1 – WHY THIS BOOK
This year is a year of change. Crisis times always come with the urge and the need of change. How to focus this change is important. JG, CEO of IS is leading this change. He wanted his team to read this book, so we could focus and lead the change in the organization.
2 – FELLINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK
At first I was skeptikal, why should I stop reading all the books and read this one? (I have to read many in TM Iberia!). After reading it, I understand why. To summarize it: because know we all can use the same vocabulary when facing the change.
The book is not an usual book. It’s a fable. A tale. A very short tale; actually, the book can be read in 4 hours.
But as good fables, the story has strong connections with reality; and while you read, you can connect them directly. That’s the power of the book.
Now, in the team, we all have made some connections, and we will discuss and talk about them in the next meeting. It’s a very strong tool; somehow, a global “checkin” for a change process in an organization. A checkin that allows all members in the team to be in the same level of thinking, motivation and awareness.
3 – WHAT IS BEHIND THE FABLE
The book tells you very directly, how the change process happens in the organization and how you should confront it:
– 1) Create an urgency sense
– 2) Create a team
– 3) Create a common vision
– 4) Share & Communicate WELL the vission to the organization, so all can understand and accept it.
– 5) Empower others so they can act & eliminate barriers and obstacles.
– 6) Short term results are important.
– 7) Don’t stop the process.
– 8) Create and mantain the culture of change
The book makes you aware of this process and how one penguin that is aware of the danger ahead (“their iceberg melting”), is able to create a change of culture so finally all penguins are nomads and fearless to change.
The danger of the book, I think, is to take it TOO SERIOUSLY, or too LITERALLY. It DOES NOT TELL YOU WHAT TO DO. But, you should think about it and reflect about it. If you do with a team, the better for you.
4 – MY REFLECTIONS
Some of my reflections about the book and the change process told in the book.
4.1 ITS NOT ABOUT THE PROCESS ITSELF, BUT BEING AWARE OF THE PROCESS
What I think of the book is that it is not about the process itself. It doesn’t tell you what to do exactly, and how to do it. But it tells you what you will go through (or what you are going through), so it gives you the needed strength to be aware. Being aware of where you are, is important to be more patient and more positive about that everything will go well.
4.2 THE PERFECT TEAM
The perfect team for the change is created by a team who has a common vision and knows how to act as a team. In the book, we are presented to:
– A patient leader, with a clear vission (LUIS)
– A practical, and impatient operative leader (ALICE).
– A theoretical & analytical professor. PROFESOR
– A curious and logical observer, FICO
– A loved-and-trusted-by-everybody BERNARDINO.
It’s very important to have these roles in the team. I think to find and act with BERNARDINO in our case is the key.
We also have to reflect about how then we should behave leading the change. What is expected from us, taking into account the role we have (the penguin we are)?
Fico is the one who starts being aware of the problem. Maybe in that case, is somehow JG in our company. He was very OBSERVATIVE, and not much OPERATIVE; and at the same time, he wasn’t in any leading position. We need this kind of profiles in our companies. Do we have it in IS? I can’t think of any right now (JG is in a leading position). Maybe GZ? He is quite aware that we need to change many things, although he doesn’t trust the leading positions, and leading positions don’t trust him.
The good thing in his case is he went to the leading positions (Alice) to tell the problem; and he found the right person to talk to.
Alice is somehow the leader; a very practical leader, close to people. I see myself more in her; very comprehensive, but quite impatient. I like to take my time to talk to people so they can show me their problems.
Although in my case, people in the organization don’t see me as a person who can create effect in the leading positions, which frankly, sometimes is a good thing so people is closer to me in that sense. But in this case, it’s not what we need.
Maybe M could also fit in this position?
Luis is the boss; JG in our case. Accepts the problem and understands. A leader. Although JG is more “Alice like”, maybe JG needs to be more as Luis, with more clear vision and less impatience?.
I think M is now the one more close to be Bernardino. Is she aware? Does she have this trust?
Maybe is also GZ, although leading positions don’t think he’s on the right track. But people like GZ.
JG and myself are quite analytical, and we both cover this profile quite well.
So, in our team, maybe we need FICO? Who could he be? And Bernardino? Who is also trusted by everyone? How do we fill these gaps?
5 – SHORT IDEAS TO REMEMBER IN SHORT TERM
- The importance of communicate the vission: it’s better to excess on communication than to be short of it.
- How to act with NoNos? (NoNo = the one who will say No No all the time). Act patiently, and be constantly over them. Follow them everywhere.
- Obstacles will happen = do not ignore them. Find creative ways to overcome them. Create experiences to tell stories about WHAT IS GOING ON (in the book, the celebration and the Day for Heroes is a good example)
- Give “children” the power you need, the energy will flow from bottom to top. => I think in IS we are quite afraid of this?. JG I think, :)))
- The need to create the sense of urgency, do not hide it. Tell it to everybody, it’s not a problem to be hidden. Don’t be afraid of the PANIC. Again, it’s all about experiences. Emotional acting.
- The importance of the team to be aligned at first. Need to do some Team Building. TA methods are important here. Find some common projects to do together (“calamar hunting”) to feel close and understand each other.
- Act over people who is acting over children (for example, the teacher at the school). Move them to your side, telling them how important they are for the mission. Be emotional. Empower them. Their influence over the organization is big and will have inmediate result.
- During the whole process, EVERYONE HAS ITS OWN REASON (“I need to help”, “my girlfriend will be proud of me”, “I don’t want to die”, “this is more fun”). So the REASON TO HELP is different in each one. BUT THE WHOLE VISSION IS THE SAME.
- Short and Positive results are very important.
- Problems and obstacles will happen, but don’t panic. They won’t be as horrible as you first thought
- We, in IS, are in the CREATING THE TEAM AND THE VISSION FOR THE CHANGE AHEAD. So don’t be afraid, and move forward.