Just finished reading "Process Consulting" by Alan Weiss, lent to me by my talented colleague, Darren Smith. The book is concerned more with general consulting, not IT consulting or IT methodologies. I found the bigger picture view in Weiss's book enlightening and helpful in evaluating and questioning my own consulting practices. Here's a few thoughts from the book:
- Remember that you are not the change agent. The client personnel are the change agents. You are the catalyst, but they are accountable for enduring change. Don't be a hero...
- Cute phrases and pithy slogans don't change behaviour. Aligning people's objectives behind corporate objectives and supporting that behaviour with metrics and rewards will usually gain their attention. Rapidly.
- Is it really progress if we teach a cannibal to use a knife and fork? (from Stanislaw Lem, quoted by Weiss)
- At the outset of any change process, immediately after agreement with the buyer, identify and "recruit" these key positions [hierarchical leaders, front line management, respected leaders and experts]. Use the buyer's clout if you must. The most crucial factor in organizational change occurs prior to implementation: It's the conceptual agreement and acknowledged self-interest among the few people who actually have their hands on the controls.
- [Regarding change,] neutral is as bad as negative, since the default position for everyone else will always be the old behaviour.
- Don't be anxious to "make change". If you have a six month window, for example, invest at least the first month or more aligning your support and key sponsors and establishing their accountabilities. The more time you take with critical sponsors, the faster you will ultimately create change.
- When you find someone micromanaging, it is almost always because of a lack of trust. If you don't do the job the way he or she would do it, you must be doing it incorrectly. If the leader has trust in subordinates, simply providing the goals should be sufficient.