Chaos and Change - Part 3 - Lean, Agile and Mgt2.0 Can Succeed

This is the third article in a series about Chaos and Change. How they change our working worlds and how we can gain come control of the chaos. The previous installment was titled Chaos and Change are Brothers - Part 2  I suggest you might want to go back and catch it as well. 

The following is a reply I posted on Fierce Healthcare's discussion area. The site is one challenging healthcare folks to stay up with the latest developments in their fields. I came across Susan D, Hall's post in a LinkedIn Group and thought it interesting. While all of you know I'm a big supporter of better management and highly collaborative frameworks for companies, I thought it appropriate to clear the air about change initiatives and their chances to survive and make have some permanent change as a result. The following is my comment on Susan's blog post you can read here entitled, Lean leadership in healthcare: What does it take? Of course my comment there is posted here, but please read Susan's work as well.

Your Brains Work Best When They Can Turn from Failure to Success

As an evangelist for better business principles which are more lean, more agile and responsive both internally and externally, I applaud your efforts in healthcare. Unfortunately, the cards are stacked against you. J, Kotter in 1995, Turner and Crawford, 1988 and Prosci, 2005 all indicate that only 30% (at best) of projects introducing change in organizations have reported any real measurable change. If you look at the flip side, that's 70% failure. Now I'm
not a half-empty kind of guy, but I am a realist and if conventional wisdom  says I'm likely to succeed only 30% of the time, then I'm going to be looking to do something different than what most folks are doing. I don't like to fail, I do like succeeding.

Over the years I have found there are ways to stack the deck in your favor. It runs against the grain of CW, but then CW wasn't doing much for me anyway, so why not. It's Fail. Fail on purpose, Fail Quickly. Now I know I said that I hated to fail, but paradoxically failing leads to success. You just have to figure out how to fail safely. I've figured that out too. Control your failure. No, don't do this with a real system, do it off on the side. Do it so you fail quickly, very quickly that way your brain can be interrupted in such a way it rewires itself to understand what is the 'right' way to solve a problem. Now you can't do this all by yourself, you need everyone who is going to be working together for this to work. Oh yes and to get this done, you have to have higher management, preferably ownership, to support this kind of activity.

If it sounds all crazy and upside down, it isn't really. It is how we now know our brains work. When we get people thinking correctly about a problem set they will solve it in the most efficient manner they can figure out. They'll throw out all the old rules that were breaking the system and find a way to get the job done. Human brains really are wonderful that way. So break a few eggs, do some failure and then watch the delicious omelets come flying out. BTW, after your teams start thinking right, lean, agile and the new flatter, more responsive management ideas will seem like child's play - fun and exciting.

I know you are wondering, what's the chance for success using this topsy-turvy method. For me, about 100% of the time. I know it's too fantastic to believe, but when we let the most powerful organ in the human body work correctly, the results will always astound you. I know it astounded me when I found out how these principles work.
For more on this kind of stuff, look at my blog and follow the discussions. 
Cheers to all!
So there you have it. Fail before you succeed. Pretty simple, pretty scary, but very effective, when you know what your are doing. Let me know what you think of this wacky way of thinking. 

And always remember, "Collaboration is the Glue of Success." aa
To continue the series, see part 4 Chaos and Misdirection, A Classic Case of Misdirection"

This is a continuing series of articles as a Connection about Chaos and Change Management in the workplace. Other ideas here include Lean, Agile and Management 2.0 management theory as applied to complex or wicked problems.

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