[SUMMARY] START BY DOING, KATHRYN MALONEY
Kathryn Maloney, Partner at The Ready, a consulting firm focused on organization design and transformation recalls that too much time and money is spent considering change versus just doing it .
First, even though they rely on and teach to their clients new meetings and teaming structures, decision tools and communication technologies, they are cautious to keep people from falling into the ideology trap. “Commoditizing any method or practice as a whole system-change ideology (versus a method of intervention) will quickly create limitations on their application in complex, perpetually changing ecosystems.” Instead, we should understand those frameworks as mindset shifts. “They are not destinations and frankly, rarely is there an arrival.” We should be prepared to give up what we know to make room for what we don't yet know, and feel slightly off balance in the process.
And then, it's all about getting into the work quickly. Learning by doing may be disorienting, but it scales much quicker. It's impossible to change without changing, and talking about change is just delaying effort.
Finally, she shares 6 things to keep in mind as we commit to pushing a collective start in this organization design journey (which I prefer to call organization “development” or “listening and emergence” journey as I believe it's all about making room for our organization to self-discover, with us having pretty much nothing to actually “design”):
• Experiencing is believing “Show rather than tell. Just do. People will feel the commitment and it will naturally spread.”
• Don’t wait for permission Even if you don't have full support of the leadership team in place, “declare your independence, step into your personal authority, and show people the way. Make people curious and take notice rather than wait for permission. This is leading.”
• Prepare to lose in order to gain “Resistance is what causes adaptation energy. Lean in and let go.”
• Mind your ego Don't let your ego win and believe you should “drive rather than create space for bigger thinking, deeper connecting, and reflective learning”, that it's dangerous to not know all the possible pitfalls before trying and that you should not show vulnerability.
• Stop planning and start doing “Test and learn your way into next steps rather than falsely believing you can predict and plan your way to innovation. Set a direction, but steer continuously. Think wayfinding over navigating.”
• Be grateful and present “Don’t artificially or passively be grateful. Say thank you. Tell people you love them. Live the moments consciously. It’s contagious.”
“You will need to step in and do work. The choice has to be about braving learning, experiencing yourself differently, and being in the truth of how systems, change, and work actually work — and using whichever tools, practices and methods that enable that. Just start by starting making sure you are doing real work. You’ll know because it feels challenging, personal, enlivening — and yet not ideological. Then, just keep evolving from there.”