk to me about how this applies to your company, please get in touch.

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BusinessAgile2017 Redux: Change or die

Before last week’s talk at BusinessAgility2017 in New York City, I told some of my confidantes that I sensed something shifting in the change and transformation field.

I wasn’t able to put my finger on it at the time. But it became clear to me after I talked about my work in adaptability that transforming organisations to become more adaptable is needed more now than ever.

You can read the synopsis of my talk here.

I heard from many in attendance that large organisations know they have to do something – but didn’t know what “that something” was. For some time, many have experimented with supporting agile and adaptive teams in their command and control environments to good success. The problem is that it was limited success. The muddleware linkage between agile teams and their managers was unfortunate and led to an increasingly adversarial relationship between the two.

I think the reason organisations only embraced agile methods for teams was two-fold. They wanted to believe that if necessary, it could scale up. Despite what some agile purveyors claimed, it did not scale up. Change at that scale required an adaptive climate for the entire organisation. And second, they didn’t want to let go of their command and control roots.

But now they do. I heard it from conference attendees. As one put it, “they know they have to do something” because market and tech changes are happening so fast that they have to adapt to thrive.

Surviving is no longer enough

When I wrote Sense and Respond ten years ago, I outlined what organisations needed to do to become adaptive ones. At the time, I was very optimistic that many companies were seeing the same increasing trend for rapid company adaption that I had seen as Head of Strategy and Change at Fujitsu Services.

Unfortunately, while many recognised a need for change, many felt they had plenty of time to do so. The market-place has now changed. Businesses are clamouring to find organisation structures and effective approaches to deliver adaptability.

In any case, it’s encouraging that a great number of organisations are now seeking ways to the Adaptive Organisation. The good news is that while Sense and Respond was published over ten years ago we at Lloyd Parry have continued our research into what makes organisations adaptive and created our Adaptive Business Framework (™) to take into account not just the mechanics of adaptability but also the all-important dynamics.

Transformation times for adaptability ten years ago would typically take five years, with the new Adaptive Business Framework TM approach now down to eighteen months.

To learn how your organisation can transform through an adaptability process, please get in touch.

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Talking about Adaptive Design in New York

On February 23rd, I’ll be in New York City engaging in one of my favourite professional activities: speaking with and to my colleagues in the change management world. It’s always interesting to hear the divergent, and sometimes conflicting, viewpoints around management theory and implementation.

The Business Agility 2017 conference on February 23 – 24 will be an opportunity for me to speak about radical organisational change, specifically shifting the culture of a company from an industrial one towards an Adaptive Design.

This is a fundamental but crucial shift, bridging adaptive teamwork in organisations with a management model that is built to support it. That this results in greater profitability is a given, but it also allows an organisation to respond quickly to rapid changes in the marketplace and to smaller, more nimble competitors.

My involvement is with the Agile Organisational Design part of the day. I will speak to workplace design, and job design as it relates to decision making.

I intend to explore how organisational design can inhibit or promote self-organising teams, collaboration, transparency and devolved decision making.

Accepted organisational constraints on decision making will be critically reviewed with a specific focus on evolving role definitions and how shifts of authority can impact organizations. .

By analysing those issues, I intend to explore how organisations can create the proper structures and people development strategies for an agile business.

Increasingly organizations are moving past supporting adaptable teams within a command and control environment to changing the very culture of their leadership structures.

How this will be received is going to be very interesting. But it is only through the free exchange of ideas and the rigorous intellectual vetting that goes with it that one can truly take something theoretical and make it truly implementable.

If you would like to talk with me before or at Business Agility 2017 or have me speak at your conference, please contact me.

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Business Agility 2017 Conference brings even more change to New York

Although most of my time is spent working on adaptability and change with organisations, conferences are like professional vacations to me.

Discussing change issues with colleagues is an invigorating way to spend a few days. And of course presenting ideas as a speaker to an audience that may be unfamiliar with my work is always a great opportunity.

The upcoming Business Agility 2017 conference in New York City looks to be a particularly good one given that its focus is far-ranging.


Sessions include:

  • Introducing Business Agility:
  • What does it mean to be an agile organisation – you’ve heard the buzzword and seen the articles, but what is Business Agility?
  • Leading the Transformation:
  • How do you lead the change? How do you get 1,000’s of employees to align to your vision of an agile organisation?
  • Business Innovation:
  • How have agile organisations used their agility to continuously adapt in an unpredictable, VUCA, market?

