Overcoming Fear and The Power of Influence

Don’t you love it when there’s a reward to, what you feel is, taking a risk?  I do.  Regardless of the outcome, whenever a risk is taken, there is learning to be had.  Learning is a reward in itself but, it’s really cool when the risk you take could be a catalyst for real, positive and tangible change.

As I’m journeying through this transformation I’m identifying opportunities for the organization.  Most of these fall into my “soup”.  There are a few here and there which fall into my influence and even less which fall into my control.  The ones I can control are easy.  I take action.  The ones in my influence I have to put more thought into whether or not I should use my (limited) influence and what the best approach might be.  And, there’s a risk.  Putting my neck out there to influence means my neck is exposed.  My approach may be off, the timing might not be right OR perspectives may be so different I actually lessen my ability to influence.  This time it worked.

I have said before that one of the most critical aspects of an Agile transformation is the culture shift.  We are DOING Agile but, we’re not really BEING Agile and the teams have done all the heavy lifting they can and, let’s face it, they’re tired.  I thought it was time for the heavy lifting to occur elsewhere and I wanted to leverage the people who have the best opportunity to really effect change – Managers.  People Leaders.  Some refer to this group as middle managers.  Regardless, they are in a great position to drive change.  They can influence up and down.

I researched the topic and found the “People Leader” Yoda and set about collaborating with her to craft workshops for some of our heavy influencers.  I was able to get the buy in and secure the budget and today was the first workshop and WOW!  The group was engaged!  No laptops.  Everyone showed up and on time.  The conversations were powerful and the “Ah Ha!” moments were many.  There’s momentum to address some of the challenges we have in our culture to enable these teams to be empowered, self-organizing and self-managing.  There’s a realization of their role in this transformation and the power they have.

The influencers have been influenced and I’m bullish on the future results.  There’s so much potential.  The next challenge…..Keep the momentum and energy going.

This was, by far, one of the most rewarding days of my career.


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