How do you convince people that it isn't as simple as following a recipe?



Most people want to find a ready made solution. If average Joe down the street is successful with say “Agile,” they want to copy that and get the same success. How do you convince people that it is not as simple as following a recipe?


It is not so much a matter of “convincing” people. That is what happens if you want to adopt a defined process: you have a rule-book that needs to be rolled out and followed; so you have to convince the players to follow the rule book.

With TameFlow we have a better approach: we work with our people’s own motivation. We never try to convince anybody, simply because you cannot convince them — instead, they have to convince themselves!

We can only explain how things might happen differently, and let them reflect on their own situation. In other words, rather than striving for process improvement it is more beneficial to let people understand and appreciate the value of double loop learning. So it is not only about reflecting on what they are doing, but also on how and why they are doing things as they are.

Often they will get insights that will start off a journey of improvement; the first stepping stones towards more productive changes. Eventually, if they do this in a consistent manner, and they start reasoning in terms of a process of ongoing improvement (as the Theory of Constraints says) rather than in terms of process improvement, they will develop their own path and way to higher levels of performance.

It is like when you want to train physically for some kind of sports. You cannot read the books. You must be out there and sweat it out yourself, watch yourself and improve yourself.

Transcribed and adapted from the SPaMCast #258 podcast.