If you have the ability to influence or pick who joins the first attempt at Lean-Agile, we suggest you first try to pick positive people. Those that have shown tendencies towards early adoption of other changes have demonstrated they’re ready for your team.

Nearly every group of humans has its curmudgeons. Spare yourself the hassle of dragging someone along in a change initiative first effort. They will complain, ask why over and over, and they may even attempt to sabotage the effort.

You’re looking for an easy win to test and gain momentum.

Some companies have performance management systems and leadership cultures which do not weed out these type of people as quickly as you may prefer, and you may get stuck with some of them in your pool of picks. Save your energy for the implementation. Stack the team with as many of the flexible attitude, curious, willing to try something new people you can hire, borrow or reassign to this effort.

After the Lean-Agile system has the kinks worked out and you know what works for your organization’s parameters (leadership openness to new ideas, culture, politics, etc.), then you will have to either bring the curmudgeons along or help them find new employment in an environment they may like better. If you are in a leadership role, this last choice is probably better for you and them anyway. If you have no influence or control over the performance management subsystem of your organization, then hold these folks off until last so you can build up the transitional culture as much as possible without their resistance energy slowing things.

Sometimes, these cantankerous folks transition from passive complainers to active snipers looking for ways to stop the new idea. If you have these type of people on your staff, you’ll need to arrange with your next level leadership to underwrite mistakes made in the process of improving for a specific transition period.

Some are not so far down the resistance path and have open minds but do not yet see how your new Lean-Agile approach will help them. They may rightly point out that they don’t have to do A or B when they run things their way. You may have to explain that they have been sub optimizing for the single person’s benefit when we’re looking to optimize for the entire team’s cycle time improvement.


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