Becoming a Lean Change Agent

A lot of shared practical experiences – by Jason and through given time for group discussion and cool group exercises helped me to understand the Lean Change Management cycle of – Insights – Options – Experiments. +1 for Lean Change – the workshop inspired me!” – Sebastian Radics

Last week marked the first two Lean Change Agent workshops in Munich, Germany. I think I received more feedback in those 4 days than I have in every course and workshop I’ve ever done! First, I’d like to extend an enormous thank you to Torsten Scheller for making this happen! Torsten challenged me with trying a new facilitation style and came up with the idea of using the Lean Change Management model on the course itself!

During each content block, which was typically an hour, I asked participants for feedback. I had them write down a number from 1 to 10 on a sticky note and then an optional comment. Everyone wrote comments, which was nice! Then I aggregated the scores and posted them on the wall:

Slow start, but we improved!

Yikes, it was a slow start! Fortunately, the Insights generated during the feedback round helped me improve the next block of content. Before starting the next block, I echoed back the groups’ feedback and asked what I could do to improve the next round. Over 2 days, here’s the summary of the scores, feedback and the sentiment I gleamed from the discussion about the feedback:

Block 1: Understanding Change
Score: 6.1
Feedback Summary: Good opening exercise, group work could have been done better, not much new insight, good opening exercise
Feedback Sentiment: Meh.

Block 2: Why Lean Change Management
Score: 6.6
Feedback Summary: motivation is clear, more group work please, hard to follow in english, need more explicit conclusion
Feedback Sentiment: Meh, I get it already, let’s get moving!

Block 3: Lean Startup and Lean Change Management
Score: 7.8
Feedback Summary: I know the Lean Change cycle now, group work kept my brain activated, good combining your ideas with my experience, stories were helpful
Feedback Sentiment: Cool! I get it now!

Block 4: Change Models
Score: 7
Feedback Summary: nice overview and examples, models and examples were helpful, very good interaction [with us], I was tired after lunch! I loved the tools and models!
Feedback Sentiment: Sweet! We’re moving along nicely now…still need to see how all this fits together.

Block 5:  Tools and Canvases
Score: 8:
Feedback Summary: culture hacks are brilliant!; nice ideas!; 9 out of 10 – there’s always room for improvement; very helpful – lots to think about
Feedback Sentiment: Awesome! Lots of practical things I can do!

Block 6: Experiments
Score: 7.7
Feedback Summary: practical experience and insights; fun to do “practical” work; input was too fuzzy but it was good to build a canvas
Feedback Sentiment: brain is getting overloaded, we’re a bit tired but we’ll make it through!

Block 7: People
Score 8.5
Feedback Summary: good information and deep insights; I see how everything fits together now; good theory and examples
Feedback Sentiment: aha! it IS always about the people.

lean change management cycle
The Lean Change Management Cycle

I’m glad Torsten suggested using the model on the course itself! The Insights collected during each feedback cycle helped me give the participants Options throughout the 2 days. Those Options became Experiments that were measured by the score and the comments. It was exhausting for me, but worth it for the participants.

Overall, it was a great experience for me and the feedback was overwhelming, I still have another large pile of sticky notes and picture to process. Here’s some feedback from the participants:

Very cool! Summary of what I’m already doing, but in a clearer, more detailed and elaborated way! – Rated 9/10. 

Very helpful [to learn about] “rational” methods, more of this please! 🙂 Rated 9/10

Very good approaches, brain is working hard! Frustrating, as it shows how much analysis is missing within my own context. Rated 8/10 

Very good interaction with us, connecting some of the dots for the Lean Change Management cycle. Rated 9/10

Culture hack, brilliant idea! I must use this often! Rated 8/10


[button link=”” type=”big” color=”green”] Workshop Details[/button]

I have another list of Options to consider for the next workshops that are being planned at the moment. Some of them include:

  • pre-designed scenarios during the group exercises
  • new ideas for new games (sorry, it’s a secret right now!)
  • have participants draw a summary after day 1 and then updated it after day 2 (Tried this during the 2nd workshop)

What I Learned

Much like static change models cannot manage the dynamic, and sometimes chaotic, nature of organizational change, neither can a static agenda for a workshop provide a rich experience for participants. I had prepare enough material for 4 days and gave participants Options to choose from. It was harder on me, but better for participants.

If you’re thinking: “but wait! that’s not a consistent  experience! Some participants will learn things that others don’t get a chance to!” then it’s a good idea to come to this workshop, we explain why some people react that way! 🙂

Photos from the Workshop

Here are a few photos from the workshop, there are no slides and a lot of interaction!

Learning about people
Engaged learners!
Participants designed their own canvases
Participants designed their own canvases

If you’re interested, check out the workshop details and let me know if you’d like one hosted in your city!

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