Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas Hardcover – Oct 4 2004
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From the Inside Flap
...there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries...and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it. —NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, the prince
You miss one hundred percent of the shots you never take. —WAYNE GRETZKY, hall of fame hockey player
Since you picked up this book, we assume that you've tried to introduce something new into your organization. Maybe you were successful or maybe you were not completely happy with the result. Change is hard. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all the people who have had some success in their attempts to introduce a new idea could sit down with you and share their secrets? This book will provide the next best thing. We've gathered strategies from those successful people so you can take advantage of their experiences.
We've been working on introducing new ideas into the workplace for some time. Mary Lynn Manns is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville whose recent doctoral work concerned this topic. Linda Rising is an independent consultant who has experience introducing new ideas both in academia and industry. Together with all the others who have shared their experiences with us, we have many years of documented successes.
Each technique or strategy we have collected is written as a pattern—a form of knowledge management for capturing a recurring, successful practice. The patterns in this book are the result of years of documenting our observations, hearing from people who have introduced new ideas, reading a variety of views on the topics of change and influence, studying how change agents throughout history have tackled the problems they faced, and sharing our work for comments and feedback. This book does not simply reflect our ideas, but includes those of many different people in many different organizations throughout the world. Expert change leaders are likely to say "I do that!" when they read many of these techniques. We will take this comment as a tribute to our work because our goal was to identify tried and true practices, not just a collection of good ideas that may or may not work.History of These Patterns
The idea of documenting patterns for successful solutions to recurring problems was introduced by a building architect named Christopher Alexander. Even though we are not architects, a number of us in the software development community have adopted Alexander's approach as a way to capture known solutions for software architecture, software design, testing, customer interaction, and other aspects of software development. The introduction of new ideas is, of course, not limited to the software area, but it's where we both began to see a new source for important and useful patterns.
In 1996, Linda was working with a colleague, David DeLano, to introduce patterns into their organization. They were having considerable success, so they began documenting their practices as a collection of patterns. They realized that one instance of a successful solution to a problem is the beginning but not enough to define a pattern. The next step was to validate their experiences with those of change agents in other organizations. They led a workshop at the Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA) conference in 1996 on Introducing Patterns into the Workplace. Workshop participants improved the collection by adding their experiences or Known Uses and by writing new patterns. The resulting collection was shepherded and workshopped at the Pattern Languages of Programs Conference (PLoP) in 1997. In both workshops, participants commented that the patterns could be used for introducing any new idea—not just patterns.
In 1998, Mary Lynn was hired by a large telecommunications company to introduce patterns into that organization. She not only used the patterns David and Linda and others had written (and added Known Uses) but also wrote many new patterns. These were shepherded and workshopped at PLoP '99. Again, participants commented that the patterns had a broader application than simply introducing patterns.
At the ChiliPLoP conference in March 2000, we collaborated for the first time and sponsored a workshop on Introducing Patterns into the Workplace. Participants worked to combine all the patterns into a fledgling language. At this juncture, after a great deal of soul searching, we decided to follow the advice of many reviewers and expand the topic to include any innovation, not just patterns. The focus was narrowed to just introducing an innovation, that is, targeting Innovators, Early Adopters, and the Early Majority to "cross the chasm." The resulting context of applying the patterns would be that the innovation would have taken root in the mainstream of the organization.
The patterns were refined in workshops at other conferences (OOPSLA 2000 and OT 2001) and presented in a tutorial for the first time at OOPSLA 2001. At each of these conferences and workshops, participants improved the patterns by sharing their experiences and suggesting new patterns.
We began to apply these patterns in a variety of domains and to hear from others about similar experiences. It's clear that the techniques can be used to introduce any new idea. The known uses in each pattern and the experience reports describe some of these domains.How This Book Is Organized
The patterns are listed alphabetically, with a brief summary in the Appendix of this book. Pattern names include a page reference where the complete pattern may be found, for example, Fear Less(151). As we describe pattern uses and experience reports in the first two parts of this book, you will see patterns referenced, and you can turn to the appropriate page and read more about the pattern in Part Three. This book can thus become a reference after you have read the initial chapters. When looking for the solution to a particular problem, you can simply skim the summaries in the Appendix and refer to the complete pattern description for a more detailed explanation.
This work is built on the experiences of many people and on research from Robert Cialdini, Malcolm Gladwell, Geoffrey Moore, E. M. Rogers, Peter Senge, and others. We have included a complete list of citations in the References section if you would like to read further.Audience
This book will be of interest to anyone who is trying to introduce a new idea of any kind into an organization of any size. We have all those "powerless leaders" in mind because we have seen that everyone, at any level in an organization, feels powerless when trying to change the minds of others.
The pattern collection has evolved over several years thanks to many pattern originators and countless others who have provided comments, pattern uses, and other feedback. Even though the book has now been published, we continue to care for these patterns and would like to hear from all of you, our readers. We are always happy to answer any questions about the specific sources and the patterns. As Christopher Alexander* noted:
We may then gradually improve these patterns which we share, by testing them against experience: we can determine, very simply, whether these patterns make our surroundings live, or not, by recognizing how they make us feel.
*Alexander, C.A., The Timeless Way of Building, Oxford University Press, 1979.
From the Back Cover
“All that have ever tried to impose change in their organization will immediately recognize and truly value the in-depth knowledge and experience captured in this book. It contains a collection of eye-openers that is a treasure chest for pioneers of new organizational ideas, A fantastic toolbox for use in future missions!”
