Seems Hans-Martin and me establish a passing game on change. Here’s his response on my post Latency of change – What are your leading indicators?:
I agree, leading indicators are the ‚way to go‘, from a metrics perspective! From the behavioral side, sharing an inspiring vision seems equally important. How does this resonate with the basketball team analogy? I’m sure there is more to a basket ball team than ‚just the motivation to win the match’…
Good point! Of course metrics alone won’t make the deal. Metrics don’t show you your „destination“. They just measure if you are on the right track. The destination is your vision. I don’t know for sure what the vision of my favorite basketball team is, but it could be: Be among the top eight basketball teams in Europe. This is far beyond winning a match and also beyond winning a national championship. If the players support this vision they can most likely relate a change to it and support change. So what is your company’s/team’s/organization’s vision? If you don’t know, see Suzannah Scully’s talk at Year of the X as a starting point.
But there’s another aspect on vision I would like to touch. Every player has his own personal vision too. For many it is „I want to become a successful NBA player“. So besides the teams’s vision you also need to keep the individual visions in mind. The more they align with the team’s vision, the less of a deal is change. Here’s a little story:
The team plays the last game of the national championship and is two points down. They need a 3-point shot to win the game and qualify for Euroleague (which is needed to reach their vision). The coach substitutes his center player for a shooter, to increase the probability of a win. A NBA scout watches the game to assess the center player. If the coach wasn’t aware of the player’s vision there could be conflict. But he gave him enough minutes earlier in the game to make sure the center player get’s a good assessment.
If you want to learn more on alignment of personal goals with organizational goals, have a look at the talk (in German) from Felix Müller. He explains with the help of beermats how alignment of goals enables performance.
So what is the answer to my question in the title: Does change need a vision?
No! Change will happen anyways. But having a vision, which the team members can relate to and align it with their personal vision, helps to continuously change towards this vision.
So the pass is on to Hans-Martin again. Hope this was helpful for you?
I’ll be out for vacation the next few days, so you won’t read something on change. I have another quick post queued and then I want to start a new blog series on a different topic. Here are topics I have in mind:
- Remote working and virtual teams
- Agile in mechanics/hardware
Let me know what sounds most interesting to you in the comments or drop me an email.