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What Exactly Are Change Agents and Change Management?

I've spent a large proportion of the last thirty years involved in or running organisational, business and software process improvement initiatives. It was probably two or three years before I realised that I was actually managing change. Back in the late 1980's, business change was far from the talking point it is these days - at least not in my circles (and most definitely not in my manager's circles).
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The Change Centre

I read an article a couple of days ago called The Change Habitat: Why 70% of Change Managers Are Wrong by Jurgen Appelo. I’d need a lot of convincing before accepting much that was written in the article, but it got me thinking about a problem I’ve seen in many organisations struggling to succeed with their change initiatives. A common denominator in many organisations where there is a history
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Blueprints for Success or Recipes for Disaster?

I've seen a few articles recently about using 'blueprints' for the successful implementation of organisational change, especially in the IT industry. I rarely read beyond the title because I believe there is a fundamental problem in the concept of using a blueprint for anything other than what the original term designated, namely:  A blueprint is a reproduction of a technical drawing,
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5 Facets of Change - Revisited

[I first wrote about the 5 Facets of Change in October 2009 and followed up later in that month with some updates to the model. The two posts have been among the most popular and well received, but it occurred to me that I have never published the combined posts and explained the model in its entirety. So this post rectifies that oversight and includes my most recent thinking. I'm intending to publish
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Thinking Big Is Brilliant But...

I read a couple of interesting posts this week. The first was Are We Too Focused On Incremental Improvement by Bill Fox and the second was You Have To Think Anyway, So Why Not Think Big by Karen Rutter. They are both interesting posts in their own right and well worth a read. Bill's post reminded me of my own Continuous Tinkering Is Not Continuous Improvement from a few years ago.
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The Illusion of Agile - Are You Truly Agile?

Do you work in a truly agile organisation or is it just your department, or maybe only your immediate project that is displaying agile tendencies? If you answer with either of the latter two options then you are probably nowhere near as agile as you think you are and you are almost certainly nowhere near as agile as you would like to be or have the potential to be. I first got involved with agile
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A Tough Nut to Crack

A week or so ago I found a link to an article entitled "7 Reasons you shouldn't touch systems thinking" on the thinkpurpose blog. The link was posted by Bob Marshall (@flowchainsensei) on Twitter, and I tweeted back to him that I found the item "profoundly disturbing". His response was "Excellent! Care to elaborate?", to which I answered that I couldn't put my reasons into a 140 character tweet and
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Continuous Tinkering is not Continuous Improvement

If you take the time to read any of the standards, frameworks, models or manifestos associated with organisational maturity such as CMMI, Lean Software Development, ISO 9000, or Agile it won’t take you long to find a reference to Continuous Improvement. This is the “Holy Grail” of process improvement and the quest for organizational excellence and maturity, where the business finally reaches
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The Sleepwalkers Have Taken Over the Asylum

There's an English Bookshop on the main shopping street in the centre of Zurich. It's quintessentially English and apart from books you can purchase such goodies as Marmite and Coleman's English Mustard. I always wander in to browse whenever I'm in town with a few minutes to spare even though the prices here are astronomical so I have to demonstrate a huge amount of self-constraint. There isn't a great
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Dodgy Decision Making In the Wake of a “Successful” SCAMPI A Appraisal

So your organization now has a huge deck of PowerPoint slides produced by the SCAMP A Appraisal team, and somewhere towards the back there’s one particular slide that tells you your rating (you hope!). It’s probably taken you a long time to get to this point, maybe even years, and the relief from those intimately involved in the whole exercise is palpable. Your SEPG can relax and everyone can look
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5 Facets of Change - Update

I've now made the changes to the 5 Facets of Change tool and this entry provides a quick summary of the modifications. I felt this was better than repeating much of the previous material. I've created a Quicktime movie of an Apple Keynote presentation which contains all the details, and this can be downloaded from my website. The central topic is now called Define the Change, and the five facets
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5 Facets of Change - A Tool for new Change Agents

In this blog entry, as promised, I'm going to run through a simple tool that will help newcomers to Change Management, and should be useful for seasoned practitioners. Only a brief summary is shown here - more information will be available on my website (www.allygill.co.uk)in the next few days. This is still a work in progress and may be subject to change. Specifically, I'm looking to simplify the
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Managing your Executives

It’s one thing for the executive to choose the right change leader as discussed in yesterday’s blog entry, but change leaders don’t have the same luxury - they have to deal with what they’ve got and try to make the best of it.  If you have an enlightened management team, with an inspired leader there’s probably not much point in reading any further. I’ve been fortunate enough to
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Getting the Right Change Leaders

It’s not easy leading and managing Change Programmes. In fact it’s bloody hard, because ultimately you need to aim to please all of the people all of the time. An executive who initiates and sponsors a change programme needs to look very carefully at the person they choose as their key change agent - selecting the wrong individual will doom the programme from its outset. In software process improvement
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