—Lise B. Hvatum, product development manager, Schlumberger
“If you have need of changing your organization, and especially of introducing new techniques, then you want to understand what is in this book. It will help you avoid common pitfalls that doom many such projects and will show you a clear path to success. The techniques are derived from the experience of many individuals and organizations. Many are also fun to apply. This stuff is really cool—and really hot.”
—Joseph Bergin, professor of computer science, Pace University, New York
“If change is the only guarantee in life, why is it so hard to do? As this book points out, people are not so much resistant to change itself as they are to being changed. Mary Lynn and Linda have successfully used the pattern form to capture and present the recurring lessons of successful change efforts and have placed a powerful knowledge resource in the hands of their readers.”
—Alan O'Callaghan, researcher, Software Technology Research Laboratory, De Montfort University, United Kingdom
“The most difficult part of absorbing patterns, or any technology, into an organization is overcoming the people issues. The patterns in this book are the documentation of having gone through that experience, giving those that dare push the envelope a head start at success.”—David E. DeLano, IBM Pervasive Computing
“If you have ever wondered how you could possibly foster any cultural changes in your organization, in this book you will find a lot of concrete advice for doing so. I recommend that everyone read this book who has a vast interest in keeping his or her organization flexible and open for cultural change.”
—Jutta Eckstein, Independent Consultant, Objects In Action Author of Agile Software Development in the Large
Change. It's brutally tough to initiate, even harder to sustain. It takes too long. People resist it.
But without it, organizations lose their competitive edge. Fortunately, you can succeed at making change. In Fearless Change, Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising illuminate 48 proven techniques, or patterns, for implementing change in organizations or teams of all sizes, and show you exactly how to use them successfully.
Find out how to
- Understand the forces in your organization that drive and retard change
- Plant the seeds of change
- Drive participation and buy-in, from start to finish
- Choose an "official skeptic" to sharpen your thinking
- Make your changes appear less threatening
- Find the right timing and the best teaching moments
- Sustain your momentum
- Overcome adversity and celebrate success
Inspired by the "pattern languages" that are transforming fields from software to architecture, the authors illuminate patterns for every stage of the change process: knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, and confirmation. These flexible patterns draw on the experiences of hundreds of leaders. They offer powerful insight into change-agent behavior, organizational culture, and the roles of every participant.
Best of all, they're easy to use—and they work!
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Top Customer Reviews
As a manager, I have used it to introduce Agile practices such as Scrum, XP and Lean with a number of software groups. If you are adopting Agile or some other new ideas, this is a great guidebook to a successful transition.
This book contains many nuggets of wisdom. It is a must read if you want to dramatically increase your chances of success. The ideas here are consistent with Level 5 leadership from "Good to Great".
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A large part of my current work is in helping companies manage the transition from how they currently develop software to developing software with an "agile process." The book codified some of the things I've done for years without thinking about why but more importantly it also presented ideas I hadn't thought of. For example, the "Champion Skeptic" pattern says to designate a skeptical, strong opinion leader to be the "official skeptic." I've always made a point of involving these skeptics because they can become your best advocates if you convert them. However, I've experimented with the idea as presented here and it works well.
Change will remain hard, even after reading this book. But, you'll be much better prepared and you should find many of the patterns here very helpful.
Part 1 - Overview: Organizations and Change; Strategies or Patterns; Where Do I Start?; What Do I Do Next?; Meetings and More; Take Action!; It's All About People; A New Role: Now You're Dedicated!; Convince The Masses; More Influence Strategies; Keep It Going; Dealing with Resistance
Part 2 - Experiences: Multiple Sclerosis Society Experience Report; UNCA Experience Report; Sun Core J2EE Patterns Experience Report; Customer Training Experience Report
Part 3 - The Patterns
Appendix; References; Index
I'd have typed in each of the patterns, but that would have put me over Amazon's word limit on reviews! :-)
The concept of "patterns" involve finding a practice, or a method of doing something that is successful and can be applied to multiple situations. This is similar to the use of patterns in programming, where you use a particular type of program structure to solve a problem, knowing that the architecture and process has been proven to work in multiple settings. Manns and Rising use this pattern concept to show how you can successfully push new ideas through in an organization without making mistakes that will derail you before you even get started.
For instance, "Location, Location, Location" talks about how moving to a off-site area (or a very nice area) can limit distractions and also show the group how important the idea is. "Guru On Your Side" helps you understand how cultivating a guru who likes your idea can help smooth the path as others in the organization will be more willing and ready to accept the idea from them. A "Champion Skeptic" pattern is to bring in a person who may be less than thrilled with your idea, but is willing to talk about why and help you make it a better one. There are a total of 49 patterns you can utilize during all phases of an idea or project, but I think you can get the idea where the value in this book lies.
As everyone is involved in selling their ideas at some point, this book will be important to just about everyone across an organization. If you want to be more effective in getting people to follow you when things change (or need to), reading this book will get you there.
Once you are able to recognize techniques as patterns, influence becomes something much more controllable. This is a powerful, easy-to-use (and reuse) toolkit for introducing ideas and influencing change. I believe that those experienced in influencing change will find a well thought out set of techniques and those unsure of even how to start will have a great roadmap and set of practices to start with and to invoke as-needed as their change efforts evolve.
The challenge is in moving (people) forward. In this book, the authors give everyone of us the tools (patterns) and the methods (stories) to successfully influence change in organizations.
None of the patterns should come as a surprise. You've probably seen all of them in practice at one time or another. It's the packaging and the sage advice that is worth the price. Having a single source of wisdom for a broad variety of change approaches is, as they say - priceless.
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