Inside LaunchStreet Jurgen Apello

Doing More, Faster, Will Not Keep You Ahead of the Curve Ball

The other day, I watched the Defiant Ones on HBO and it got me thinking. Why do some people seem to always be ahead of change while the rest of us are struggling to keep up? What thought process or system do they use that would help the rest of us? And with that thought in mind, I had Jurgen Appelo, author of How To Change The World and president of Agile Scales to talk about his Super Model of Change. We chat about how doing what we’ve always done, faster, isn’t the answer. It’s actually about how we need to decide to change faster. We also dig into how successful companies die because they are successful and how to create an idea virus (it’s a good thing).


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Key Takeaways:

[1:44] You might be surprised to learn that Jurgen’s first piece of artwork was published on his kindergarten teacher’s wedding invite.

[2:56] Jurgen calls himself a creative networker. Listen in to learn about creative networking. How do you turn knowledge into creativity?

[6:10] Why is teaching people “how to manage” outdated and irrelevant? Agility is applied to the entire businesses. Hierarchies are most successful when they are turned into networks of self-organizing people. Management is not going away, it’s simply turning into something different.

[8:10] Jurgen shares success of a small company in Paris that is ahead of the curve in management. They have self-organizing teams, people setting their own goals and using OKRs (setting targets for yourself). Time is set aside during business hours for employees to learn. Tamara believes that it can be to our advantage to be small, organized and agile.

[13:00] Legacy culture is difficult to leave behind. Companies change slowly. Individual behavior changes much quicker than companies. It is often easier to start from scratch with a startup company than wait for change within an existing company.

[14:38] Why is it so important to have an agile culture in business today? Survival nowadays means that we have to adapt faster to the changing environment. It is not just about doing things faster. It’s about deciding that what you’ve been doing isn’t making sense anymore. You must do something different. Tamara reminds listeners that it’s about making the decision to change faster than what we have done in the past.

[16:33] The Innovators Dilemma The Innovators Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change) helps readers understand that successful companies die because they are successful. At times, they don’t try the new, scary, risky things, and this brings on death. The time to be thinking about a new direction is when you have a lot of profit. Tamara tells people to watch the Defiant Ones on HBO. It tells the story about Jimmy Lovine and Dr. Dre realizing that they are big fish in a shrinking pond.

[19:14] Jurgen developed a Change Management Supermodel 3,0 It’s about changing behavior in organizations, and convincing the organization to move in a different direction. First, you need to dance with the system (PDCA cycle). Realize that whatever we try, the influence will go both ways. Second, change individual people within the organization (ADKAR model for change). Third, Ideas jump in the network from person to person. It’s called the adoption curve, or the idea virus. Fourth, Change is often initiated by the environment.

[22:44] Tamara asks if a creative cafe would be a good change in the environment for a board meeting? Use the environment to your advantage. How about using the coffee machine as a gathering place to discuss change? Tamara shares a story about walking into the grey cubicles of IBM. A tiny shift in our environment can make a huge difference in the change model.

[26:25] Jurgen discusses writing thank you cards in the form of a kudos box. A CEO in Poland told Jurgen that the kudos box was the best idea he has introduced. Employees love writing and receiving compliments from their peers. This helps the team to decide who is doing what well.

[29:59] Does having an agile culture inherently make the culture more innovative? Where does happiness fit into agility and staying ahead of the curve?

[33:14] Tamara brings up the fact that happier people contribute more and are more creative.

[33:28] Jurgen shares a tip to managing happiness. He really sees value in Tip #2, mind maps. Draw your name in the middle of the paper and begin mind mapping, writing whatever words come to mind that describe you. Then ,the team starts asking questions about your map. This is a fun, onboarding exercise to get to know each other better and make connections.

[35:48] Connect with Jurgen at his homepage, his blog, Management 3.0 and Agility

[36:25] Jurgen leaves listener’s with a valuable piece of advice: Be weird, but not too weird. You need to be similar enough for organizations to believe in what you’re doing and have credibility. At the same time, your ideas need to be outside of their comfort zone, but within their stretch zone.

[39:13] Tamara challenges LaunchStreeters to do the mindmaps exercise with your team. She challenges listener’s to take the IQE Assessment. This will help you to understand how the mindmaps show up in their personal lives as well as their work. It will help you see a more holistic view of who each team member is and ideas of how to tap into their strengths.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Innovators Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change), by Clayton M. Christensen

Jurgens Homepage

How To Change the World. Change Management 3.0, by Magdalena Wszelaki

Agility Scales

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[button buttonlink=”” buttontarget=”_blank” buttoncolor=”#000000″ buttontextcolor=”” buttonclass=””]LaunchStreet’s Innovation Quotient Edge Assessment[/button]