All of them can be seen here.

The one I’m presenting on is Agile Organisational Design.

When I spoke on a similar topic at a conference in Stockholm late last year, I came to appreciate that discussing adaptability as it relates to organisational, rather than team, dynamics resonated more with those who are currently looking to create a culture of change within their businesses. I look forward to expanding on that in New York.

To learn more about the Business Agility conference, click here. To get in touch with me before the conference to discuss organisational change, click here.

Stephen Parry to brew up some agile in Gothenburg

There are roughly two parts to my work in Agile and Adaptiveness. One is working with organisations on transformation. The other is recharging my creative batteries by engaging with colleagues and peers on agile and adaptiveness techniques.

Biog PhotoThis week I will be taking a creative deep dive in the latter category when I attend the Brewing Agile conference taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden.

And while I will be presenting at the conference, it’s my co-presenters that I’m most keen in hearing and catching up with.

These include:

  • Vasco Duarte who transforms product design organizations into product development organisations.
  • Luis Goncalves, co-founder at Oikosofy, Agile Coach at HolidayCheck, author, speaker and blogger.
  • Hilary Johnson, a product manager with Pivotal Labs where she develops software for startup and enterprise clients while also enabling agile and collaborative practices with client teams.
  • Marc Loeffler, an agile coach, author and trainer.

For my part, I will be speaking on The Journey from an Agile Workplace to an Adaptive Business. My presentation will delve into the importance of creating the right work-climate for Agile to manage work more effectively and ensure organisations become highly adaptive to their customers and their marketplace.

Work-climate is a key part of this in this as it is a proven predictor of long-term business performance.

In examining ‘work-climate’, I’ll explore the following questions:

  • What are the best choices for managers and staff to make?
  • What needs to be eradicated?
  • What needs to be redesigned?
  • How do we put the customer and our employees at the heart of the business?

What I hope to do in my talk is persuade my colleagues in the agile and lean world to upgrade the foundation of their thinking to adaptive. It’s about liberating thinking workforces to realise their potential while redesigning the organisations they work in. The knowledge work in the creative environments they develop will change the world of work into a sustainable productive environment. And as goes the world of work, ideally, so goes the entire world.

To read more about the Brewing Agile conference, click here.

If you would like to have me speak to your company or conference about an adaptive transformation, please get in touch.

The wow about the WOW! Awards

Working with Lean over the years, I’ve grown to take special delight in seeing how customer engagement changes, develops and then becomes essential in the growth of an organisation.

Given that, we at Lloyd Parry are happy to have our own Rupert Coles as a judge at this year’s WOW! Awards.

WOW! Is an independent award organisation that rewards great customer service solely through customer compliments. That’s it. No supervisor input.

Whether you’re part of the Lean universe or not, the WOW! Awards are an event every business can look to for examples of how improve the customer contact experience.

The awards are a celebration of the best in customer service and experience  – something that a lot of businesses have lost site of in the age of random cost-cutting and automation.

As an organisation, WOW! created a set of tools to easily facilitate the flow of information from customer to business and then to the employee responsible for the positive customer experience.

I see WOW! and similar organisations as crucial to Lean in that they provide a useful mechanism to not only smooth the feedback process but turn it into positive employee feedback and rewards.

And by championing the finalists for these awards they provide a status in great customer service delivery usually reserved for management success.

The Gala Awards will be held on November 28.

To learn more about the WOW! Organisation and Gala, please click here.

If you’re interested in learning about how LloydParry can put your company into the upper tier of customer-focussed business success, please get in touch.

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The European Lean Educator’s Conference: My Day Two Picks

I’m heading to the  European Lean Educator’s Conference (ELEC) taking place September 16 and 17 in Buckingham. On Tuesday I gave you my run down of sessions for Day 1. Today I’m going to share my Day 2 picks.

To me, conferences such as this one are important for all who attend but especially business people taking in the world of Lean with an eye to bringing it to their companies. They get to talk with fellow attendees, speakers and presenters about the current state of Lean and Agile efforts as well as further applications in the future.

I’ve come up with a list of sessions that I’m looking forward to attending on Day Two, September 14. My Day One picks were in a previous blog, which can be found here. 

