Some cultural change principles I have learned
Here are a few things I seem to be saying a lot lately, while immersed in driving DevOps transformations.
1) Patience patience patience. Some people have to see and feel it to believe it. It takes years to change a corporate culture, to bring everyone along.
2) Evolution not revolution. The irony of taking a big-bang, one-shot approach to transformation seems lost on some people. Iterate, increment, explore, experiment.
3) Politics politics politics. Appease the holders of power, let them be winners. Find the Kitchen Cabinet. Build a circle of champions. Kotter is change 101. Beware the corporate immune system.
4) Permission permission permission. Empowered people blossom. let them know it is ok to experiment, to fail, to take initiative, to lead. Many people are "victims of the system": they behave the way they do because of the unreasonable position they are put in: change the system, change the mood.
And a bonus tip: Let them talk. When people (especially managers) are under pressure to change, just let them talk. If they are any sort of political player, they want to say the right things to us, and in the process they help to convince themselves. Nothing convinces someone quite like hearing themselves say it.