Agile and Lean Change Management: Trainer Interview - Jude Horrill

I recently wrote about our journey bringing our Agile and Lean Change Management training course to market, in Part 1 and Part 2 I explained the gap we saw in the market and how we identified the people we did to help adapt and refine the course. 

The reason for telling this story was both to demonstrate the cycle in action, also to give people interested in the course the opportunity to understand if how it's shaped is suitable for them.

This is an interview with Jude Horrill who is the co-trainer of this course with Peter Lam. The purpose is to give you further insight into the course. We cover a few topics, including how Peter and Jude have adapted the course, what you should be looking to take out of the day and advice in general about adopting new tools in the workplace.

As always, if you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to reach out to us. My email is Ringo.Thomas@tabar.com.au and I'm always happy to hear from you.

Our calendar for upcoming trainings is available here. Registration is available now.

In this Masterclass we cover the two key principles of lean change which are - ‘you can’t control the way people are going to respond to change, and people are more likely to be engaged if they are involved in designing the change’.

Ringo: Why did you first get involved in running this course? 

Jude: Over recent years it’s become evident that businesses are challenged by the pace and complexity of change and how to respond.  This is leading to changes in what they offer and how they operate. Alongside this is the need for a different approach to how they make those changes with their people.

I had heard about Jason’s Lean Change practice and decided to do his course.  His 3 step cycle hit the nail on the head in terms of simplifying steps and engaging people in the process.  My business mantra is Connect, Simplify, Change, which is very aligned to Jason’s breakthrough in approach to current challenges.

I am also passionate about new ideas and coaching others to see things differently.  I believe we need to change the world of work, and addressing the change process in businesses is an integral part of that world.

Ringo: What are the changes you’ve made to Jason’s original course content, and why did you choose to make them?

Jude: The biggest shift was to build a one day offering instead of the standard two day workshop.  Our primary target audience of Change Managers are already experienced in the people side of change and have been clear on what they were looking for.

Their desire was to get straight into learning about agile, what good agile looks like, what a lean change approach is, and how and when to use this in their day job. 

So, by focusing content and exercises directly to those needs we were able to build a one day masterclass that enabled a faster step through of information - tools - exercise - and application.

Ringo: What do you hope people are able to take out of the day?

Jude: Because we have been very disciplined around tight content, practical work and application to participants’ current work programs, my hope is that people will be able to use their learning on their return to work.  

A fundamental take out for me is that they start to see through a new lens and to then think independently and confidently about different ways of approaching their change work.  

In large part, change work is about engagement and communication, and if participants gain ideas, insights and shared stories on how to achieve this through the use of a blend of tools then I am very happy.

Ringo: What should people be thinking about on the day to ensure they get the most value?

Jude: I am experienced in the use of a blend of methodologies, tools and engagement techniques in change work, and big on creating tailored solutions to every change situation.

In my opinion, if people who have been given responsibility to deliver change successfully don’t continue to learn and adopt and try new things they will not be relevant in today’s and tomorrow’s marketplace.

If participants have an open mind, or a similar mindset coming into, and during, the Masterclass then they will gain the most value.

Ringo: What would you recommend people do to prepare for the day? How will this assist in the learning?

Jude: Think about their current change program, project or problem in the most succinct way possible.  Get to the core one or two issues and write it down.  Capture what insights you might have as to why these issues exist, what you’ve already done to respond, or what you could do.  Essentially get your thinking cap on and root out the essence of the “why” question.

This will assist on the day as you will come with a heightened desire to solve your problem, will have done the groundwork, and importantly started to think about the solution in terms of the 3 step lean change cycle of Insight - Solution - Experiment.

I also recommend that they read some core material on Jason Little’s website at www.leanchange.org to have a broad knowledge of the process he uses and case study stories from blogs.

Ringo: What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to someone trying to bring a new framework or tool into their workplace?

That they need to be confident in having conversations along the lines of ‘different times require different solutions’.  Even if they are not in a position to influence changes I have had personal success and success with coaching clients who have simply changed one thing they personally do.

This has led to change in those around them and then in wider and wider circles.  The old saying, ‘build it and they will come’ actually works.  You can’t change others but you can start by changing something in and for yourself.

Also, start small and don’t think you have to change everything in a wholesale way from the get go.  Blended models work really well.  Lean Change and Agile doesn’t work in every scenario, and it doesn’t have to.  That’s not what the challenge is about in terms of building a new way of working.  In my experience it’s about having an agile mindset.  About ‘being agile’ not just ‘doing agile’.

Ringo: What’s the most common hurdle you see people come across when trying to bring a new framework or tool into a workplace?

Jude: Influence.  The feeling that they are unable to start a new conversation or not empowered due to their role or level of experience or many other factors.  

The other common hurdle is Risk.  Organisations are still very risk averse, and as the outcome of change is inherently unknown, they prefer to avoid it and stick with the status quo.  

One of my favourite sayings is “nothing changes if nothing changes”.  In this Masterclass we cover the two key principles of lean change which are - ‘you can’t control the way people are going to respond to change, and people are more likely to be engaged if they are involved in designing the change’.

So a logical solution to the implementation hurdle is to adopt lean change ideas to engage more people across the business so they feel included and to collectively become more comfortable with trying new things and supporting each other.

This way when the next change comes, which it will,  there are increasing levels of comfort embedded in teams around the experience of change.  

At the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat and lean change is one enabler to smoother waters.