Fearless Change

Mary Lynn Manns is visiting Agile-Carolinas in Charlotte next week.

As many of you will know, Dr. Manns is the co-author of Fearless Change, along with Linda Rising. This is a great book about getting people to adopt a new idea (eg, lean-agile-scrum).

So, I wanted to take this opportunity, in thanks, to praise the book.

One pattern is “Fear Less.”  That is, often our efforts to change things are stopped, perhaps almost completely, by our fear.  Perhaps we fear ridicule or punishment.  Perhaps other fears.  In any case, because we fear, our efforts to encourage change are much less energetic.

And the truth usually is that our fear is not justified.  Once we overcome our fear, change starts to happen.

Another pattern is about handling skeptics. The first advice is, as other wise teachers have taught us, love your enemies.

This is in part saying “accept that you are an imperfect human”. Meaning, again in part, that while lean-agile-scrum may be very very good, my own interpretation of that might be less than perfect for a specific usage. And a good skeptic can keep bad things from happening.

Also understand that many people, quite normally, resist change unless they can clearly see that it will help them.

It is also, I think, a recognition that each person is free.

OK. So, what to do about it?

The advice, in my words: “If you have lemons, make lemonade.” In the books words: “Turn resistance to the new idea to your advantage.” And then, specifically: “Ask for help from resisters.”



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