How to make friends and influence people in your team and company

I will end up and start a new year in New Zealand, and one of the things that had surprised me is how amicable people are in this part or the world (as well as their amazing landscapes). My previous year was in Santiago de Chile, where I made some good friends and gained some weight due to their sensational food.

Different countries, companies and cultures, but problems seem always to be the same.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to help several teams that aimed to create a common process and start using a shared flow. They needed this as wanted to release a great product in the market every 2 weeks, thing which required several areas of the company to be coordinated (marketing, software, business plans, short term goals, etc.).

A common pitfall when you find a need like this is that, in general, each of the groups have different approaches on how to solve a problem, unique ways of interacting between peers, distinct capabilities and even different shortcuts and team history.

It is something relatively common in these scenarios that a Scrum Master or Agile Coach would recommend to use some visual tools, such as a physical task boards or even a Kanban, with the intention of initially help people come up with their unique common flow.

The trap in here is that most teams focus only on making the processes visible and then improving them, although in reality, there are 3 areas that need to be addressed if what they want to achieve is a lasting change.

  1. Remove obvious obstacles before doing anything else
  2. Remove or replace unnecessary processes or even improve them
  3. Improve or change interactions between members (human part)

In general, any lasting change should cover these 3 areas, and all stages should be performed -specially if teams are new- at different times and with clear objectives.

That is why I have focused on drawing those phases to help people think of some recommended steps and allow teams identify where they currently are in the transition. This is, in my opinion, an effective way to make a lasting change in an organisation and/or team.

img_0088

(You can download the diagram in high definition from here)

Have in mind that if you want something to improve, then the people doing the work should feel part of the change and transition. Otherwise, you will end up dragging and pushing the change in an unsustaiable and exhausting way.

Tell me what you think and if it’s useful to you …
Thanks for listening,
Erich

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