Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fearless Change

Mary Lynn Manns is visiting Agile-Carolinas in Charlotte next week.

As many of you will know, Dr. Manns is the co-author of Fearless Change, along with Linda Rising. This is a great book about getting people to adopt a new idea (eg, lean-agile-scrum).

So, I wanted to take this opportunity, in thanks, to praise the book and to write about one pattern in the book. In this case: "Fear Less".

This pattern is first about how we fear the skeptic. And the first advice is, as other wise teachers have taught us, love your enemies.

This is in part saying "accept that you are an imperfect human". Meaning, again in part, that while lean-agile-scrum may be very very good, my own interpretation of that might be less than perfect for a specific usage. And a good skeptic can keep bad things from happening.

We must also understand that many people, quite normally, resist change unless they can clearly see that it will help them.

It is also, I think, a recognition that each person is free. Our opposite is not required to agree that our new, brilliant idea is good for them. As we are, they too remain free. Their freedom is a very good thing.

OK. So, what to do about it?

The advice, in my words: "If you have lemons, make lemonade." In the books words: "Turn resistance to the new idea to your advantage." And then, maybe more specifically: "Ask for help from resisters."

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