Day Two

09:00 – 9:40
Mark Pyne (Ingersoll Rand, Ireland)

Pursuit of Excellence in Shared Services: A Case Study of IRI

Abstract: “Much of today’s thinking and organisational design can be attributed to the work of Frederick Taylor. His obsession for micromanagement sparked the ‘one best way’ mentality of performing work. Organisations, just like science, are now split up into many distinct disciplines. Divide and conquer is assumed to be the best approach. This ‘command and control’ methodology is often supported by automated telephone and workflow management systems.”

I am particularly interested in shared services, as I have worked in the area for some time. I am hoping for something a little more than process flow and simply removing waste.

9:40 – 10:30
Owen Berkeley-Hill (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India)

Getting Lean back on track

Abstract: “The nature and definition of Lean is always the subject of energetic debate at the many Lean watering holes. Sadly, there is little consensus around what that definition actually is. This presentation argues for a broader interpretation of Lean which could be the basis for a new approach to leadership development.”

Sounds like it might provoke an interesting debate on where Lean is right now and where it needs to develop.

10:50- 11:30
Ameer Robertson(New York City Hospitals, USA)

Deep Lean Learning: How the Legal Service Industry can reinvent itself for long-term sustainability

Abstract: “Through innovative service models, non-lawyers have acquired large segments of the legal service market from legal practitioners. To compete, law firms have turned to limited applications of Lean. But to sustain viability, lawyers must engage in “deeper Lean  learning,” and utilize Lean to its fullest capability. In doing so, law firms will acquire the capacity to proactively adapt to changes in the marketplace and ultimately reinvent the delivery of their services for long-term sustainability.”

Legal Services like any knowledge based work is an excellent area for Lean and Agile thinking, however it’s often made to sound and function like Lean manufacturing –  which takes Lean backwards in these types of environments. I wonder if they came across the same obstacles as I have? I wonder more how they addressed those challenges?

16:30-17:10
Dr Mads Bruun Larsen (University of Southern Denmark)

A model and method for customisation of Simulation Games

Abstract: “Most simulation games played at training sessions use general wordings and a fixed flow and operations. In some cases, this is a serious obstacle to transferring learning from the game to real life. A model and method is presented as a first step toward fast customization for each individual session.”

You can never go wrong with a simulation game in your tool chest  – keeping it on hand to modify, or developing new ones seems to be the life of the Lean Practitioner. Being able to conjure one at a moment’s notice has got me out of many tricky situations. Indeed my own Adaptability Simulation Workshop is a very popular exercise with a few of my more forward thinking clients.

 

So that’s the rundown on how I’ll be spending my time at the ELEC conference this year. Of course the one session I failed to mention was my own at 14.50-15.30 on Day 2, September 14.

Designing organisations that work for Lean and Agile thinking people will demonstrate the importance of organisational design and route-map sequencing to create conducive work-climates for Lean and Agile thinkers.

Please add it to your schedules. I hope to have a good crowd.

If you think I missed an important session, please add it to the comments.

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The European Lean Educator’s Conference: My Day One Picks

When talking to companies about Lean and Agile, I often wish I had a way to have them take a deep dive into the broad universe of thought and opinion on this dynamic way of thinking.

That said, I looked at the schedule for the upcoming European Lean Educator’s Conference (ELEC) taking place September 16 and 17 in Buckingham, UK with an eye to what the business community and my customers can learn from it. 

 

I’ve come up with a list of sessions that I’m looking forward to attending. What follows are my Day One picks. Day Two will follow in the next blog post on Thursday.

Day One

09:15-10.00hrs
Prof. Darrell Mann (Systematic Innovations Ltd)

Counter-Intuitives: Lean, Innovation & Complex Adaptive Systems
Abtract: “Lean for Leaders When we cross the threshold between systems that are complicated and those that are mathematically complex, or when we cross the threshold between the world of Operational Excellence and the world of step-change innovation, many of the Lean truisms turn out to no longer be true.

This presentation will examine some of the counter-intuitive shifts in thinking necessary in order for organisations to successfully survive in a post-’continuous improvement’, innovate-or-die world.

The paper is borne of a seventeen year, 5.5 million case study analysis of what does and does notwork in complex environments, and will explore why there is no such thing as a ‘root cause’, why ‘ready, fire, aim’ is the more appropriate change strategy, how the propensity of butterfly wing flaps to cause distant tornadoes makes the Pareto Principle dangerous, and why some degree of ‘waste’ is critical when our world flips into the mode of a complex adaptive system.

