Lean management gets you closer to the “stream of change”…
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”
Change is good, it take us out of our comfort zone and make things happen. Change gives us an opportunity to grow and promotes self-development and process improvements. By avoiding change, we close the doors to new, interesting, things that can have a big influence on our life (professional and personal). .
Unfortunately, in some organisations, some of the people (mostly with“managerial” titles) tend to appropriate change to themselves and often believe that only they can make such changes. This is common in organisations with a strict, vertical, management structure. Such vertical structure can also lead to bottlenecks where even though you may have really good ideas, they can get stuck in a long queue.
Fortunately,especially in IT industry, companies are changing their management culture from a vertical to a horizontal one, and for this, they have two big supporters: Agile and Lean.
On one hand, Agile has great power in self-organized teams and tells us that there aren’t roles in the team and from the other hand, we have kanban, which encourages us to search for continuous change and improvements. Both of these processes are based on a fast feedback loop so that you can adjust and change to make it even more effective.
In this scenario, everyone has exactly the same access to the “stream of change” and the manager is an integral part of the team. In this structure, there is no such thing as a bottleneck that can potentially slow us down, and the only blocker that can stop you from a good move is yourself.
I’m not talking about the change in your pocket, I’m talking about real change!
Horizontal structure makes us equal, literally equal. Everyone has the same access to the change stream, and can improve various things. There is no such thing as a monopoly of change. To put it simply, you can do whatever you want. Moreover, once you are out of your comfort zone and manage to implement some good changes (in process, career, or team culture) you will see that this can be addictive. You will be satisfied and your manager will be proud (win-win).
How to start? Easy !
- You need to convince yourself that you have the same power as your manager.
- Go outside of your “comfort zone” and sell your idea, maybe you are not the only one who wants that change.
- Be proactive! Things need to have someone who can moderate them. But please, remember that hyperactivity (talking and complaining instead of implementing things) is not the same thing as proactivity (making things happen).
- Be confident! I didn’t say that change is easy. I said that it will be interesting. Most probably you will have your point of view challenged by someone who disagrees. You need to be confident that the change you are about to implement is the right one and that it can bring potential improvements.
- Don’t be afraid to propose new ideas. Maybe from your point of view, they might seem “silly”, but without voicing your opinion, you will never get this knowledge.
- Experiment and learn from failures!
Ok, I got it, but from where should I start?
Only you can unlock the safe which contains the ideas you’re hiding from people.. I don’t want to decide what you think is most important, it’s up to you! For me, the most important thing is to make you realise that YOU ARE THE CHANGE, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to make things happen!
Ps. I did a big change in this post because I decided to make two main pictures by myself. It wasn’t easy, but I hope you like it or at least they make you smile
Ps2. I want to thank Marcin Horoszkiewicz for the long and productive discussion that made me write this post.
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Do you want to read more about delegation or team development process? Look at my last posts. I also wrote about Scrum Master and leadership types and lessons learned (as Scrum Master and Manager) from my first startup. Links below: