Why we start with transformation and pattern-based approaches

By: Paula Stewart
Published Date: 5 Nov 2020

Many initiatives are referred to as transformations. However, they are change initiatives. Transformation is not change. Many Agile and business coaches know this. They have experienced, seen, and witnessed a number of these initiatives in organizations. In fact, to make matters worse, these initiatives are often scaled to the enterprise and referred to as “push transformations.” However, transformation has absolutely nothing to do with pushing something.

So the impact tends to look like this:

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Most employees want to contribute and succeed. The “transformational change” (these words together make us shutter) is pushed on top of their current workload. There is no time to identify or resolve constraints and no shift in mindsets. There are new processes, practices, and “things to do.” Team members end up working heroic hours to fit in this “change,” and teams eventually break down because no one has time to communicate. This lack of communication erodes trust.

There is a lack of engagement

Now let’s add that communication is made even more difficult in our complex world with rapid changes and market disruption. Why? Team members are faced with illness, teaching their children, and working with leadership and coaches that are not trained or aware of the latest remote facilitation approaches. Without actual transformation that inspires, moves, and empowers your teams along with the latest remote facilitation approaches, you might notice team members stop turning on their cameras. There is a lack of engagement.

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Transformation has patterns

I love patterns. Architectural patterns, design patterns, coding patterns are all there to avoid recreating the wheel. We can use those patterns in our toolbox and apply them to various problems allowing us to manage complexity efficiently. Similarly, with transformation, there are language patterns (distinctions) that actually cause breakthroughs in challenging self-limiting beliefs, assumptions, and blind spots. Given that blind spots are part of being a human being, everyone deals with them. They hold us back and limit the impact we can make. With transformational coaching, there is the opportunity to eliminate assumptions and recognize blind spots that no longer serve us.

Start transformational coaching with leadership

After practicing these patterns or distinctions, leaders and coaches can have a say on how situations occur to their teams by the language they use. With future-based language, they can create an empowering context. I cannot think of a better time to create an empowering context for your team. Can you?

Patterns for organizational performance

In the same way that there are language patterns for transformation, there are pattern-based approaches to organizational performance. Whether we are talking about the mental models and patterns of XSCALE, TameFlow, or business agility, they actually provide the agility needed in the current business environment. Just as human beings are delightfully unique, so are the organizations they are part of. Pattern-based models allow us to apply the right solution to the problem instead of having solutions looking for a problem.

Transformation provides the foundation for our pattern-based approach, and we weave transformation in every part of our assessment and roadmap. Below you can see how transformation is the foundation, and business agility domains, patterns, and practices provide a systemic approach to assess holistically what impacts organizations and their teams.

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Coaches, leaders, and teams are telling us this is a relief. Why? We guide them by quickly looking at domains and patterns and then surfacing what keeps everyone busy without adding value. Have you ever seen your team members working hard for no good reason? Have you ever wondered why everyone hates Agile while only really being engaged in process and technical agility? Would you like an objective way to measure and show the impact of ignoring bottlenecks and "The Constraint"? These workarounds cause very unpredictable velocity frustrating your product and sales teams alike. The waste and bottlenecks in our whirlwind activities make it difficult for sales and operational teams to achieve their wildly important goals. Time for communication has been wasted, which creates a breakdown in team dynamics and trust.

Let's understand the patterns that change people's relationships with each other and their work and put the focus on our customers, employees, partners, and stakeholders. We would have more time for creativity, fun, and value-add work. This would empower and inspire your teams while allowing them the time to deal with their increasingly complex lives.