I am particularly interested in organisational adaptability, as I have been involved in this particular field for a number of years. This session’s theme is important not only for practitioners and (increasingly so) chief executives but also start-ups.”

12.00-12.45hrs
Prof. Dr. Christoph Roser (Karlsruhe University of Applied Science, Germany)

The Origins of Lean & Lessons for Today

Abstract: “Lean manufacturing is arguably the best approach to faster, better, and cheaper manufacturing. We all know that Lean originated at Toyota in Japan, from where it spread throughout the world. But Toyota did not imagine their Toyota production system out of thin air. They took many good ideas from others. The Toyota production system, and hence Lean, is based on inspiration from the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan, and others.

The achievement of Toyota is to merge these ideas in a new and unique approach to manufacturing that the world has never seen before. Let’s have a look at some of the many origins of Lean production. But remember, the giants of Lean stood themselves on the shoulders of Giants…”

Much of LLoyd Parry’s work has been with a number of companies in Germany – where there seems to be a much more open attitude to accepting and experimenting with new ideas. Lean and Agile is no exception. The ‘engineering – logic’ aspect of Lean and Agile seems to resonate with German management practices. I really interested to see how they managed with the soft side of Lean and Agile with regards to changing behaviours and cultures.

15.45-16.15hrs
Belinda Waldock (Being Agile)

Agile for Lean People

Belinda helps teams and businesses find and hone their agility to support growth and improvement. She is author of Being Agile in Business, an introduction to agile working for the whole business, a professionally qualified ILM Coach and Mentor in business, and a Computer Science graduate. Working with a diverse array of businesses she supports the development of growth strategies through technology, teams and leadership using agile methods and practices.

There are still serious misconceptions  and misunderstandings within the Lean and Agile Communities, leading to futile discussions about Lean trying to become Agile on the shop floor and Agile trying to scale up using Lean. I have written on this issue in the past and I am sure it’s a subject I’ll return to it again after the conference and inspired by this session.

16.15-17.00hrs
Sir Anthony Seldon (University of Buckingham)

Innovation in Education

Abstract: “Education is just about to enter its fourth revolution in 10,000 years. Delegates must puzzle out what the first three were before hearing about the fourth!”

I’ve often wondered why it has taken so long for academia to make the connection between education and Lean – which is the best known business learning system available to managers today. It will be interesting to see how they apply Lean – to create better, more effective, learning experiences for students that teach them the principles of continuous learning. More importantly I’m also looking forward to how they use Lean to ‘Lean our administration processes’.

In closing day one looks like a cracker. The content across all the sessions looks great and if you can’t find something in the list you like, then by all means go through the agenda and make your own. And if you want to add a few more with your reasons for choosing them, go ahead and add them in the comments below.

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Spotlight on the European Lean Educator Conference 2016

Anyone immersed in Lean culture will be heading to Buckingham in the UK for the third edition of the European Lean Educator’s Conference (ELEC) and for good reason.

Although this is only the third ELEC conference, its updates on teaching, supporting and applying Lean, make it an engaging deep dive into all things Lean in 2016. It’s also a superb opportunity to engage with others in the lean community.

The conference theme is Lean Education Outside of Manufacturing which will range from topics such as lean product design, product innovation and lean in the office to applications from fields such as healthcare and lean in education.

More specifically, the presentations include Innovation in Education, Systems Thinking and Re-thinking Lean, Counter-Intuitives: Lean, Innovation & Complex Adaptive Systems and Agile for Lean People. That noted, there are many others that also intrigue which goes to what a fascinating conference this is going to be.

Lean is currently making forays into many fields and getting a current survey of its penetration in European cultures, business and otherwise, is extremely valuable.

I will be speaking at the conference on Designing Organisations That Work for Lean and Agile Thinking People. The presentation will demonstrate the importance of organisational design and route-map sequencing to create conducive work-climates for Lean and Agile thinkers.

I’m particularly interested in speaking with leaders to find out how they are using the principles of lean to create adaptable organisations.

If you’re planning to attend and would like to connect simply send me a note and we’ll make it happen.

Next week I’ll have my picks for what sessions I think will be of most value. So stay tuned!

To read more about the ELEC conference, please click here. Keep in mind that registration is open until September 5.