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Embracing change and continuous improvement

This article was based on the interview with Anthony Coppedge of IBM by Greg Kihlström for The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast. Listen to the original episode here:

Embracing change and continuous improvement is crucial for organizations seeking growth and long-term success.

The podcast interview with Anthony Coppedge emphasizes that change is not always easy. It can be hard and uncomfortable, but it is necessary for progress. By constantly iterating and evaluating different approaches, organizations can identify what works and what doesn’t. This allows for bursts of improvements and successes, as well as valuable lessons learned from failures.

The speaker in the podcast celebrates both wins and failures, recognizing that learning from mistakes is essential for avoiding stagnation. Experimentation is encouraged, as it provides opportunities for growth and innovation. Rather than viewing failures as definitive, the speaker reframes them as learning experiences. Failing means it’s too late, but experimenting means there is still room for improvement and new discoveries.

The podcast also references the Kübler-Ross curve, which is typically associated with the stages of grief. However, in a business context, this curve represents managing and adapting to change. It acknowledges that change can be challenging and elicit emotions such as anger, denial, sadness, and depression. However, it also highlights the importance of reaching acceptance and reconciliation to move forward.

The podcast emphasizes that change is not just a business concept; it is a human experience. When working with people, it is essential to understand their emotions and perspectives. The speaker shares an example of working with individuals who were resistant to change because they felt they were losing something they took pride in. Helping them see the potential gains and benefits of the transformation was crucial in overcoming their resistance.

To make change worthwhile, organizations must provide a promise or hope for the future. In the podcast, the speaker shares their goal of changing the way teams work to empower them and delegate authority. This required a shift in how they measured success, moving beyond simply measuring outputs to understanding the underlying reasons for those outputs. By focusing on the work itself rather than blaming individuals, change becomes less threatening and more productive.

The podcast also emphasizes the importance of eliminating unnecessary and inefficient practices. The speaker refers to this as “stopping the stupid” – identifying and eliminating processes that add no value and waste time and resources. By streamlining workflows and empowering teams to make decisions, organizations can work more efficiently and effectively.

Continuous improvement is another key aspect highlighted in the podcast. Rather than waiting for approval, organizations should strive to make changes quickly and adapt as necessary. By involving the people closest to the problem in decision-making and encouraging constant learning, organizations can drive innovation and stay ahead of the curve.

In conclusion, the podcast transcript highlights the challenges and importance of change. Change is hard but necessary for organizations seeking growth, improvement, and long-term success. It requires individuals to step out of their comfort zones, learn something new, and embrace the unknown. Despite the initial discomfort, change is necessary for progress and exceeding the status quo. By prioritizing value, eliminating waste, and optimizing upside, organizations can create a more agile and adaptable environment. Change may be difficult, but it is essential for achieving greatness.

House of the Customer by Greg Kihlström is now available.
House of the Customer by Greg Kihlström

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